His­tory is on City’s side af­ter hot streak

Manchester Evening News - - CITY SPECIAL - Si­mon.ba­jkowski@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @sp­ba­jko

CITY have won their last nine games in the Pre­mier League to leave them top of the ta­ble.

How com­mon is that and how likely does that make them to still be there at the fi­nal standings?

While it’s far from a com­mon, his­tory counts in City’s favour.

In 29 Pre­mier League sea­sons, the team with the long­est win­ning streak has gone on to win the ti­tle 16 times.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, each year dif­fers in qual­ity; a sev­en­match run was enough for United to win the league in 2013 but only good enough for Liver­pool to se­cure fifth place in 2003.

It also de­pends on what you do around your hot streak. New­cas­tle and Wim­ble­don both won seven in a row in the 1996/1997 sea­son, but Kevin Kee­gan’s men fin­ished 2nd and Joe Kin­n­ear could only man­age 7th.

If it seems strange that a whop­ping ten straight wins was not enough for Liver­pool to win the league in 2006, one win in 12 ei­ther side of that - as well as Chelsea notch­ing both a ten­and a nine-game run on their way to the ti­tle - shows why they could only fin­ish third.

Most of the time though, the team with the big­gest win­ning streak wins the league and the longer the run the higher the chance.

In ad­di­tion to the 2006 Liver­pool team, there have only been two teams that have won at least nine matches in a row and failed to win the league.

Chelsea won nine in 2007 but lost out to Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s United, who twice won seven on the trot. And Bren­dan Rodgers’s Liver­pool fa­mously let it slip to a cer­tain Manch­ester City in 2014 de­spite beat­ing 11 con­sec­u­tive teams.

All of this doesn’t guar­an­tee City any­thing at the end of the sea­son.

But it does show it will take some­thing special to beat them. GABRIEL Je­sus is al­ready at­tract­ing com­par­isons to his idol Ron­aldo among his Brazil­ian team­mates.

The City striker is one of many to look up to the player he calls The Phe­nom­e­non, but Dani Alves think Je­sus can reach sim­i­lar lev­els to the great striker.

“I wasn’t jok­ing when I called him the new Ron­aldo. They have a sim­i­lar drive,” said Alves be­fore Brazil’s game with Eng­land. He’s al­ready great and will get even bet­ter.

“For all that he’s done, all that he’s achieved, there’s no pres­sure. He’s do­ing what he loves.”

Je­sus has im­pressed since mov­ing to City, with 14 goals in 20 games for the Blues.

Af­ter win­ning Olympic gold in 2016, he has also be­come a cen­tral fig­ure in a Brazil team that has been re­vi­talised un­der the lead­er­ship of Tite.

Pep Guardi­ola spoke wist­fully last sea­son about only hav­ing Je­sus for half a sea­son af­ter City al­lowed him to stay at Palmeiras to win the league cham­pi­onship with them be­fore mov­ing to the Pre­mier League.

Ac­cord­ing to Tite, the Blues should be grate­ful for the de­vel­op­ment the Brazil­ian club has given the young player.

“Any player of Je­sus’ level re­ally needs a team be­hind him,” the man­ager said.

“An ath­lete of that level can only

Kevin Kee­gan

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