It is fairly safe to say that no team has ever dominated the Premier League the way Manchester City has over the past 15 months. This is evident not only by watching their matches but also by the stats. Last season, Manchester City broke 11 records on their way to the first 100 point season in league history. Those records include the most points, most goals, longest win streak, and largest title winning margin. This season, City have been just as good so far. With 32 points from 12 matches, they are on pace to even surpass their record points tally from last season.
Beyond the stats, what makes this Manchester City team stand out from previous title winners is the sheer level of domination in their matches. For City, almost every match against a team outside the top 5-6 seems to begin and unfold as a question of how many they will win by. Although I’ve seen many other great sides in England, no other has been able to breeze through so many matches the way City routinely do. Over the past fifteen months, they have routinely made a mockery of the notion that there are no easy games in the Premier League.
City’s ability to dominate tougher matches is also unique from past title winners. Historically, matches among the top Premier League teams had always been exceptionally tight and evenly matched. But with this City side, dominating performances like their recent derby victory over Manchester United have become the norm. Of the fourteen league matches City have played against top six rivals since the start of last season, I would only consider four of those (both Anfield fixtures and both derbies last season) as being somewhat evenly matched. In the other ten matches, City have dominated Champions League caliber clubs the way that past great teams might dominate a team fighting against relegation. In the aftermath of the derby, a United supporter even noted that the gulf between them and City looks bigger than the gulf between United and Huddersfield.
So is Pep Guardiola’s City side the best in league history? Although they are playing the best football I have ever seen in England, they still need to achieve more to reach that milestone. At the moment, I would still give the honor to Sir Alex’s second Champions League winning side. However, if City could win three titles in a row or a Champions League while playing the way they are right now, then it would be hard to deny them being the greatest Premier League team ever.