Both sides of Manchester dominated the Premier League this year, but City looks set to take the crown.
A Perfect Year
Today’s victory against a tough Wolverhampton side marked Manchester City’s 21st win in a row. It also pushed their first spot lead to a margin of fifteen points. So far, City’s 2021 record is perfect. In fact, they haven’t dropped a game since November of 2020 when they lost 2-0 to Tottenham. Reigning champions Liverpool are all but out of the running. And this weekend, if the Citizens defeat United, they could spring ahead even farther.
But what makes City such a force to be reckoned with this season isn’t their 21 game winning streak or their top of the table status. Instead, it is their ability to win seemingly regardless of their circumstances.
Against All Odds
Top players like striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne have been sidelined with injuries. The team played a rigorous schedule, and they’ve often looked less than fresh, especially in recent games. But still, they continue to win. Not by brute force or overwhelming talent, but by patient, graceful play that wears down opponents and builds City’s morale.
Now, with only 11 games left to play, the question seems to have shifted from if Manchester City will the Premier League to when.
The simple answer, at the earliest, is April 4. That scenario remains unlikely, given that it would require not only continued victories from City but also a streak of losses from Manchester United and Leicester. A more probable date would be May 8, which would require City only matching their top four contenders.
Manager Pep Guardiola continues to warn his players to focus on one game at a time. However, in a recent press conference, his excitement about his side and their future was clear.
He referred to his recent 21 game winning streak as perhaps his “greatest accomplishment” which is saying something for the legendary manager. With Sunday’s win against West Ham, Guardiola locked his 200th win with City in the fewest number of games ever for a manager in the top flight of English soccer.
History in the Making
But another, flashier record looms waiting to be broken. City is, after all, only six wins away from besting Johan Cruyff’s Ajax 26 wins in a row—a world record set back in 1972.
Whether Manchester City will topple more records this season is yet to be seen. But one thing is certain—it would take a history setting run from any of their contenders to stop the Citizens from taking the title.
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