After months of isolation on the sidelines, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City sprang a surprise on Saturday by recalling club icon Yay Toure to the starting eleven for the trip to Selhurst Park to take on an out of form Crystal Palace side. Toure was in fine form, scoring a brace as he proved his point to Guardiola and showed that he does still have the ability to play at the very top level.
The Ivory Coast international was influential for the Citizens, with a pass completion ratio of 87.8% and a 100% ratio when in the penalty area, he showed the threat that he can pose when going forwards. Scoring with both of his shots, the former Barcelona man did not need asking twice to prove himself and remained composed to stab home from Kevin de Bruyne’s low corner with the scores level with just seven minutes left to play.
His movement was clearly on show as he interlinked with Sergio Aguero for his first strike, playing a quick one two to gain a yard of space for him to blast into the top corner leaving Wayne Hennessey with no chance.
Guardiola was happy with Toure’s performance, which also showed his strength and power in midfield, and has seemed to welcome him back into the fold with open arms as he said:
I would say that his performance is not about my decision, it’s about his quality. Yaya was the last month or two months training really good, his physical condition, his weight, is better than ever, and I’m so happy for him, and especially for his family. I’m so happy because he’s now a real part of the team and he can help us to achieve our targets because we need all the players, because it’s so demanding with the Premier League and the Champions League and the cup and so on.
Having seemingly overcome that blip, and with Toure now back in the team, it seems that he could be the spark to push Guardiola’s team onto the very next level.
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