In his seven years at Manchester City, Ilkay Gundogan has become a club legend. He owes that to some unforgettable moments and goals.
City fans will remember Ilkay Gündogan in much the same way as Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Agüero. He might not necessarily deserve a monument in front of the stadium, but the fact that we’re discussing it here shows that the midfielder is one of the best players to ever play in light blue.
In seven years he won twelve titles, for which he was often jointly responsible. Kyle Walker’s late-season performances even drew comparisons to Zinedine Zidane.
However, his time at City is now over – in the future he will play for FC Barcelona. Reason enough for SPOXto look back at his top 10 moments in the City jersey.
Ilkay Gundogan’s first goal for Manchester City
Gundogan was Pep Guardiola’s first signing at City but missed the start of the 2016/17 season due to injury. When he was finally fit again, he immediately showed what he’s made of and won a penalty against Borussia Mönchengladbach (4-0) in his first appearance in the Champions League. He made his Premier League debut three days later against Bournemouth.
Gündogan entered the penalty area at the right time, finished coolly – and scored his premiere goal in the Premier League in the first duel.
Ilkay Gündogan: A brace against FC Barcelona
City were beaten 4-0 by FC Barcelona in the group stage of the Champions League in October 2016, Lionel Messi netting three times.
There were similar signs in the second leg when the Argentine scored to take a 1-0 lead. But then Gündogan started the 3:1 victory with his equalizer.
Even if FC Barcelona only have Marc-André ter Stegen and Sergi Roberto from this game today: Gündogan will now remember this moment with a mischievous smile.
Ilkay Gündogan’s long road to comeback
But in December 2016 it was over for the time being: against Watford (2-0), the former Dortmund player tore a ligament in his knee and left the field in tears.
He only returned to the pitch in September 2017 – again against Watford. He was substituted on, this time City even won 6-0 away.
“It was very nice,” said Gündogan, “because I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, for nine months. I’m a bit proud of myself because it wasn’t my first long-term injury, so it was a long way to go. “
Ilkay Gündogan, the passing genius
It quickly became clear that the former BVB player was one of the best passers in the world and a genius in possession. This was particularly evident against Chelsea in March 2018. Gündogan broke two Premier League records:
Most Pass Attempts (174)
Most Successful Passes (167)
Around 96 percent of his passports arrived. Incidentally, he replaced Yaya Touré with the record mark.
A historic day at Anfield
The 32-year-old also proved his mental strength in February 2021 at Anfield against Liverpool FC. Back then, he embarrassingly missed a penalty in the first half.
But then he gave City a 1-0 lead (49′) until Mohamed Salah showed him from the penalty spot how to convert. But Gündogan put his team in the lead again, City ultimately won 4-1 – the first win in Anfield since 2003 was mainly thanks to the German.
Gundogan: Twice Premier League Player of the Month
In a more attacking role than before, the brace against title rivals Liverpool in the 2020/21 season added to a Gündogan streak of ten goals in 12 games.
With this yield Gündogan sensationally won the award for the best Premier League player of the month twice in a row, as the first city player ever.
“I’m very proud to win this award again,” he said after his second award. “But what I’m most proud of is this great team,” he added.
Ilkay Gündogan’s probably best moment for Manchester City
When Gündogan came on as a substitute with 22 minutes remaining in the match against Aston Villa on May 22, 2022, it looked like City would lose the Premier League title miserably. Pep Guardiola’s side were surprisingly 2-0 down and struggled to create chances.
However, everything changed when Gündogan came on.
After a cross from Kevin De Bruyne, he got the connection. Gündogan’s swing also ensured Rodri’s 2:2 equalization and three minutes later the German actually netted for the lead – simply legendary!
It even brought tears to Guardiola’s eyes and City won the league by a point over Liverpool.
Double pack after double pack to say goodbye
Especially in his last season Gündogan was unbelievable: he served double packs on the assembly line, against Leeds and Everton. He mercilessly crushed Arsenal’s title hopes and gave City their third consecutive title – pure dominance in a league that usually advertises its balance.
Not to be forgotten: In the FA Cup final against Manchester United, he was also crucial with a brace.
Ilkay Gündogan’s derby double
After just 13 seconds, the German scored unchallenged in the 2023 FA Cup final against Stadrivalen United.
But the Red Devils apparently didn’t really learn from it, because Gündogan was allowed to start and net a second time. “His season was incredible,” observed Guardiola.
Ilkay Gundogan: Captain Fantastic
When Captain Fernandinho left in the summer of 2022, the players chose a new “boss”: As is well known, the choice fell on Ilkay Gündogan. That says everything about his standing in the team and how good his teammates think he is.
He responded to that honor with nothing less than the triple. He was the first to lift the three trophies into the sky when they were handed over, and the first ever City player to win the Champions League cup.