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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Edin Dzeko: Man City’s ‘lamppost’ who turned out the lights on Manchester United – Manchester Evening News

Manchester City fans were already well into the realms of wildest dreams by the time Edin Dzeko replaced two-goal hero Mario Balotelli in the derby on October 23, 2011.

City had only won once at Old Trafford since Denis Law’s infamous backheel in 1974 and, yet, here they were.

Manchester United were down to 10 men and losing 3-0 – many of the players synonymous with bending City and English football to their will reduced to a bedraggled mess.

Roberto Mancini had his club on the way to the top of the table and into unchartered territory. It was already a victory that would be celebrated long into the night and for weeks afterwards.

Dzeko made sure it was a seismic event to be remembered a decade on.

The Bosnian striker pilfered the fourth from close range, laid on David Silva’s majestic fifth and applied an emphatic finish to the masterful playmaker’s implausible volleyed through-ball.

Dzeko also gave rise to the famous chant the Blues faithful have fired up every derby day since, telling the Reds in robust terms that “it should’ve been 10”.

It’s only 6-1…

With his first involvement, Dzeko received a Sergio Aguero pass and dragged wide left-footed, before challenging Chris Smalling for Silva to volley the looping loose ball over.

City’s number 21 cloaked the occasion with his brilliance and played in Dzeko to be denied by David de Gea’s legs. It was still 3-0 at this point.

After Darren Fletcher, Dzeko and Silva all got themselves on the scoresheet, the former Wolfsburg striker clattered over from an El Mago pass before unforgettably making it six of the best.

It really could have been 10.

Edin Dzeko makes it 6-1 as Old Trafford empties behind him (Image: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) Dzeko managing to score twice in next to no time, while also missing a host of chances having been restricted to a role on the bench for a big game probably encapsulates his City career as well as anything could.

Signed in January 2011 for £27 million, 18 months after inspiring Wolfsburg to an unlikely Bundesliga title, Dzeko scored 72 goals in 189 appearances across all competitions for the Blues.

Of his 130 Premier League appearances, 56 came as a substitute. As did many of his most important goals.

Six-and-a-half months on from ransacking Old Trafford, Dzeko was thrown on as City tried their best to throw the title away. Without his header from Silva’s corner – yep, that link-up again – against QPR, there would be no AGUEROOOOOO moment.

Just as the 6-1 will always be more synonymous with Balotelli and his “Why Always Me” t-shirt, the last-gasp title triumph will forever belong to Aguero.

Nevertheless, Dzeko still has his name sung more than both by City fans today. A knack for slaying United certainly plays a big part in this.

Riding high at Old Trafford, lying down at Goodison

Edin relished derby day at Old Trafford and scored another brace on enemy territory when Manuel Pellegrini’s Blues ushered David Moyes towards the exit door with a 3-0 win in March 2014.

That was a performance every bit as authoritative as the 6-1 and came in the midst of Dzeko’s finest season in sky blue. He scored 26 goals in all competitions and led the line impeccably during a knife-edge title run-in, with Aguero’s fitness failing him.

There was a vital opener at Crystal Palace on the day that Steven Gerrard slipped, followed by a brace at Everton that was a mere warm-up for his genre-defining time-wasting to close out a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park.

To give a brief summary for the uninitiated, Dzeko lost possession, slipped, fell on his face and remained on the turf for four minutes.

Edin Dzeko’s Goodison Park antics in 2014 formed a key part of his Manchester City legend (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) Those were all moments to enhance cult-hero status that remains to this day – a status that should sit uneasily with a man who was once one of the most expensive forwards in Europe.

However, it fits perfectly with the gangly youth who was nicknamed “Kloc” – local slang for lamppost or the pole that holds up a road sign – at boyhood club Zeljeznicar on account of him being tall and cumbersome. When Zeljeznicar were offered €25,000 by Czech club Teplice for Dzeko’s services in 2005 they could not believe their luck.

City fans saw plenty of this version of Dzeko too. He could go from Marco van Basten to Salford Van Hire in a matter of minutes. In the long run, that’s what endeared him. Unlike Silva, Aguero and Yaya Toure he was fallible, frustrating and vulnerable. You had to get through a fair bit of swill for his champagne moments, but it was always worth it.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester City! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive City coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to City fans – City Is Ours.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the blue side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

Follow our team on Twitter (@DomFarrell1986 and @alex_brotherton)!

He’s still doing it at 35 years of age, with six goals in eight Serie A appearances for Inter this season. Three of those goals have come from the bench – old habits die hard, eh Edin? Dzeko’s post-City career is arguably the finest of any player in the club’s modern era and speaks of his enduring quality.

A day after this season’s meeting between United and City at Old Trafford, AC Milan face Inter and should be quaking in their boots. Edin Dzeko absolutely loves derby day.

What are your favourite memories of Edin Dzeko? Follow our City Is Our s editor Dom Farrell on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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