Top 5 Manchester City Performances so Far This Season
After last week’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Barcelona, Manchester City will need to rally in two weeks at the Camp Nou to keep their Champions League dreams alive.
Of course, City certainly have the talent to pull out dominating performances when required, as they have shown several times this season already.
Here, in ascending order, are City’s five most complete games of the season so far, efforts they will need to replicate to reach the UCL quarter-finals.
5. Manchester City 4–1 Manchester United (September 22)
While City still have hopes of a quadruple, this season has been one massive disappointment for arch-rivals United.
Under David Moyes, United have fallen into mid-table mediocrity, making this result seem slightly less impressive in hindsight than it did at the time.
Still, winning a derby in such a fashion is always something to be relished. Sergio Aguero finished off a slick move early and Yaya Toure bundled home in first half stoppage time to give City a 2-0 lead at the break.
Two minutes into the second half, Aguero struck again to put the result beyond doubt. The impressive Samir Nasri, who contributed to the first two scores, chipped in with a goal himself before Wayne Rooney grabbed the visitors a consolation.
After an uncertain start to the season under new coach Manuel Pellegrini, this was a game that hinted at just what City were capable off.
4. Manchester City 6–0 Tottenham Hotspur (November 24)
Andres Villas-Boas’ reign at Spurs was already beginning to come apart at the seams, but it was City who really caused the north London club to plunge into crisis.
Jesus Navas scored with a fine effort after just 13 seconds, and Tottenham only got more ragged from there. Spurs' Sandro scored an own goal late in the half, just minutes before Aguero turned in a Navas cross.
Once again the contest was over by half-time, but City continued to turn the screw. Early in the second half Aguero was once again presented with a straightforward chance, tapping home a lay-off from Toure after a trademark rampaging run.
The Ivorian’s midfield partner, Fernandinho, then played a brilliant through ball to Alvaro Negredo for City’s fifth, before Navas rounded off the rout in second half stoppage time. In a statement game, the Citizen’s had shown that, when on song, there was perhaps no one in England who could match them.
3. Manchester City 2-0 Chelsea (February 15)
On February 3, Chelsea defeated City 1-0 at the Etihad to complete their league double over the Sky Blues and boost their title credentials.
Pellegrini’s charges were looking for revenge in the FA Cup round of 16, and delivered, as they outplayed a full strength Chelsea outfit at the Etihad.
City found more fluency and space than in the teams’ earlier encounter, and it was a fine flowing passing move between David Silva, Edin Dzeko, and Stevan Jovetic that saw the latter score in the 16th-minute.
Thereafter, Mourinho’s men were unable to threaten the City goal with any great potency. A one-goal advantage might have even been enough, although the Citizens put the game beyond all doubt when substitute Nasri scored after combining with Silva.
The result not only kept City’s quadruple chances alive, but it restored some much-needed belief ahead of the crucial Premier League run-in.
2. Manchester City 6–3 Arsenal (December 14)
The league-leading Gunners were among the PL’s form sides ahead of this encounter, and they boasted an impressive defensive record.
City, however, reinstated their claim to be considered title favorites in a commanding display. Aguero (who would go off injured) and Theo Walcott traded early goals, before a Negredo strike from close-range gave City the lead just before the half.
Fernandinho, who underscored his importance to City in an excellent midfield display, scored his first goal for the club on 50 minutes. The Brazilian would add another in the 88th but not before another Walcott goal cancelled out a strike from Silva.
A chaotic stoppage time period saw Per Mertesacker bundle home to restore some respectability to the score-line, before a Toure penalty secured the highly impressive three-goal victory.
1. Bayern Munich 2-3 Manchester City (December 10)
Both teams entered Matchday 6 of the Champions League having secured their knockout-round places. For City, however, this game was as much about pride as anything, as Pellegrini and Co. looked to save face after the Citizens were dominated at home in the sides’ first meeting.
Bayern entered the contest on the back of a 10-game winning streak in the CL, and they needed only to avoid a two-goal defeat to finish on top of the group ahead of City. Just minutes into the contest, it looked as if it was to be another rout for the German champions.
Thomas Mueller scored in the 5th and Mario Götze added another seven minutes later to give the Bavarians a comfortable lead to sit back on.
City, however, fought back admirably. With just under half an hour gone, David Silva hit home from close-range after James Milner cushioned down a Navas cross.
Milner and Silva were again crucial for the second goal; with an hour gone, the Spaniard played a through ball into the penalty area for the Englishman, who was brought down by Dante. A cool Aleksandr Kolarov converted the spot-kick, but City’s comeback was not yet complete.
Just three minutes later, a Navas cross found its way to Milner, who hit a wonderful curling shot to give City the lead. The Germans were stunned and only good keeping from Manuel Neuer kept City from getting the fourth goal that would have taken them top of the group.
Defeating Bayern on the road gave Citizens' fans hope that they finally had a team capable of mixing it with Europe’s elite and that could make a run in the continent’s premier tournament. That dream is not yet dead, but City will need to find that sort of gear in Spain, if they are to once again overcome a two-goal hole and make history.