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The incredible numbers behind Manchester City's record-breaking 52-pass goal

08:00 BST 22/09/2017
Pep Guardiola gfx
Every City player touched the ball at least twice in a move which lasted more than two-and-a-half minutes and accounted for 11% of their total passes


Manchester City provided Pep Guardiola with yet another 'perfect goal' in their 2-1 Carabao Cup win at West Brom on Wednesday night.

Earlier in his career, Guardiola explained in conversations with colleagues and team-mates that his idea of the perfect goal was one where 11 players touch the ball before the striker finishes the move .

City managed to pull it off earlier this year when they put together a 20-pass move which ended with Sergio Aguero tapping in Raheem Sterling's cross - albeit via the studs of Tigers keeper Eldin Jakupovic.

But they did even better against the Baggies in midweek, stringing together a staggering 52 passes before Ilkay Gundogan's shot was saved by Ben Foster, allowing Leroy Sane to fire in the first goal of the night.

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Every single City player was involved yet again, and indeed they all touched the ball at least twice in the build-up.

What's more, Foster's save was the first touch of any West Brom player in the match... after two minutes and 27 seconds.

No outfield West Brom player touched the ball until Hal Robson-Kanu kicked off, three minutes and 16 seconds into the game.

Overall, City completed 479 passes in the match, meaning 11 per cent of their successful passes came in the move which ended with Sane’s goal.

Although this was a Carabao Cup match, the move leading up to City's goal contained more passes than in any Premier League game since the start of the 2010-11 season. That's 7431 goals. 

Since Opta began keeping those records, the most passes leading to a goal in the Premier League is 48, in the build-up to Nacer Chadli’s strike against QPR for Spurs in August 2014.

And as a wider comparison, Esteban Cambiasso’s famous goal for Argentina against Serbia and Montenegro at the 2006 World Cup had only 24 passes, less than half of the total that City put together at the Hawthorns.