Friday, June 4, 2021

Premier League Season in Review: Manchester City

loss in the Champions League final to Premier League rival Chelsea proved a disappointing end to a hugely successful league season for Manchester City. The Citizens regained their title as league champions, remaking themselves after a poor start to the season which saw them 13th in the Premier League table in November. From that point the club became a defensive force, suffocating opponents over an ensuing 19 match unbeaten run in the league which included 15 consecutive victories. Pep Guardiola’s men ultimately cruised to the league title with a 12-point cushion over second place Manchester United. Center back Ruben Dias made himself a candidate for Premier League player of the year as the Benfica product acquired in September commanded the back line in a manner unseen since Vincent Kompany captained the Citizens. Goalkeeper Ederson’s 19 clean sheets were three more than the next highest league total as Manchester City conceded the fewest goals in the league. An improved defense was necessitated by a lack of production from several attacking players including Sergio Aguero, in his final season with the club, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling. The club relied on its stellar constellation of midfield players to offset the power outage up front. Ilkay Gundogan transformed himself from a one-time holding defensive midfield player to lead the club in scoring. Keven De Bruyne, the club’s assist leader, remains one of the league’s finest players while Phil Foden ably stepped in to replace departed club legend David Silva. The striker position deficiency for Manchester City makes them a possible contender for wantaway Spurs striker and Premier League scoring leader Harry Kane. While other lesser needs may also be addressed in the transfer window, Manchester City has an array of talent to both successfully compete for yet another league title and maybe, just maybe, the elusive Champions League title next season.

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