One down two to go for Manchester City’s treble bid

Mick the Ram

May 22, 2023

 Manchester City clinched their third successive and fifth out of the past six Premier League title at the weekend, when Arsenal, their rivals throughout this gripping campaign, slipped to a surprise defeat, handing Pep Guadiola’s side the crown without the need to kick a ball, and with three games to spare.

They duly went on to record another win the following day with a 1-0 home success over big-spending Chelsea and celebrated in front of their cheering fans to complete part one of what they hope will be a magnificent treble.

They will go onto compete in the FA Cup final against their fierce rivals Manchester United on 3 June, before taking on Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul a week later.

Slowish start by City standards

Manchester City were predictably big favourites to win the league right the way back in August, with most believing their greatest challenge would come from Liverpool, but they had a shocking start to the season, so were out of it before the turn of the year.

Somewhat surprisingly, it was Arsenal who raced out of the blocks and also to many people’s amazement managed to maintain their pace, putting pressure on City who took a bit of time to fire on all cylinders.

Arsenal hit by a juggernaut

Indeed, as recently as 7 April, the Gunners still held an eight point advantage. However, City were at that stage a little way into a 12-match winning streak, and the turning point came on 26 April when the two sides met at the Etihad Stadium and a 4-1 victory for the Manchester outfit hardly did justice to their domination.

From that point on it was in City’s hands and an air of inevitability swept across English football. For Arsenal, when they were finally overhauled it meant that they claimed an unwanted record of being top for 248 days of the season, but failing to lift the title – the most in English top flight history.

The win over Frank Lampard’s Chelsea saw City go seven points clear and with Arsenal’s campaign falling away badly, it seems very likely the winning margin will be end in double figures.

Incredible record

Only Manchester United between 1995/96 and 2000/01 managed to win five out of six titles and also they were the only team to match City’s three successive triumphs during that period. In total Guadiola has now won 11 league titles in just 14 seasons as a manager, at first of all Barcelona, then Bayern Munich, and now Manchester City.

Surprising record

People have tried to accuse him of buying success, but his squad has a fair sprinkling of home grown talent and no team has used fewer players in the Premier League this season than the 23 of Man City.

Going nowhere anytime soon

Many might cling to the fact that the Spaniard has previously never spent more than four seasons at one club in management, so he might be ready to move on and give everyone else a chance; but this completes seven in charge in England now and he has signed a new contract extension until 2025, so the likelihood is that his team will just keep getting better.

Trophy hunter

Under the brilliant Spaniard’s leadership his City side have now won an incredible 10 major trophies since 2016, and they will strongly fancy their chances of adding a further two before the curtain comes down on the 2022/23 season.

Treble chasers

United will be desperate to stop their neighbours in their Wembley showdown, and it may well be a much closer contest than many are suggesting.

Then it will be onto the Champions League at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium and Inter cannot fail but to have been impressed by the way City blew away Real Madrid in the Semi-final.

Guadiola’s magical side will start both finals as overwhelming favourites and it will be a brave punter who backs against them.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.