David Silva: Manchester City's midfielder's magic moments
Following David Silva's announcement that he will leave Manchester City after 2019-20, we look back at his finest moments with the club.
David Silva has become the latest modern great at Manchester City to announce he will move on from the club.
The nucleus of a team that first won the Premier League in 2011-12 under Roberto Mancini has slowly fallen away over recent years, with Vincent Kompany's departure at the end of last season following Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure bowing out in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Pep Guardiola will still be able to call upon Silva for one more campaign, with 2019-20 set to be his 10th and last at the Etihad Stadium.
Widely considered to be among the finest players to have ever graced the sky blue shirt, we look back on some of the finest moments produced by a silken playmaker who will be fondly remembered.
Solo stunner by the seaside
Silva arrived at City as a 2010 World Cup winner but initially struggled to make an impact amid the hurly burly of the Premier League. All that changed on a grey afternoon on the Lancashire coast, when he came off the bench to turn a hard-fought encounter against Blackpool in City's favour.
He set up Carlos Tevez's opener before claiming his first goal for the club in unforgettable style – twisting nimbly inside and out of despairing tackles before curling home to crown a 3-2 win. Silva was pivotal from that point on, as Mancini's side finished the season in the Champions League places and ended a 35-year trophy drought by lifting the FA Cup.
Masterclass in the demolition derby
A habit that has secured Silva's unimpeachable standing among the City faithful is generally saving his very best for derbies on enemy territory at Old Trafford. Three of his four goals against Manchester United have come away from home and he showed irresistible form during a seismic encounter in October 2011.
Mario Balotelli might have taken the headlines when City walloped Alex Ferguson's side 6-1, but Silva masterfully conducted a stunning performance to a brilliant crescendo. Having skipped onto Edin Dzeko's pass to nutmeg David de Gea for the visitors' fifth, Silva returned the favour with a sumptuous volleyed pass for the striker to complete the scoring.
To Hull and back for title number two
City famously pipped United at the last to win the Premier League in 2011-12 and had to go to the final day to retain the crown two years later. Locked in a three-way battle with Liverpool and Chelsea, City headed to Hull City in mid-March on the back of cup defeats to Barcelona and Wigan Athletic and shy of their best form.
Kompany was sent off in the 10th minute, but Silva stepped up in the captain's absence – slamming home a spectacular long-ranger and before setting up Dzeko to seal a crucial 2-0 triumph. His level rarely dipped during a nerve-shredding final stretch.
Even as City grappled with Pep Guardiola's demands during his early days in Manchester, Silva always appeared completely in-tune with the Catalan's vision. He was pivotal as the Blues racked up a record-breaking haul of 100 Premier League points in 2017-18.
His performances that season were made all the more remarkable by him playing through the anguish of his son Mateo fighting for his life, having been born prematurely at 25 weeks. Silva barely trained as he dashed between Manchester and Valencia to be with his family, but his immaculate playing standards never wavered. Mateo was pulling through by the time Silva struck at Wembley to seal a 3-0 EFL Cup win over Arsenal in February 2018 and he paid tribute to the youngster in his celebration before being mobbed by team-mates.
Securing treble glory
Silva began 2018-19 by rifling in a superb free-kick against Huddersfield Town, with his son in the Etihad Stadium stands. Although he did not always hit the heights of previous campaigns, he showed plenty of the quality Guardiola and the City dressing room will soon dearly miss.
After failing behind at Brighton and Hove Albion on the decisive final day of the Premier League season, Silva's instinctive flick set up Sergio Aguero to equalise and set in motion a 4-1 win. Six days later it was Silva's Wembley opener that heralded a 6-0 demolition of Watford in the FA Cup final and an unprecedented domestic treble.