Manchester City’s Yaya Toure eyes Premier League & Europa double
Yaya Toure wants to make up for his Africa Cup of Nations heartbreak by winning the Premier League and Europa League
Yaya Toure has vowed to make up for his disappointment of losing the Africa Cup of Nations final by helping Manchester City seal a Premier League and Europa League double.
The 28-year-old was part of the Ivory Coast side that lost 8-7 to Zambia on penalties in the final on Sunday.
And despite just four days’ rest, Toure returned to City’s first-team for their 2-1 victory over Porto in the first leg of their last-32 tie at the Estádio do Dragão on Thursday night.
“It was a great result,” said Toure after the win in Portugal. “In Europe, you have to be strong. We were fortunate enough to score two goals and it’s very important for us and gives us a good advantage for the second leg.
“I’m very happy about the win today and I want to thank all my colleagues. We played away, we defended well, we attacked well and I think we played with great experience.
“I told the coach before the Africa Cup of Nations final that I wanted to join up with the team and try to play.
“Maybe fewer minutes than I did, but the most important thing was to come and help my team-mates. I was very disappointed after the final, but that’s finished and I have to forget it.
“Now I have different challenges and we have to win the Europa League and the Premier League – it’s very important for the club and for me.
Porto took a 27th-minute lead through Silvestre Varela but an Alvaro Pereira own-goal gifted City an equaliser with 35 minutes remaining.
And Roberto Mancini’s decision to introduce Sergio Aguero as a second-half substitute paid dividends when the Argentine scored an 84th-minute winner from close range to hand City the advantage in the tie.
“It definitely wasn’t an easy game for us because Porto have a very good team, but luckily enough we managed to come away with a vital win.,” said Aguero.
“This result means we will be more relaxed for the return match but, having said that, we will still need to be very careful.
“Maybe tonight the result was better than our display, but we are very happy to leave here with a win which puts us on the right track to go through.”