He’s been doing it for years now, but it’s still ridiculous just how good Yaya Touré is at scoring goals. This curler, knocked in from the top of the box at the end of Manchester City’s match against Dynamo Kiev, was as important as it was pretty, as it all but sealed City’s progression into the next round of the Champions League in a game they came all too close to coughing up.
Touré and the gang absolutely dominated Dynamo in the first half, going up 2-0 and looking much more likely to score another than concede one. After years of disappointing in this competition despite spending so much with the express purpose of doing well in European play, it appeared that the Sky Blues would finally live up to expectations by advancing deeper into the knockout rounds.
Then the second half started and Dynamo started getting loose on the break and Andriy Yarmolenko started weaving past defenders and the home team began regularly threatening City’s goal. Vitaliy Buyalskyi pegged one back in the 58th minute, and for the final half hour it was all City’s defense and goalkeeper Joe Hart could do to prevent the Ukrainian team from finding at least an equalizer.
Dynamo pushing forward did leave them vulnerable on the other end, and Touré took advantage of an obviously tired Dynamo back line when he found the space to score the capper late on.
A two-goal winning margin and the three away goals put City in commanding position to continue on into the Champions League quarterfinals, which would be a long-awaited improvement on their recent habit of getting bounced in either the group stage or the Round of 16. Another lucky draw and performances more like the first half might see them go even deeper in the tournament; more play like that in the second half, especially against sterner competition, and they won’t be so fortunate, a moment of Yaya Touré individual brilliance or not.