#PLmoments - Georgi Kinkladze wonder goal vs Southampton, 1996

By Ric Turner, Thu 30 July 2015 11:49

#PLmoments - Georgi Kinkladze wonder goal vs Southampton, 1996Georgian maestro solo goal is first in our series of #PLmoments

The 1995/96 season holds few fond memories for Manchester City fans. Alan Ball wasn't a popular choice to replace Brian Horton as manager, and the optimism brought by Francis Lee's takeover the previous year was already a distant memory. Senior players such as Tony Coton, Garry Flitcroft and Paul Walsh were allowed to leave but weren't adequately replaced, and the Blues failed to win any of their opening 11 Premiership games.

The one shining light for City's long suffering fans came in the form of a diminutive Georgian maestro. Georgi Kinkladze had been signed for £2m from Dinamo Tblisi in July 1995, and was an instant hit with the Maine Road faithful. Blessed with exceptional balance and a sublime left foot, Kinkladze was simply on another level to his new team mates.

He scored five goals in his debut season, with the pick undoubtedly coming at Maine Road against Southampton on March 16, 1996. Kinkladze picked up the ball midway inside the opposition half, and slalomed past five players before impudently dinking the ball over Dave Beasant. It was a breathtaking goal that was subsequently voted as the best ever scored at Maine Road.

Sadly, the Blues were relegated just two months later and the club entered a deep malaise, culminating in relegation to the third tier of English football in 1998 for the first time in their history. Kinkladze was sold to Ajax that summer for £5m, but his place in City's folklore was secured

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