Un­beaten or not City will still be in the his­tory books

Manchester Evening News - - CITY SPECIAL - Sport@men-news.co.uk @MENS­ports

ELEVEN games un­beaten, 38 goals, eight points clear at the top of the Pre­mier League ta­ble - it’s pretty clear to see why every­one is des­per­ate to com­pare Manch­ester City to Arse­nal’s ‘in­vin­ci­bles.’

The idea has al­ready been dis­missed by Pep Guardi­ola, Kevin De Bruyne, Arsene Wenger, pun­dits and a num­ber of City’s faith­ful fol­low­ing and with just 11 games played that’s sen­si­ble.

City’s de­fence is far from per­fect and at the back they’re only ever one in­jury away from a cri­sis.

But if City con­tinue in their cur­rent form they can write them­selves in to Pre­mier League his­tory books re­gard­less of whether or not they go the whole sea­son un­beaten.

Arse­nal go­ing un­beaten in 2003/04 may never hap­pen again but in its 25-year his­tory has the Pre­mier League seen an at­tack­ing team bet­ter than this City side?

While Arse­nal were im­pres­sive 13 years ago it took them 21 games to reach the goal tally City have racked up in just 11 games.

Let’s not for­get six years ago City had a near iden­ti­cal start to their league cam­paign in 2011-12 and there was no talk of com­par­ing them to the ‘in­vin­ci­bles’ back then.

Quite rightly so, that sea­son City had won 10 in 11 and had scored one more goal than at this cur­rent stage but Roberto Mancini’s side then went on to lose five league games. But this sea­son is dif­fer­ent. City will un­doubt­edly lose one of the next 27 games; there’s plenty of po­ten­tial ba­nana skins, not least Le­ices­ter away this com­ing week­end.

But should that be how ‘the best ever’ is de­ter­mined?

Arse­nal have ar­guably played some of the most at­trac­tive foot­ball in the last 10 years but Guardi­ola has taken that man­tle and taken it up a gear.

He’s got City play­ing in a way rem­i­nis­cent of his Barcelona side that won three league ti­tles and two Cham­pi­ons League tro­phies in his four years at the club.

One look at City’s stats this sea­son just re­in­forces the to­tal foot­ball Guardi­ola has got City play­ing.

City are av­er­ag­ing 3.45 goals a game so far this sea­son.

Com­pare that to the ti­tle win­ning sea­son of 11/12 when it was 2.45 goals a game and the 13/14 cam­paign where they av­er­aged 2.68 goals a game.

Not only are City win­ning these games but they’re dom­i­nat­ing, play­ing at­trac­tive foot­ball and win­ning by large mar­gins.

Arse­nal didn’t do that in 2003/04.

Yes, they went un­beaten but they only had an av­er­age of 1.92 goals a game and played some great foot­ball but not to this level.

Should City se­cure their third Pre­mier League ti­tle and con­tinue de­stroy­ing teams the way they have been do­ing in the open 11 games, it won’t mat­ter if they don’t go un­beaten be­cause they’ll have writ­ten them­selves in to Pre­mier League his­tory in a to­tally dif­fer­ent way.

Kevin De Bruyne has dis­missed com­par­ing City to Ares­nal’s In­vin­ci­bles

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