By Joe Myko ’19
On April 15, Manchester City officially won the 2017-2018 English Premier League title, coming after Manchester United’s 1-0 home loss to bottom-placed West Bromwich Albion that confirmed the title race was over mathematically. Ultimately, it was Jay Rodriquez’s deft header which would confirm City as champions; however, pundits and fans alike have been blown away by the unrelenting performances of Pep Guardiola’s side this season.
Multiple records have already been broken by this City side this season already, including a previously unprecedented 18 consecutive wins and beating each team in the league this season at least once. It has not just been the amount of games won that has impressed those watching City this season, but also the manner in which the wins have been obtained. They smashed the record for the highest amount of possession in a game with their match against Everton, retaining a ridiculous 82.13 percentage of the ball. They also broke the record for most passes successfully made with over 900 against Chelsea, last year’s champions.
Argentinian striker Sergio Agüero has been City’s top scorer in all competitions this season, having netted 30 goals with seven assists. English winger Raheem Sterling comes in second with 23 goals and nine assists, while Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus is in third with 15 goals and three assists. The 2017-2018 Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year awards was somewhat of a rout for City, with five players being named in the side: Agüero, Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, and Kyle Walker. German winger Leroy Sane also went home with the PFA Young Player of the Year award, after impressively bagging 13 goals and providing 14 assists within all competitions.
Liverpool’s Egyptian winger Mohamad Salah was recently awarded the highly-prestigious PFA Player of the Year award for 2017-2018, after impressively scoring 31 goals in 33 games in his first season back in the league, which appeared to leave somewhat of a sour taste in Guardialo’s mouth. Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was a close second for the award, having scored eight, assisted 15 and created more chances (104) than any other this season – albeit from a slightly deeper position. Guardiola told BBC: “When you are analysing nine months or 10 months then there was no player better than him […] I am sorry, maybe with numbers, there are numbers guys better than him, but no player in this season with the team who wins [the title] five games before the end, and he was the best.”
Despite City’s resounding success in the league this season, it is likely that a manager as used to success as Guardiola, having spearheaded both Barcelona and Bayern Munich to many trophies in previous years, may be somewhat disappointed with how his side faired in cup competitions this year. City was knocked out of the Champions League quarterfinals by Liverpool and were also beaten by League One (third division) side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup. However, they were successful in the Carabao Cup (also referred to as the League Cup) after beating Arsenal in the final.
Currently sitting on 90 points with four games yet to play, coming off the back of their recent demolition of Swansea City in a 5-0 home win, you would be brave to not back Manchester City to smash the record for most points ever obtained in a season–currently held by Jose Mourinho’s 2004-2005 Chelsea side, at 95.