City star Toure re­turns with the biggest of bangs

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

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.

REUTERS

Manch­ester City’s Yaya Toure cel­e­brates with Kevin De Bruyne. /

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