Man City Make Case To Be Ranked As England’s Greatest-Ever Team

Manchester City enhanced their case for being regarded as the greatest team in English football history by winning the Premier League title for the fourth year in a row on Sunday.

No team has ever had such a stranglehold on the English Premier League as City did under Pep Guardiola.

In addition to six Premier League titles, City has been crowned world and European champions for the first time in club history, as well as winning two FA Cups and four League Cups over the last seven years.

Another FA Cup victory might come next Sunday, when they are favourites to defeat Manchester United in the Wembley final for the second consecutive season.

Dominance over United is especially pleasant for generations of City fans who have had to live in the shadow of their neighbors.

Last season, Guardiola’s team became only the second club in history to win the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup in the same season, matching United’s legendary squad from 1998/99.

Under Alex Ferguson, United won seven Premier League titles in a nine-year span.

Liverpool dominated throughout the 1970s and 1980s, winning 10 league titles in 15 seasons and four European Cups.

Arsenal stayed undefeated during the 2003/04 league season, as Arsene Wenger’s title-winning “Invincibles” made their claim to being the finest ever.

However, despite the depth of resources in the world’s richest league, City’s dominance over their competitors has surpassed even the feats accomplished by United, Liverpool, and Arsenal during their peak years.

City have gone 35 games unbeaten in all competitions from open play, a Premier League record.

Their 3-1 win over West Ham to clinch the title on Sunday propelled the champions above 90 points for the fourth time in seven seasons, a feat United only achieved twice during Ferguson’s entire reign at Old Trafford in a 38-game season.

“I think to win the Premier League four times, no team has ever done it before, so to do it means we are up there,” said City midfielder Phil Foden on the debate over which side is England’s greatest.

In past seasons, City have been pushed hard by Liverpool, who interrupted their dynastic spell by winning the 2019/20 title, while Arsenal finished just two points behind the champions this season.

Relentless City

Liverpool racked up 97 points in 2018/19 and 92 points two years ago but still missed out on the title due to City’s relentlessness.

This time a club-record 28 wins in a season and 89 points was not enough for Arsenal’s first title in 20 years.

“In the beginning of the season, we didn’t think about it,” said Guardiola, speaking last week about the possibility of winning four in a row.

“But then we were in February, March and April, we were still there (in the title race). After that, it ignites something in all our heads.

“No team has done it. That shows how hard it is. Liverpool in the 1980s, Alex Ferguson’s United in the 1990s. Chelsea with (Roman) Abramovich and Jose (Mourinho), Arsenal with (Arsene) Wenger didn’t do it.”

City have received a lot of accolades for their on-field efforts, but there are some caveats.

In a Premier League season in which Everton and Nottingham Forest were penalized points for breaking financial regulations, City’s case over 115 accusations has dragged on for 15 months without resolution.

City firmly denies any wrongdoing, although they are accused of failing to give proper financial information between 2009 and 2018 and not complying with the Premier League’s inquiry.

The source of the club’s wealth since a takeover by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, which altered City’s fortunes on and off the pitch, has also dimmed many fans’ enthusiasm for their incredible success.

“I don’t know,” said Guardiola on whether his side get the credit they deserve for their historic feats. “We know how good we have been.”

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