Unchained city

They controlled. But the dominance of Pep Guardiola’s men in London on Wednesday night was not as effective as in previous victories. Not so lucid. It was worth a goal from Phil Foden in the first quarter of an hour of play, making an easy shot from first off after a cross from Kevin De Bruyne from the right. It was enough to widen the distance from his closest pursuers. Eight points separate the sky blue from Chelsea, and nine from Liverpool. Both teams spiked this week: Leicester City avenged their League Cup loss at Anfield, and Danny Welbeck tied Brighton-Chelsea at Stamford on the last gasp.

Manchester City escapes. At the Brentford Community Stadium he achieved the tenth consecutive victory in the Premier League to continue expanding records, a general trend for the celestial in recent seasons. It is the fourth time that the Cityzens have won ten in a row, and on the previous three occasions they were champions.

2017/18 – The 100-point league

An unappealable title. It was never in doubt. The league that ended with a goal from Gabriel Jesus on the last day in Southampton, to the delirium of Pep Guardiola, his coaching staff and the fans displaced to the St Mary’s stadium. They had had the championship in their pockets for weeks, but Jesus’ goal made City the only team to score 100 points in Premier League history.

They swept from the start. After drawing 1-1 against Everton on matchday two, Manchester City added 18 consecutive wins. Eighteen. He was never within reach of the rest of his rivals, and finished 19 points above the second classified, Manchester United. Along the way they beat Liverpool 5-0 and Stoke City 7-2, although they also had to suffer to beat teams like Bournemouth, Huddersfield and West Ham. He began losing to all of them and did not ensure the victory until the last moments. As also happened in the aforementioned meeting in Southampton. This trend was reversed by Pep Guardiola’s team this season. In this streak of ten consecutive victories, the Celestial have always scored first. And then they have had no problem punishing their opponent if they stretched the lines looking for a goal, or drowned them in their own area. Like Brentford, he also doesn’t need to complete an especially dominant performance to take all three points. They fulfill when they have to fulfill, they shine when there is occasion. The excellent performances of Bernardo Silva is the constant shared by the City of 2017/18 and 2021/22.

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2018/19 – A comeback of 17 points

Three defeats during the month of December left the Celestes within 17 points of the leader, Liverpool. Crucial was the triumph at the Etihad Stadium in the first game of 2019. They beat Jürgen Klopp’s men in an epic match in which John Stones secured the points. Not with a goal, but with a crucial punt. When he kicked the ball, it had 1’12cm left to pass the goal line and change the course of the course.

15 games without losing, the first 15, and 14 consecutive victories, the last 14, left Manchester City with a point advantage on the last day. Liverpool took the lead in their match, through Sadio Mané, and Glenn Murray put Brighton ahead of City on the scoreboard. The celestial ones came back, again, to win by 1-4 and conquer their sixth league.

2020/21 – The last example

You only have to look back to last season to find Manchester City’s latest ten-game win streak or more. In addition, on dates similar to the current ones. On December 19, 2020, the Mancunians beat Southampton 0-1. It was a triumph worked, suffered, tremendously important. Pep Guardiola placed Ferran Torres as a center forward, as he had successfully experienced in the Champions League. The Valencian repeated with a goal a day later against Newcastle United.

It was Sergio Agüero’s last season at Manchester City, although injuries only allowed him to play thirteen league games. City finished the course with several different players leading the attack, highly mobile players. Phil Foden filled that position at Anfield, shining alongside Ilkay Gündogan in Liverpool’s first home win in 18 years. It was the germ of what we are seeing this course, where the only offensive reference, the only 9 of the team, usually acts on the wing.

In the absence of 18 rounds and 54 points still to be played this season, venturing to give Manchester City as champion is risky. These same examples show that a team does not win the league at the turn of the year but at the end of the season. Although his candidacy was always more solid after the half of the campaign. Their eight-point gap at the top of the standings could be extended on January 1 if they win at Arsenal’s home. A day later, Chelsea and Liverpool will meet in a dog-face match.

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