Wednesday, May 9, 2018 11:05 PM
It was an emotional farewell to a Club legend with only the lack of a Yaya Toure goal the downside of a near-perfect night.
So, let‚Äôs see how the media covered our send-off for a player who will be talked of fondly and remembered with great pride for many years to come.
Here‚Äôs BT Sport‚Äôs take: ‚ÄúYaya Toure promised Manchester City fans he would return to the Etihad Stadium after an emotional final home appearance for the club.
Toure was presented with a lifetime City season ticket as tributes were paid to the veteran midfielder following the champions‚Äô record-breaking 3-1 win over Brighton on Wednesday.
The 34-year-old, who is leaving the club at the end of the season, was recalled to the starting line-up and handed the captaincy as City celebrated his outstanding service over the past eight years.
The victory took City‚Äôs tallies this season in terms of points, goals and wins to 97, 105 and 31 respectively ‚Äď all new Premier League records.
‚ÄėOf course, I was very delighted to be part of the team that broke the record,‚Äô said Toure, who does not intend to retire and could stay in English football. ‚ÄėIt was something special, brilliant and amazing.
‚ÄėThe fans, all the time, have shown love. There was a feeling like some of them were sad ‚Äď but they don‚Äôt have to be sad. I‚Äôll be back for sure.‚Äô
Meanwhile ESPN‚Äôs player ratings gave Yaya a perfect 10 as they attempt to sum up eight glorious years into one 80-minute performance.
It reads: “MF Yaya Toure, 10 — This isn’t a mark solely for the midfielder’s performance in this game. He was solid, if not spectacular against Brighton — but this is the culmination of eight years’ service at the Etihad. He’s been behind all of the crucial moments in the Sheikh Mansour era, scoring vital goals along the way.
“Without the Ivorian, this club may possibly have never achieved anything near what it has, despite the money spent. It was a very fitting send off at full-time, a very emotional end to a wonderful story, and Toure has written himself into City’s history as one of the best. He’ll be remembered as a true icon. If only his chance towards the end could have found the net.‚ÄĚ
The Independent note on a night when everything went as it should, the only thing missing was a goal for Yaya to lift the roof off the Etihad.
They report: ‚ÄúMost goals, most wins, most points. Manchester City ended their season at the Etihad and said farewell to one of their modern greats by staking their claim to be the best team of the Premier League era.
‚ÄúAfter fluffing their lines against Huddersfield Town on Sunday, the champions finally broke the records they have been threatening to shatter since the start of the season, as Danilo, Bernardo Silva and Fernandinho‚Äôs goals comfortably saw them past Brighton and Hove Albion.
‚ÄúCity have now eclipsed the 95 points earned by Chelsea in 2004-05, the record of 30 wins in a single Premier League season set this time last year and the 103 goals scored by the West Londoners in 2009-10.
‚ÄúThe only disappointment was that Yaya Tour√© could not cap off his 316th and final City appearance with a goal, but the Ivorian ‚Äď central to so much of the club‚Äôs success in recent years ‚Äď was richly rewarded for his service after the final whistle.‚ÄĚ
The Daily Mail picked up on one comical moment when the Blues were awarded a free-kick in Yaya territory ‚Äď just seconds after he had left the pitch to a resounding standing ovation.
It reads: ‚ÄúPep Guardiola told the Manchester City bench to stand. They did as they were told, rising as one in applause, and so did everyone else. Yaya Toure began his slow, long waltz off with five minutes remaining on Wednesday night. The end of an era. And what an era it has been.
‚ÄúToure is not overly fond of the limelight, awkwardly ambling out as captain on Wednesday night, and his demeanour actually showcased the magnitude of this occasion for him. He wandered off rather sheepishly after being mobbed by almost all of his team-mates.
‚ÄúThey wanted to congratulate a legend on a job well done. Guardiola slapped the veteran’s head, gave him a hug. Ironically, City won a free-kick 20 yards out seconds after Toure came off and Guardiola jokingly beckoned him to return.
‚ÄúAnd then, at just before 10 o’clock, came the overt gratitude, the montage of his greatest moments in a City shirt. Barely anybody had left the Etihad, wanting to stay for his presentation in the centre circle, and they cheered that FA Cup winner against Manchester United as it came on screen. Toure played to the crowd, saying: ‘Once a blue, always a blue.‚ÄĚ
Couldn‚Äôt round it off any better, myself!