Champions League spot within grasp for Man City

I will enjoy it. "The Swansea game will be tough but we are desperate to finish on a win".

Having claimed two Premier League crowns during his time with City, Zabaleta downplayed the selflessness he is often praised for on the pitch as something any individual would do for his club. "I am just thinking what is the best for me and my family", he told reporters.

United's pre-season tour of the U.S. also features games against the LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

A La Masia product, the left-back was said to be admired by Pep Guardiola and the rumour was much commented on by the Portuguese press, as he now plays for Benfica.

City climb to third in the Premier League, two points above Liverpool and three points clear of Arsenal, with only the teams finishing third and fourth assured to join Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.

"When I first came to Manchester I felt like when I was in Barcelona at Espanyol, we were not the main club in the city - we can't say the same thing now", Zabaleta said.

"He helped build something special and he deserved absolutely everything and the performance was good, but it was a resume of our season".

Supported by his wife, Christel, and son, Asier, Zabaleta was given an emotional farewell by team-mates and City supporters after the game, with all keen to show their appreciation for his nine eventful years as a City player.

A point at Watford on Sunday will guarantee a top-four place for Pep Guardiola's City, but they can secure third place - and, crucially, avoid the Champions League play-off round - if they win.

Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne scored first-half goals, before Toure strolled through West Brom's defense to add the third and bring the home fans at Etihad Stadium to their feet.

Fellow long-serving star Yaya Toure made it 3-0 before Zabaleta entered the fray in the 62nd minute, when a rapturous welcome brought emotions to the surface. "Being here from day one is something that has made me feel very proud".

The result saw West Brom slip to ninth, continuing a dismal run that has seen them win just one of their last 11 games.

  • Julie Sanders