Can anyone catch runaway Manchester City?
By: Lewis Robinson
Despite Manchester City’s first loss of the season to Liverpool last weekend, Pep Guardiola’s team remains heavy favorites to win the Premier League. Even when Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s fourth goal of the game, Guardiola stayed calm and continued to encourage his team to play out from the back against Liverpool’s high press. This tactic has worked well for the Citizens all year, but quickly fell apart as Liverpool won what could be the game of the season, which ended in a thrilling 4-3 victory for the Reds at Anfield.
With Manchester City currently holding a 12-point lead at the top of the Premier League, and still fighting in 3 other cup competitions, it is likely they will win several trophies this year. Pep Guardiola’s style of play has been great to watch and extremely successful so far this season. Many teams in the lower half of the table have tried to defend for 90 minutes against them, but Man City consistently found a way to win. Liverpool’s different approach of pressing the Man City defenders whenever they had the ball worked as Liverpool managed to win the ball back high up the pitch. Liverpool’s finishing on the day was superb, and Jurgen Klopp’s high pressing tactics may have given the rest of the league a blue print on how to defeat Guardiola’s squad.
The list of teams that could catch Man City and win the Premier League themselves is short. Manchester United are currently in second but 12 points behind from City, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal even further behind. Arsenal is a mess at the moment and need to focus more on whether Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, or Jack Wilshere will be back at the club next season with the Gunners 23 points off City. Tottenham has the ability to beat any team they face on their day, but have been slightly inconsistent despite Harry Kane’s record setting 2017 campaign. Like London rivals Arsenal, Chelsea are having problems on and off the pitch, with the team failing to score goals and Antonio Conte’s uncertain future at the club. As for Liverpool and Manchester United, they both are playing well at the moment and picking up positive results, but may be too many points adrift of the runaway leaders. There’s still a lot of football to be played in the coming months, but it’s difficult to see anything but a successful Manchester City season.
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