Vincent Kompany: five of his best games for Manchester City

From his midfield debut to his goalscoring swansong, there has been no shortage of drama in the Belgian’s City career

1) Manchester City 3-0 West Ham, 24 August 2008

Signed only two days before from Hamburg, the then 22-year-old went straight into Mark Hughes’s XI. Vincent Kompany dovetailed smoothly with Michael Johnson in midfield, according to the former Arsenal striker and now pundit, Alan Smith. In front of a City defence that featured Tal Ben Haim, Micah Richards, Vedran Corluka and Michael Ball, with Joe Hart the goalkeeper, this was a display of long range passing and firefighting. It would not be too long before Kompany started playing regularly in his familiar centre-back berth.

Vincent Kompany battles Dean Ashton on his Premier League debut.
Vincent Kompany battles Dean Ashton on his Premier League debut. Photograph: Keith Williams/Action Images

2) Manchester City 1-0 Stoke City, FA Cup final, 14 May 2011

Yaya Touré scored the winner as Kompany became the first Belgian to claim an FA Cup winners medal, his dominant performance permitted a Stoke attack, led by Kenwyne Jones, scant chance of breaching Hart’s goal. This was the first of 10 major honours City have claimed under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership and Kompany was present for them all. It is also the only one for which he did not captain the team, with Carlos Tevez wearing the armband on this occasion. The final followed a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the previous round, a match Kompany cites as a personal favourite.

Joe Hart and Kompany conspired to shut out Stoke as Manchester City won their first trophy under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership.
Joe Hart and Kompany conspired to shut out Stoke as Manchester City won their first trophy under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership. Photograph: Action Images

3) Manchester City 3-2 QPR, 13 May 2012

Kompany may have scored the winner in the derby against Manchester United two weeks previously but this was the game with the Agüerooooooo goal title-winning strike that ended 44 years of hurt, with Kompany leading City to a first championship since 1968. The Belgian was, by now, rated the country’s finest centre-half and he summed up the breathless manner of the triumph aptly. “You want to say it’s the best moment of your life, after the birth of my child and my wedding, but please never again this way, please.”

After a torturous final day for Kompany, City’s captain finally got his hands on the Premier League title in 2012.
After a torturous final day for Kompany, City’s captain finally got his hands on the Premier League title in 2012. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

4) Manchester City 2-0 West Ham, 11 May 2014

This was a second last-day, title-clinching win in two years and, after Samir Nasri scored on 39 minutes, Kompany broke Liverpool hearts with the clincher four minutes into the second half as Manuel Pellegrini’s team became champions. Kompany said: “Forget about the money and everything. As a kid you grow up and dream of lifting trophies – I feel like I am living that dream when I do this. We’re building a club, not just a team that wins trophies now and again. Next year we need to be even better. If you want to be a big club then this must be one of so many.” Portentous words.

The Belgian got the vital second goal against West Ham as City secured a second successive league title, not for the first time, denying Liverpool.
The Belgian got the vital second goal against West Ham as City secured a second successive league title, not for the first time, denying Liverpool. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

5) Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City, 6 May 2019

It was fantasy stuff for what proved to be Kompany’s final goal for City. With Liverpool relentless in their pursuit of Pep Guardiola’s men Brendan Rodgers’s Leicester team had to be beaten. Yet as the clock reached 71 minutes with the game scoreless, City’s title ambitions were under threat, until up stepped the 33-year-old to hammer home a 25-yard effort that secured the three points and a pivotal victory. Within the next two weeks Kompany had lifted the Premier League trophy for a fourth time and the FA Cup for a second. What a way to bow out.

Kompany’s sensational strike against Leicester proved to be his last for city and a vital goal in the 2018/19 Premier League title race.
Kompany’s sensational strike against Leicester proved to be his last for city and a vital goal in the 2018/19 Premier League title race. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters