The key games on Manchester City’s road to becoming Premier League champions
Manchester City are celebrating their third successive Premier League title and a fifth in six seasons.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the key games in their successful campaign.
October 2, Man City 6 Man Utd 3
City did not really hit their stride or find consistency until the spring but there were still some awesome demonstrations of their firepower – and particularly that of Erling Haaland – in the opening months. Their thrashing of arch-rivals United was especially sweet. Haaland helped himself to a hat-trick, his third treble in successive home games and one of six he notched in a record-breaking campaign, while Phil Foden also hit three in an emphatic display.
January 19, Man City 4 Tottenham 2
Pep Guardiola let his anger at his side be known after they rallied from 2-0 down at half-time to beat Spurs with goals from Julian Alvarez, Haaland and Riyad Mahrez (two). After defeats in the previous two games, the City boss felt the first-half showing was another indicator his players – who he labelled ‘happy flowers’ – were not fully focused. It did not mark a turning point in terms of results, as City were beaten at Spurs a few weeks later, but perhaps in attitude.
February 15, Arsenal 1 Man City 3
Fixture disruption in the autumn meant the two leading title contenders were kept apart until February and it was City who landed the first blow when they eventually met. Kevin De Bruyne’s opener was cancelled out by a Bukayo Saka penalty but City upped the tempo in the second half to win comfortably with goals from Jack Grealish and Haaland. The win took City above the Gunners to the top, albeit only on goal difference and having played a game more at that stage, but it was psychologically important and key in the final reckoning.
April 1, Man City 4 Liverpool 1
4️⃣ different goalscorers! 🤟 pic.twitter.com/99O6553oC4
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 1, 2023
Despite the win over Arsenal, City had still not hit their fluid best and there remained doubts about their consistency. They started to show they really meant business when they put Liverpool, their chief title rivals in recent years, to the sword at the Etihad Stadium. Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead with a thumping finish but City’s response, without injured top-scorer Haaland, was determined and impressive. Alvarez, De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Grealish all scored in a convincing win.
April 26, Man City 4 Arsenal 1
90+1 – Lets his hair down90+5 – Gets the fourth
🔵 4-1 🔴 #ManCity pic.twitter.com/GDccXrba6m
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 26, 2023
City outclassed the Gunners to take firm command of the title race. Just weeks earlier, Arsenal had been in control of their destiny but their advantage was eroded by three successive draws prior to their trip to the Etihad. It was clear the momentum was with City and they emphasised that with a dominant display in which Haaland and De Bruyne ran riot. De Bruyne scored two, both from Haaland passes, and the Norwegian inevitably got on the scoresheet himself. John Stones scored their other goal in an unexpectedly one-sided clash. Arsenal remained two points clear but, with two games in hand, City held the upper hand and did not relinquish it.