Pablo Zabaleta got an emotional send-off as Manchester City all but secured a top 4 spot in their 3-1 victory over West Brom in a rescheduled game yesterday.
City had announced over the weekend that Zabaleta would end a nine-year spell in the blue half of Manchester when his contract expires at the end of this season and yesterday’s final home match of the campaign was heralded by chants from fans paying tribute to the Argentina international.
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne both scored and gave an assist to put Manchester City 2-0 up at halftime.
Then came the big moment the fans were waiting for as Zabaleta came on in the 77th minute to replace Captain Vincent Kompany who handed the captain band to him with a big and emotional hug. The fans chanted his name every time he touched the ball.
Another veteran likely to draw the curtain at the end of the season, Yaya Toure entered the fray late on to give the hosts a 3-0 lead before Scottish-Nigerian, Hal Robson-Kanu grabbed the consolation goal for West Brom.
Zabaleta was then symbolically announced as the Man-of-the-Match at a stadium where he had laid his legacy for nine years.
Written by Chineze Ogugua