Monday, May 29, 2023

Manchester City’s treble bid coming of age with unbeaten run

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 May 2023


Manchester City’s Champions League draw with Real Madrid took their unbeaten run to 21 games.

Pep Guardiola’s side are unbeaten since early February, with 17 wins and four draws, as they peak in familiar fashion for the end of the season and a potential trophy treble.

Here, the PA news agency looks at their seemingly unstoppable form.

Treble chase

City are chasing glory on three fronts, looking to emulate the feat of winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season achieved by local rivals Manchester United in 1998-99.

Thirty-seven points from the last 39 available have helped them haul in long-time league leaders Arsenal, leading by a point and with four games remaining to the Gunners’ three.

They have beaten their title rivals twice in that time, 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium and 4-1 back home a fortnight ago.

Improbably, relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest are the only side to take a point off them in that time after Chris Wood’s late equaliser.

Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester, Fulham, West Ham and Leeds are their other victims, with 36 goals scored in those 13 games and 10 conceded.

Their other draws have come in the away legs of their three Champions League ties, all 1-1 against RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real.

The home legs against the two Bundesliga sides saw Leipzig beaten 7-0 and Bayern 3-0, while in the FA Cup they beat former City captain Vincent Kompany’s Burnley 6-0 and two other Championship sides, Bristol City and Sheffield United, 3-0 to set up a Manchester derby in the final.

Such form in the run-in is nothing new to City, who won last season’s league title by a point after finishing with a 12-game unbeaten run including nine wins and also won their last 14 in succession to pip Liverpool to the 2018-19 title – as part of a domestic treble.

Hot-shot Haaland leads the way

Erling Haaland is unsurprisingly City’s top scorer in the current run with 20 of City’s 61 goals.

That includes back-to-back hat-tricks against Leipzig – with an astonishing five goals – and Burnley, helping him past a half century for the season while he has a record 35 for a Premier League campaign.

Kevin De Bruyne’s stunner against Real was his seventh goal of the run while Haaland’s sometime deputy Julian Alvarez has six.

There have been five apiece for Riyad Mahrez, who scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against the Blades, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan. Twelve City players in all have scored, in addition to an own goal from Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham.

“We feel unstoppable”

Winger Jack Grealish spoke after the draw at the Bernabeu of his confidence of reaching the Champions League final, based on City’s formidable home record.

“Within ourselves at the Etihad, we feel unstoppable there,” the England international told BT Sport after playing his part in a feisty first-leg encounter.

His view is borne out by the statistics, City winning all 11 home games in their current run with 40 goals scored and just five conceded.

That sequence at the Etihad extends to 15 straight wins since their New Year’s Eve draw with Everton and 17 unbeaten since losing to Brentford in November.

Away from home, since the Tottenham defeat, City have won six games and drawn four, scoring 21 goals and conceding eight.


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