Kompany is instrumental this season
It is not often that in the wake of a 4-1 victory (with the goal that was conceded well after the game had been settled as a contest) in which the attacking display overwhelmed a mismatched opposition that one of the key components of the victory was a central defender.
September 25th, 2013
With Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure receiving plenty of plaudits following City’s win over United, the name of Vincent Kompany was also conspicuous in the assessments of what could prove to be an important derby day win; certainly in terms of laying a marker down for City’s season but also in cranking up the pressure on David Moyes and his United side who have now dropped eight points of a possible 15.
Kompany may not provide much in an attacking sense, although he did create – and almost complete – the move for City’s third goal, his presence in defence brings such a measured degree of control to City’s back line that is telling by its absence in the games that Kompany is not there.
Central defence is the one area where City are not blessed with quality depth and, when Kompany went down injured (with partner Matija Nastasic already out) in the opening game win over Newcastle it took just one display against Cardiff for Manuel Pellegrini to feel compelled to hit the panic switch by bringing in Martin Demichelis, such was the concern over City’s defensive options without their captain.
Although City kept clean sheets against Hull and at Stoke these were not convincing performances; indeed City could – and should – have conceded but for wasteful opponents in front of goal. It had been anticipated that Kompany would miss the derby but he was recalled (rushed back?) for the Champions League trip to Plzen in midweek, playing the full ninety minutes (aiding another clean sheet), perhaps principally in preparation for United.
Kompany’s performance against United though was masterful. Not a hint of rust permeated his game as he led from the front, his talismanic presence emitting a confidence that radiated through City’s performance. There was no Robin Van Persie today but as well as Wayne Rooney played, Kompany was dominant; aligning strength and tenacity with the athleticism that saw him steal possession to set up a City move that saw him power forward into the United box; a goal only denied because of the completely free Samir Nasri ghosting in at the far post to smash home City’s fourth.
As City look to win back their title after a disappointing 2012/13 season it is evident that Kompany will be a lynchpin of the season and key to their hopes. A concern for City though is quite how far their performances have dropped when he is out of the side; far more so than the absence of a Silva, Aguero or even a Toure would be felt.
Kompany’s presence has become such that it is imperative that City keep him fit over the course of the season. The past season or so has seen him suffer from a couple of niggling muscle injuries, his absence coming at inopportune times for City’s fortunes.
The sight of Kompany hoisting the Premier League trophy some eighteen months ago will be indelibly linked into the fabric of City’s history. For City to wrest the title back and see Kompany lift it once again, the importance and influence of their captain in doing so cannot be underestimated.