Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

TROUBLED KOMPANY IS BACK IN BUSINESS ; despite Sending off for Belgium in Midweek, City Defender Could Be Finding Form Again.

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

TROUBLED KOMPANY IS BACK IN BUSINESS ; despite Sending off for Belgium in Midweek, City Defender Could Be Finding Form Again.

Article excerpt

VINCENT Kompany had a bizarre moment during Belgium's win in Israel this week.

And it was not the strange red card he got for having his Brussels sprouts grabbed by an Israel player!

Receiving the ball inside the centre circle, with no opponent within 20 yards, and his side leading 1-0, Kompany tried something odd.

Receiving a pass from Christian Benteke with the side of his foot, he knocked the ball in the air, and let it drop on to his thigh.

With the midfield and defence backing away, forming two ranks of defenders between him and the goal, the City skipper decided to play a bit of keepy-uppy, making his way forwards towards the retreating defence, with three touches, keeping the ball in the air.

He finished this little cameo with a volleyed shot from 45 yards that cleared the Israel bar by a good 20 yards.

The TV cameras then reveal him having a guilty little look at his bench, and giving his - no doubt - puzzled team-mates a little thumbs-up by way of apology.

It was the kind of action you expect in an exhibition match, or a school playground, rather than a Euro 2016 qualifying match which was still in the balance.

And when you add in the red card that Kompany picked up later in the game for a second bookable offence, it starts to look like the Blues stalwart's wobble in form is still affecting his game.

The red card was a nonsense. His second yellow card, for tugging back Eran Zahavi, while the Israeli clearly had a firm grip on his nether regions, was just funny, had it not been so serious for Kompany - and so painful!

It means he will miss the crunch match against Wales - the two teams tied at the top of the group.

The keepy-uppy fest and extravagant volley were curious, but with Kompany they could easily be a sign of his returning confidence. He helped the Belgium defence to keep two clean sheets, and after a torrid 2015 with City, that can only be a plus for the Blues as they shape up for a big finish to the season. …

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