ETIHAD STADIUM, MANCHESTER
Manchester City became the quickest side in Premier League history to reach 100 goals as they beat Cardiff 4-2 to maintain their impeccable home record.
Chelsea were the previous holders of the accolade, having managed 100 goals in 42 games last season, but City have smashed that record and done it in 34. It's a fabulous achievement—one that may prove difficult to better—and fully vindicates Manuel Pellegrini's attacking approach which has entertained the City fans all season.
City are the only English side competing for four trophies and yet the freshness of their players is remarkable. Pellegrini's rotation policy, which has been sensible and consistent throughout the season, is beginning to pay dividends, with even his most used players, such as Yaya Toure, looking full of energy and running.
Right across this City squad there are players in form. The likes of Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko, both of whom struggled under the previous regime, have shone in recent weeks and are pushing to be considered first-choice in the respective positions.
Pellegrini has fostered an atmosphere that allows his players freedom to express and enjoy themselves, and the impact of that is clear. Even Javi Garcia, a player much-maligned by even his own supporters, played his best game in a Blue shirt against Cardiff, and is providing useful cover for Toure and Fernandinho.
Dzeko was the man who got the 100th—his 16th goal of an ever-improving campaign—before Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero added further goals to seal City's 11th win in 11 home league games this season.
Navas was outstanding again, with his form now crucial given Samir Nasri's injury. The Frenchman, who has been one of the club's best performing players this season, is expected to be out for two months, with Navas' role now expected to become even more prominent.
The most encouraging aspect, though, is arguably the return of Aguero, who now has two goals from two substitute appearances since coming from a month out with a calf injury. He is an incredible player—some would say the best in the league—and City look even more potent with him in the side.
For a manager who has only spent six months managing in England, Pellegrini has certainly stamped his identity on his new side. Goals and beautiful football are now the hallmark of Manchester City's play, and a trophy is needed to cap a fine debut season for the Chilean.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.
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