Only eleven teams were able to win the Premier League in a row. Only Manchester United and Liverpool could do it more than twice. It seemed that Pep Guardiola’s men were strong enough for achieving the successive champions this season.
Becoming a Premier League champion in two consecutive seasons was not easy. In 130 league histories, back-to-back titles have only been achieved on 25 occasions. Manchester United are the most clubs capable of doing so, which is seven times. Six of which were carried out by Sir Alex Ferguson. When Liverpool dominated England in the 70s and 80s, they became the second best club with five consecutive victories.
Meanwhile, Manchester City has collected five English League trophies, without even doing them in a row. However, these initial signs of this season will likely result in a new history. Last season when they won the league with a record 100 points, Pep Guardiola and his players seemed hard to be approached. This season’s standings showed that this condition was still maintained. They collected 32 points in 12 matches. That number means two things: first, they remain to be the highest at least until now. Second, they will still break the 90s on average when the season ends.
It should be noted that in 12 matches now, City has beaten heavy rivals such as Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United. They have also held Liverpool in a draw at Anfield. Only Chelsea, a direct rival they haven’t met. The match against Maurizio Sarri’s foster children held at the beginning of December. Sarri was actually in an equal invincible skill as well as Liverpool, which also hasn’t been defeated.
However, as seen in the last Manchester Derbi, City has a myriad of qualities to straddle their opponents.
Moreover, they have not been strengthened by Kevin de Bruyne who got injured. When he recovered later, he was able to provide a faster ball move, which was able to rip even the toughest defenses. However, even though De Bruyne was still pulling away, City still had their creativity and pride in Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan, and David Silva.
The only stain which worsened this team was the negative issue that revolved around Manchester City’s enclosure: was it true that this team was supported by the flow of illicit funds from the Middle East? The reality indeed showed that even though City broke the transfer record many times, they always escaped from UEFA’s Financial Fair Play. There was a suspicion that Manchester City recorded achievements in an unfair manner. They were accused of cheating.
So far, the club had not officially commented on this allegation although some statements of denial had been carried out by individuals. UEFA was not interested in opening an investigation. (It could not be helped, even if it’s cheating, UEFA was involved too).
However, even though they felt that they did it maximally, what City did was actually found in many of the big leagues of Europe as well. Some examples even showed unstoppable dominance.
PSG who got the same-accusation of cheating won five of the last six league titles in France. In the first League this season, they were 12 points ahead from closest rivals thanks to a clean sweep in 13 matches.
It could be said that the “stable” financial condition of the club and training by the best coach of the world, City did not need to worry about building a team. Their homework was just to improve their performance in the continental arena. Manchester City was not dominant in Europe. This season, Guardiola had set a target: the achievement of this season had to be further than last season when Liverpool was eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Even though in the Premier League City got more challenges than PSG received in the French League, it seemed City still had the energy to wade through the league at the top of the standings. They were stable, consistent, and financially supported without limits. They looked in perfect condition to maintain the league title at Etihad.