“Manchester City is the strongest team in the Premier League and you have to be good to have a good result.” Those were the words of Ronald Koeman after Southampton lost against Manuel Pellegrini’s men 3-0. Manchester City overtook the saints and reached the second spot just six points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Koeman’s statement might be an excuse for his team’s loss but there are enough reasons to say that the Man City is still contending for the title despite being in second place. The Citizens are undefeated in 36 of their last 40 matches in the Premier League. Two losses this season were enough to put them at a distance behind the pacemakers but they have been improving quite a lot recently and they seem prepared to pounce on any slip up from Chelsea.
In the past three seasons, Manchester City won the league twice under two different managers, they are the current title holders and their willingness in the past few seasons show us that they are a team that doesn’t abandon the fight before the final weeks. Their first ever Premier League title was won three seasons ago thanks to two last minute goals. Last season, Liverpool were building momentum but the Citizens managed to beat them to the top spot just before the final rounds. This season, City had had a rocky start with two losses but this only hinders them, it doesn’t stop them. Chelsea’s backline lacks depth; this could be their Achilles heel in February when they are forced to play three games within a week. Until then, the Citizens can keep their trust in their striker Sergio Aguero and his team-mates to continue winning games regardless of Chelsea’s results.
In the Champions League Roma seemed destined to secure the second spot when they were leading against CSKA Moscow until a very late goal from the Russian club gave City a lifeline. Manchester City in turn were trailing 2-1 against Bayern Munich but Sergio Aguero, the goalscorer of the game’s first goal managed to score two more and give his team the full points of the match. Luck was on their side, but luck only comes after a side had given their best and indeed Pellegrini still stands a high chance of progressing to the next round of the Champions League.
City’s current results wouldn’t have been possible without the inspiration of Aguero, until now, he scored 17 goals in both the Premier League and the Champions League, exactly half of his club’s goals this term. The Argentine isn’t only the top scorer in the league, but he has also scored more goals than any of Burnley, Sunderland and Aston Villa!
With the second best attack and the third best defense so far, Manchester City need to make sure they continue their positive run of results to be able to successfully defend their title and win the Premier League for the third time in their history. Their recent win over Bayern Munich gives them hope of contending for the European title but they must show more maturity on the pitch against big teams.