Review of 2011: April
- Sat 31 Dec 2011, 10:27AM
- Posted by Alex Rowen
April showered City fans with some memorable moments - and it began with a five-star performance against Sunderland.
It was a victory that moved City up to third place and saw Roberto Mancini’s eager side move one step closer to Champions League qualification.
Indeed, the only blot on April's copybook came at Anfield. Widely seen as the game that would define how far City had come, Liverpool's three first-half goals ended the contest early.
Arguably however, City already had one eye on their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and the most hotly-anticipated Manchester derby in recent history.
With not only the opportunity to get one over on their arch-rivals but also the chance to return in May - and end the club’s 35-year wait for a trophy - it turned out to be a day to savour for Blues everywhere.
More than 31,000 City fans made the trip to see their side prove themselves no longer just noisy neighbours
The spine-tingling chorus of "Blue Moon" before kick-off was an inspirational moment, but it was Yaya Toure’s 53rd-minute goal that would be imprinted on the minds of Blues forever.
Even without talismanic captain Carlos Tevez, Mancini’s men avoided scares such as Dimitar Berbatov’s glaring first-half miss to claim victory and Poznan their way into the Final.
Mario Balotelli’s cheeky wink to Rio Ferdinand at full time only served to widen the jubilant grins on City faces, if that were possible.
Personal accolades followed as Vincent Kompany and Carlos Tevez were acknowledged with places in the PFA Team of the Year – Tevez also shortlisted for PFA Player of the Year – while stars of the past returned to celebrate the life of City great Ken Barnes.
Shaun Goater, Uwe Rosler and Mike Summerbee were among top names who turned out for a memorial game organised to pay tribute to the former Blue, who had passed away a year earlier.