Big-money signing Kevin de Bruyne came up trumps for Manchester City this evening by scoring a 92nd-minute winner to steal them a crucial 2-1 victory over Sevilla in the Champions League.
The Citizens, who had been on the back foot for much of the game, broke forward in stoppage time and Yaya Toure passed to De Bruyne to cut inside and fire a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
It was the Belgian’s fifth goal in seven games for City, and of the level of significance expected of him when the Blues paid Wolfsburg £55m for his services in the summer – fee reported by BBC Sport.
Manuel Pellegrini should be delighted with the immediate impact of his new arrival, and will also be pretty pleased with the look of the Group C table, with his side now clear in second behind Juventus.
The Italian champions could only draw 0-0 with Borussia Monchengladbach, meaning that the Blues are only one point off top, at a point in their campaign where they have been in peril in previous seasons.
City once again had their backs against the Champions League wall when Yevhen Konoplyanka, long linked with a move to England as the Daily Star reports, made Sevilla’s pressure pay after half an hour.
However, there were complaints from the hosts that Kevin Gameiro was in an offside position and blocking Joe Hart’s eyeline when Konoplyanka beat the England goalkeeper with a low strike.
The Blues were level within six minutes at the Etihad Stadium thanks to some good fortune. Wilfried Bony’s close-range shot appeared to be going wide before it went in via a deflection off Adil Rami.
Sevilla did not feel sorry for themselves and had most of the second half’s best chances as Gameiro headed over from eight yards after being gifted room by a City defence without Vincent Kompany.
Sergio Aguero and David Silva were also absent, but no matter. De Bruyne is fast becoming every bit as important, and his late winner could help the Citizens expel some of their Champions League demons.
(Video) Anthony Martial header rescues Man United Champions League draw after bizarre Van Gaal selection
(Video) Heroic David de Gea save in vain as Manchester United made to pay for silly Martial mistake
(Video) Manager fuming with brutal treatment of Tottenham youngster who is carrying six injuries