Manchester City Report Card: 2017/18 season
As the 2017/18 season draws to a close, here is RealSport’s report card for Manchester City’s campaign.
Pep Guardiola oversaw arguably the greatest Premier League side in history to a 100 point finish as they blew everyone away with their scintillating attacking football.
Their season finished with a final flourish as they defeated Southampton 1-0 at St Mary’s surpassing the 100 point mark for the first time in Premier League history.
Now it is time to assess their season as a whole.
Manchester City broke plenty of records this past season, these included: most points (100), most away points (50), most points ahead of second (19), most wins (32), most away wins (16), most goals (106), best goal difference (+79), most consecutive victories (18), biggest share of away possession (82.13%), fewest minutes losing (153) and quickest team to score 100 goals (35 matches).
Elsewhere the team equalled the records for earliest title win (five games), most opponents beaten in a season (19), most consecutive away wins (11) and most opponents beaten in a season (19).
Their early season form was frightening with the club picking up 19 wins from a possible 20, the only blip being a 1-1 home draw with Everton.
Sergio Aguero netted 21 goals in 25 games while Raheem Sterling put together his best ever season with 18 goals from 33 games.
The most impressive results from the season include a 6-0 away win at Watford, 5-0 home win against Liverpool, 7-2 home win against Stoke, 2-1 away win at their rivals Manchester United, 3-0 away win at Arsenal and a 3-1 away win at Spurs.
But really this season was about the collective performance rather than individual games as City dropped points in just six matches while losing just two.
This was a truly magnificent season for Pep’s men.
The main blemish on City’s season comes in the form of their Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Liverpool.
City performed admirably in the groups taking 15 points from a possible 18 and they progressed into the last eight with ease after demolishing Basel 4-0 in the first leg.
Most people saw City as favourites to get past Liverpool though there was cause for concern as Klopp’s men had beaten City earlier in the season 4-3.
The first leg was a one-sided affair with Liverpool dominating play and making City look completely average. The 3-0 scoreline was flattering towards Pep’s men and they had it all to do at the Etihad in the second leg.
An early Gabriel Jesus goal looked to have set City on their way to a remarkable comeback but Liverpool kept their nerve defensively before countering to equalise and eventually get a winner to put City out at an aggregate score of 5-1.
Fa Cup/EFL Trophy
City were made to work for their EFL trophy as they had to win two games on penalties in the early rounds against Wolves and Leicester.
A tough semi-final against Championship side Bristol City saw City work to an eventual 5-3 aggregate win which earned them a final against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
Arguably their easiest game of the whole tournament, City stormed to a comfortable 3-0 win which gave Guardiola his first trophy in English football.
The FA Cup, however, was a different story. City saw off Burnley and Cardiff in a comprehensive fashion before travelling to League One side Wigan Athletic in the fifth round.
Most expected a comfortable City win in a rematch of the 2013 FA Cup final – but it was to be a repeat of that game as the Latics took a shocking 1-0 victory thanks to a Will Grigg goal.
Highlight of the season
A 2-1 away win at Manchester United in December seemed to be the point in which we could all start crowning City as the champions.
The win moved City 11 points clear of their rivals and asserted their dominance on the league as they had 15 wins from a possible 16.
After that point, there was no threat from anyone to their eventual Premier League crown.
Lowlight of the season
Surprisingly, there are a few candidates for this, you could argue that their FA Cup exit at the hands of Wigan was their most embarrassing moment.
You could say that their loss to Manchester United that cost them the chance of winning the title against their rivals was their lowlight.
But really, the two-legged defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the Champions League was the lowest moment of City’s season as it cost them a chance of realistically winning the competition.
Final grade – A+
When you get 100 points in the Premier League, this is the grade you deserve.
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