Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Meek loss for Manchester United shows gulf in class with rivals City

Meek loss for Manchester United shows gulf in class with rivals City

Less than 24 hours after being crowned the 2017/18 Premier League champions, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has apparently already identified his two main transfer targets for next season.

'This season has been incredible and the football we've played has been the best I've been involved with while at the club'. Only three teams have passed 100, with City and Liverpool scoring 102 and 101 respectively in 2013-14, so a mere seven more will see them become the first club to achieve the feat twice. They were unbeaten in the Premier League until January 14, when Liverpool ended that awesome run at Anfield.

Manchester City have defeated every single team this season in the Premier League - only the third time that a Premier League team have done this in a single campaign (Manchester United in 2010-11 and Chelsea in 2005-06).

So, where does this City side stand in terms of the Premier League's best ever teams? However, conceding just before half time away at the country's form team who press in an aggressive and disruptive manner, asked Manchester City a question. They won the title because they were the best team, because they won a great amount of points.

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And the Cote d'Ivoire global who has been limited to just 98 minutes of action in seven league games this season sent a special message to the fans.

The 2012 title win had the infamous last-gasp goal by Sergio Aguero.

The United side, for example, that followed up the Treble in 1999 by winning the Premier League by 18 points the following season sets a lofty standard. City has 87 points.

Thierry Henry, for Arsenal in 2002-03, is the only player to reach 20 assists in a Premier League season.

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"Sooner or later it's going to happen", insisted Guardiola, who has consistently stated City's need to grow gradually on the European stage, having made the Champions League semi-finals just once in their history. "Those two teams barely had a weakness between them".

Yet merely for the breathless beauty of their football, the Manchester City of 2017-18 deserve to be ranked amongst the greatest champions.

An approach to the game which has a lineage back to the Dutch "total football" of the early 1970s, taken to Barcelona by Johann Cruyff and which Guardiola has adapted and evolved, requires not only a top skillset from the players but a change of mentality.

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