On this day last year (Sunday 19 December 2021) Manchester City (the Premier League leaders) defeated Newcastle 4-0 at St James’ Park. City were on a run of seven consecutive league wins but this was not the easy, walkover the score suggests.
Ruben Dias scored an early goal with the second coming from Joao Cancelo – an incredible strike. In the second-half, a Riyad Mahrez volley made it 3-0 and the fourth came from Raheem Sterling.
This season has seen Manchester City players win several prominent player of the year awards with Kevin De Bruyne winning the PFA player of the year award; Phil Foden the PFA young player of the year and Lauren Hemp won the women’s PFA young player of the year award. There was also Ruben Dias won the FWA footballer of the year award and the Premier League player of the year award.
This is an incredible array of awards. The following subscriber post details all the Manchester City winners of these awards since their formation:
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This press release from MCFC has just arrived (great news)… Ruben Dias wins Football Writers’ Player of the Year award
• Ruben Dias has been named Football Writers’ Player of the Year for 2020-21. • The 24-year old becomes the first defender to win the award since Steve Nicol in 1989. • Dias also becomes one of only three players ever to win the award in their first season at a club, following Jurgen Klinsmann (1995) and Gianfranco Zola (1997). Ruben Dias has been named Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. The centre-half topped the poll of a 400-strong FWA membership, following in the illustrious footsteps of team-mate Raheem Sterling who won the award in 2019.
Only the third player ever to win the prestigious honour in his first season at a club, following Jurgen Klinsmann and Gianfranco Zola, Dias has quickly established himself in the heart of a defence that has conceded fewer goals than any other in this season’s Premier League .
Joining from Benfica only last September, the 24-year-old has made 48 appearances for City across all competitions and played an instrumental role in the club securing the Premier League title, lifting the League Cup and in reaching a first ever UEFA Champions League final. The Portuguese international becomes the first defender to win the award since Steve Nicol, over three decades ago.
Ruben Dias said: “It’s a huge privilege. I’m very, very happy. It’s the same as always: obviously, I could not have done it without the success of the team – everyone in the team being able to deserve this award. Only by that was I – as a defender – able to be here to receive this prize.
“It means something special because normally, the ones who finish the plays are the ones getting the spotlight but me receiving this prize is a major example of our team and the way we work – the way we build our game. It reflects all the togetherness we have on the pitch, the spirit in the team and how we perform.
“With these players, for me to be receiving this award, it shows how we play like a family.”