Wilfried Bony secret to Man City’s Champions League progress
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | December 9, 2015
Wilfried Bony has scored three goals and made as many assists in just 276 minutes of Champions League football this season, helping Manchester City to reach the knockout phase as group winners for the first time.
The impact the Ivory Coast international frontman has made for the Etihad outfit in Europe’s elite club competition was typified by his 25-minute winning cameo against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Man City, 12/1 chances with Coral to win the Champions League, were 2-1 down when Manuel Pellegrini brought Bony on, with Raheem Sterling struggling up front. Able to use the Ivorian as a foil, Sterling scored twice when teed up by Bony, who then rounded off a 4-2 victory in a sensational five minute spell upon which this final group game hinged.
Stats support brilliant Bony
Although the likes of star striker Sergio Aguero and playmaker David Silva, who also found the net in the Monchengladbach game, have been injured, Bony making the biggest contribution to the City cause is well worth noting.
Paying an initial £25m up front to sign him from Swansea City this January, Bony cost half or less of the fees splashed out on Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne, whose impact has been considerable but in Premier League action.
Offering something different to lethal Argentina international Aguero, Bony is able to scrap with defenders while Man City’s more injury-prone forward is all about getting away from players with precise finishing.
Deliver like Drogba
International goals at the 2014 World Cup and a brace during the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final victory over Algeria were signs that Bony can follow in Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba’s footsteps as their talisman.
Now one of the most high-profile African players in Europe, 26-year-old Bony’s next steps are to assert his claims as first-choice striker rather than understudy to Aguero.
Chilean coach Pellegrini has favoured his fellow South American when fit, but in Europe the numbers firmly favour brilliant Bony, and if he can replicate that in the Premier League, then that may force a rethink from his manager.