HomeSoccerWhat went wrong for Manchester City this season?

What went wrong for Manchester City this season?

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool need two more wins to win the 2019-20 Premier League title and end their 30-year league draught.

The Merseyside club have fought long and hard, against Premier League rivals and a pandemic, to get here, at the very top of the English top-flight.

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The fans can already smell the excitement of their first-ever Premier League title win, and their closest rivals, Manchester City, can’t help but think of the inevitable conclusion to their Premier League run. 

Last season, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City managed to outplay almost every team in the division.

Banking on their exemplary discipline and unreal passing, the Sky Blues made sure their Blue Moon reached its apex, for the second consecutive year.

Liverpool pushed Manchester City right down to the wire, but ultimately fell a point short in the end, finishing second with 97 points.

Two successive Premier League titles made Manchester City the favorites to add another to their tally, but the campaign has panned out a lot differently than most of us anticipated.

The title of this piece gives away the focus of the article, but analysing Manchester City’s shortcomings this season is easier said than done. At times, they have been untouchables, even outshining the runaway leaders.

And on days, they’ve been down in the dumps, justifying Liverpool’s unabashed advantage.

Manchester City’s lacklustre displays against mediocre teams

Following his title-winning stints at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Pep Guardiola was tasked with making Manchester City the most-feared team in the Premier League.

Yes, the Spaniard struggled to instil his tactics in the first season, but the next two campaigns were downright exceptional.

This term too, Manchester City started the season in the best possible manner, registering a 5-0 win at West Ham United.

In their next three fixtures, Manchester City picked up two more wins, drawing the other against Tottenham Hotspur.

The fifth Premier League matchday brought Manchester City’s first defeat of the season — a 3-2 defeat at Norwich.

Liverpool, as expected, capitalised on the slip-up and opened up a five-point lead at the top of the table. 

City also succumbed to defeat against Wolves and Manchester United, both home and away, allowing Liverpool to pull further ahead.

A couple more wins in the aforementioned fixtures would’ve given Manchester City a fighting chance, as they would’ve put more pressure on the league leaders.

A direction-less defence

Former Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany wasn’t the fittest player in the team by any means, but his presence surely meant a great deal to the players and supporters.

So, when the Belgian center-back left for R.S.C. Anderlecht last summer, the club tipped former Athletic Bilbao man, Aymeric Laporte to step up to the plate and fill Kompany’s gigantic shoes.

The French centre-back grabbed the opportunity by the scruff of its neck and started the season strongly.

However, unfortunately, his good run came to a screeching halt in the fourth match itself, as the player wobbled off with a knee injury.

The player underwent successful surgery a couple of days after but was sidelined for the foreseeable future. 

After months of excruciating recovery, he returned to action in January and helped his club to a 1-0 win over Sheffield United. 

Liverpool’s unforgiving run

Lack of hunger, injuries and inconsistent outings — we’ll probably find plenty of reasons why things haven’t worked out for Manchester City this season.

However, if we had to single out the most crucial factor behind Manchester City’s “hapless” campaign, we’d just have to blame Liverpool’s ruthless brilliance.

Manchester City haven’t been poor in the Premier League, not by a long shot.

They have simply been outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s mean pressing machine.

The Reds didn’t drop a single point until matchday nine, which alone allowed the Merseyside giants to open up an eight-point lead at the summit.

Klopp’s men also thrashed City 3-1 at Anfield — once again pointing out the difference in class between the two sides.

Liverpool haven’t always been pretty, and they did have luck on their side.

But when push came to shove, they were able to showcase their desperation to end the title drought, especially after last season’s heartbreak.

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