Belfast Telegraph

Kompany's influence so vital for everyone at City, says Laporte

 

Captain marvel: Vincent Kompany celebrates his wonder goal against Leicester with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero
Captain marvel: Vincent Kompany celebrates his wonder goal against Leicester with Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero

By Andy Hampson

Aymeric Laporte hailed the influence of Vincent Kompany after Manchester City's inspirational captain struck a stunning winner in Monday's critical clash with Leicester.

The long-serving Kompany once again proved the man for the big occasion as he netted with a ferocious 30-yard strike 20 minutes from time to settle a tense encounter at the Etihad.

The 1-0 win lifted treble-chasing City back to the top of the Premier League, one point ahead of Liverpool, with just one game remaining in a compelling title race.

Kompany's decisive contribution ranked alongside his vital winner against rivals Manchester United during the 2012 title run-in for importance and elevated him yet further among the City greats.

Fitness issues may mean the 33-year-old is no longer a regular starter, but the influence of the three-time title-winning skipper on the side shows no sign of waning.

Fellow central defender Laporte said: "It is amazing, unbelievable. I've never seen a goal like that. We are so satisfied with this game.

"He is a guy (who is) very important for us, for the club. I think he gives us a lot of things. He is an example for us.

"We have to improve and keep working with him because he can give a lot and he is a very good guy on and off the pitch."

Kompany's sensational strike came as City piled on the pressure in the second half, knowing anything less than a 13th successive league win would hand the initiative to Liverpool.

Leicester had made life difficult, defending stubbornly and posing a threat on the break.

Former City striker Kelechi Iheanacho should also have done better with a late chance, but the hosts did their job.

They now know victory over Brighton on Sunday will see them become the first back-to-back title winners in a decade, regardless of how Liverpool fare against Wolves.

Laporte said: "We are focused on us. We have to win every single game and if we win the next game, we are the champions.

"So, focus on the next game and hopefully we can give the title to our supporters. It is the most important game of the year."

Leicester midfielder James Maddison felt the visitors, whose hopes of finishing seventh were ended by the loss, were unfortunate.

Maddison said: "We were still going for seventh. If we had won both games there was still a chance.

"We were playing for ourselves, that pride, and there was no chance we were going to lie down. The amount of people watching this game would have been ridiculous. We would have been foolish to let it go. We were up for it and did well in parts."

The Foxes host Chelsea in their final game.

"We've proved in recent seasons that momentum going into a new season is massive," said Maddison. "That is something we will look to do. We want to finish on a high and try to get more points."

Title permutations

If Liverpool lose against Wolves, Man City will win the title.

If Liverpool draw against Wolves and Man City don't lose by more than four goals against Brighton, Man City will win the title.

If Liverpool win against Wolves and Man City don't win against Brighton, Liverpool will win the title.

If Man City win against Brighton, Man City will win the title.

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