Manchester: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola led the tributes tro Vincent Kompany after the Belgian’s thunderous strike earned a nervy 1-0 win over Leicester City on Monday to move the English champions to within one win of retaining the Premier League. City moved back one point clear of Liverpool despite not being at their fluent best as centre-back Kompany unleashed a long-range shot into the top corner 20 minutes from time.
Guardiola’s men will become the first side in a decade to retain the title at Brighton on Sunday as long as they match or better the Reds’ result at home to Wolves.
Kompany, who has endured terrible luck with injuries over recent years, was in tears as he led a lap of honour with his children to mark City’s final home game of the season and may have played for the last time at the Etihad with his contract expiring at the end of the campaign.
“There are players that help us to be where we are right now,” said Guardiola. “Vincent is one of them. “When is fit he is an incredible central defender. He is beloved, he is a leader. I’m happy for him, for the club, for everybody.”
After edging past Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday night, Liverpool, who have not won the league since 1990, were left praying that former manager Brendan Rodgers could do them a favour at the Etihad.
Leicester’s marked improvement since Rodgers took charge in February was on show in an impressive display from the visitors as City were made to sweat but just got over the line for a vital three points.
And Guardiola admitted he had urged Kompany not to shoot as he lined up his first goal from outside the box since he was playing for Hamburg in 2007.