Etihad Ten: Top 20 Etihad moments – Part One
- 10 June 2013 14:50
- Posted by @dclayton_mcfc
The top 20 moments of our first 10 years at the Etihad Stadium – as voted by City fans on Facebook and Twitter…
20 Joe Hart display v Dortmund
Hart made at least four stunning saves during City’s Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund as the Bundesliga side caused numerous problems against the Blues. It was a stunning performance by the England No.1 and Dortmund boss Jugen Klopp reckoned it was one of the best he’d ever seen.
19 Joey Barton red card v QPR
The controversy surrounding Barton’s sending off in the title-deciding clash with QPR left a last impression. The former City midfielder’s fiery exit which saw him strike Sergio Aguero then go head to head with Vincent Kompany may have left a sour taste, but it was a pivotal moment in a crucial game, too.
18 Robbie Fowler penalty miss
With City needing to beat Middlesbrough on the final day of the 2004/05 campaign to qualify for the UEFA Cup and cap a remarkable surge up the table under caretaker boss Stuart Pearce, the Blues won a penalty deep into injury time with the score at 1-1. Step forward Fowler who took perhaps the worst spot-kick of his career with a weak effort easily saved by Mark Schwarzer.
17 Balotelli penalty v Spurs
With Spurs fighting back from 2-0 down to 2-2 and almost taking the lead on 90 minutes through Jermain Defoe, City launched one final attack and as Mario Balotelli wriggled free of Ledley King, the Spurs man’s clumsy challenge was deemed a penalty by the referee. Who else would you want in a situation like that? Mario coolly slotted the ball past Brad Friedel to give his team a crucial 3-2 win and boost the Blues’ title bid.
16 Phil Brown’s half-time team-talk
With City going 4-0 up inside 36 minutes, the half-time break couldn’t come quickly enough for Hull boss Phil Brown – what nobody expected was that he’d do his team-talk on the pitch at the break in front of 3,000 travelling Tigers fans! He later explained: "Our fans deserved some kind of explanation for the first-half performance and it was difficult for me to do that from the confines of a changing room. We owed them an apology for the first-half performance."
City went on to win 5-1 but the whole episode was somewhat surreal.
15 Tevez solo v Chelsea
Carlos Tevez enjoys a goal against Chelsea but his solo effort against the West Londoners in 2010 was special even by his standards. Collecting the ball from around the halfway line, he drove forward with purpose before pulling ball back across Petr Cech and in off the far post to end the visitors’ 100% record and win three vital points for the Blues.
14 Balotelli improv
City were cruising home against Norwich when Balotelli looked to score the Blues’ fourth goal of the afternoon. John Ruddy made a valiant save as Mario fired in a shot from close range but the ball looped up and Balotelli, stood on the goal-line, calmly shrugged his shoulder to score a somewhat unusual goal.
13 David James goes up front
Stuart Pearce decided if City needed goals late on against Middlesbrough he’d launch his secret weapon – goalkeeper David James! A bemused looking Claudio Reyna was substituted, Nicky Weaver came on in goal and James changed to an outfield shirt and proceeded to cause havoc in the Boro defence, eventually resulting in a penalty in injury time, so you’d have to say it worked!
12 De Jong ends drought
It had to happen – we’d waited so long – so thank goodness it happened on home turf! When an Aleks Kolarov corner was cleared to the edge of the box against West Ham in 2011, Nigel de Jong was waiting 25 yards out and, after three years without a goal for City, he hit a low drive into the corner of Robert Green’s goal to end one of the longest drought’s in City’s recent history. Watch him receive a special Chappy Award...
11 Ben Thatcher challenge
Former City defender Ben Thatcher’s X-rated challenge on Portsmouth’s Pedro Mendes stuck in the minds of a lot of City fans. It was reckless at best as the left-back clattered into the Pompey midfielder near the corner flag and so ferocious was the collision it rendered Mendes unconscious. Thatcher was fined six weeks’ wages and banned for four games as a result.