City star Toure returns with the biggest of bangs
Ladies and gentlemen Yaya Toure is back! And back with a bang. The biggest of bangs. For so long, sorry was the hardest word for Toure. But on Saturday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was glad it came.
Toure’s apology at the start of November, for those prolific snipes from his outspoken agent Dimitri Seluk towards Guardiola, seems to have smoothed over the friction.
As a result, the midfielder was handed his first domestic appearance of the season at Selhurst Park, Guardiola lifting his vow not to select the Ivorian until he received an apology.
And, after his shock return to the starting XI, Toure scored a brace to put City level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool. But while one surprise selection worked a treat for Guardiola, the other didn’t go according to plan.
Starting only his second Premier League game of the season in place of the rested John Stones, Vincent Kompany was once again forced off with an injury.
This time the Belgian complained of blurred vision after a sickening collision with his own goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo. It was wretched luck for the City skipper following a injury-hit start to the season. No wonder he was shaking his head in despair as he trudged off the pitch.
Similarly, Palace boss Alan Pardew is wondering when his luck will change. It’s now five consecutive defeats for his side. If the club’s American owners weren’t already concerned, then they might be after this as Palace slipped to within one point of the relegation zone.
However, the hosts will count themselves as unlucky not to finish with a point after an encounter that never really caught fire.
City dominated possession but lacked conviction in the final third, though Raheem Sterling caught the eye — one bamboozling run past Martin Kelly in the first half a particular highlight.
Manchester City’s Yaya Toure celebrates with Kevin De Bruyne. /