Counting down the best MCFC debuts of all time - Manchester City FC

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Ali Benarbia
Season 2011/12

Best City Debuts Countdown: 5-1

  • 18 August 2011 15:14
  • Posted by Emily Brobyn

5) Robinho v Chelsea: The first signing of the Abu Dhabi ownership-era, Brazilian Robinho made his bow against Chelsea on 13 September, 2008.  After 13 minutes Robinho put City ahead with a free-kick from 20 yards out. Despite his ability, the home side lost 3-1. Robinho scored 14 times in 41 games before being loaned to Santos and eventually moving to AC Milan.

4) Trevor Francis v Stoke City: The game’s first £1 million pound player was brought to City by manager John Bond and made his debut on 5 September, 1981 at the Victoria Ground, scoring two goals to help the Blues beat Stoke 3-1. Francis scored 14 times that season and he also netted twice against his former side Birmingham to help City finish tenth in Division One. 

3) Shaun Wright-Phillips v Sunderland: It was Shaun’s ‘second coming’, his debut after re-signing for City from Chelsea under manager Mark Hughes. Wright-Phillips conjured up a majestic performance on his return, bagging two goals on 31 August 2008 at the Stadium of Light. City beat Sunderland 3-0 with the midfielder just glad to be back where he belonged.


2) Sergio Aguero v Swansea: The Argentine came on after 60 minutes to make his City debut on 15 August, 2011 against newly-promoted Swansea City and within half an hour scored two goals and assisted David Silva with a third to help the Blues win 4-0. A cameo brimming with dazzling skills and electrifying pace from a player who supposedly wasn't match fit had the Etihad Stadium purring for more.

1) Ali Benarbia v Birmingham: When Kevin Keegan signed the 32-year-old Algerian, many City fans had no idea what was in store. That was until the mercurial midfielder cast a spell and weaved his magic on 15 September, 2001 in Division One against Birmingham City at Maine Road. The final score was a 3-0 home win, with Benarbia creating two of the goals, sending supporters into a frenzy of excitement. Fans continued to be mesmerised by his skill, a defining factor in City’s promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2001/02 season.

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