Yaya Toure's excellence, Aleks Kolarov's understated influence and a pivotal batch of League and cup games discussed...

1 The Renaissance Man

After a run of 11 consecutive games, Yaya Toure has forced his way back into the team with a vengeance.

It seems an age ago that Ivorian was out of the squad and seemingly unlikely to feature in the senior team this season, but he is now back to his very best.

He looks sharp, fit and is playing the sort of football that has made him one of the best midfielders the Club has ever had.

2 Ice Cool Aleks

City have played 36 games in total this season and nobody has played more than Aleksandar Kolarov.

Pep Guardiola has given the Serbian more playing time and responsibility than any other City manager and he has quietly got on with his work and, in the process, is having an impressive campaign – his best yet in sky blue.

His versatility to switch between centre-half and left-back has been a revelation, and Kolarov’s aerial prowess has added a new dimension to his game.

He doesn’t get many plaudits, but he works hard for the team and just gets on with the job.

3 Fight to the end

City’s 92nd minute winner against Swansea was the Blues’ seventh added time goal this season.

The Blues of the current era have a reputation for keeping going until the last kick of the game, but this was only the second late, late winner at home this season.

Snatching victory in the dying seconds is the habit of the very best teams and the more times it happens, the more belief the players will have that they will get their rewards - eventually.

Champions League battle

Whether or not Chelsea will be caught or not remains to be seen but the popular view is that the West Londoners will have to shoot themselves in the foot several times to lose pole position.

It seems the real excitement this season is likely to be the battle for Champions League football.

Assuming that Chelsea won’t blow their current 13-point advantage over the fifth placed club, there are three more places up for grabs.

KDB: Huge part to play in coming weeks
KDB: Huge part to play in coming weeks

City, Spurs and Arsenal currently hold those positions, but Liverpool will surely rediscover their mojo before too long and Manchester United have close the gap on the top four in recent weeks.

It looks likely to be a changeable feast and will almost certainly go to the last game of the season – the Blues just need to keep winning games and see where it takes them

5 Pivotal period looming...

The next five weeks or so will shape City’s campaign with potentially four cup matches and a couple of crucial Premier League games to play.

Bournemouth are up next for the Blues who then face Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup. Four days later it’s Monaco in the Champions League Round of 16 before a visit to unpredictable Sunderland.

If City have seen off the Terries in the FA Cup, the Premier League fixture with Stoke will be postponed due to the FA Cup 6th round – after that it’s off to Monaco.

Then just the small matter of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in succession!

Decisive, pivotal matches that will shape the remaining months of the campaign.