Vincent Kompany saved Manchester City with a spectacular long-range goal to beat Leicester City 1-0 and put his side on the brink of the Premier League title.
Knowing that any dropped points would hand the advantage in the title race to Liverpool ahead of the final matchday, City put in a nervy performance against an excellent Leicester outfit.
But just when it mattered, up stepped City captain Vincent Kompany to smash a stunning strike into the top corner from long range to win it for his team and leave them needing a win on the final day to complete a remarkable title defence.
“I always felt like today I was going to do something,” Kompany told Sky Sports afterwards. “Everyone was telling me not to shoot, and I could really hear it. I was tired of hearing it! I’ve scored goals like that it training [laughter].
“It’s 15 years in top-level football of players telling me to play it wide. I always said that one day I would take a shot and it would go in and they would all be happy, and today it happened.”
Vincent Kompany is congratulated by Bernardo Silva on his magnificent strike-Getty Images
It is the 32nd time this season that the Premier League lead has changed hands, but City’s 13th win on the bounce didn’t look like arriving against a well-organised Leicester side.
Brendan Rodgers, who missed out on the title with Liverpool in 2014, frustrated Pep Guardiola with his players producing a disciplined display with City unable to create too many chances barring Kompany’s thunderbolt.
In the first half, Sergio Aguero’s header from Ilkay Gundogan’s corner was brilliantly kept out by Schmeichel at his near post via the crossbar, with replays showing the ball had not crossed the line, and Leicester posed a threat on the break as James Maddison watched his shot curl a yard wide of the post.
But just when the home crowd were beginning to feel resigned to their fate, with anger directed towards referee Mike Dean, up stepped Kompany to crash in City’s 100th home goal of the season as the Etihad erupted.
City will retain the title if they beat Brighton at the Amex Stadium on Sunday, but a failure to secure a 14th successive league win could open the door to Liverpool to snatch a first domestic crown in 29 years with a win over Wolves at Anfield.