Man City’s Largest Comeback Point Deficits to Secure Premier League Victory

Manchester City suffered through their longest winless Premier League run since 2016, and questions were raised about their ability to defend their title. Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp dismissed any suggestion that City were out of the running and declared it would be “the biggest joke in the history of football” if they were written off.

Guardiola’s team did snap their winless streak but departed for the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia five points behind Arsenal. At the campaign’s halfway stage, they were trailing Liverpool and Aston Villa.

The first Guardiola-led team to win the Premier League title, in 2017/18, held the lead from mid-September onwards. They never trailed by over three points behind temporary frontrunners. The team could rely on the steady supply of goals from Sergio Aguero, City’s all-time leading scorer (before his 2021 departure). City had previously won a title without Aguero in 1967/68.

Guardiola failed to secure his preferred target, Harry Kane, which resulted in a negative point difference of six against Chelsea, the team that defeated them in the Champions League final. After Halloween, Man City only lost one more league match, to Kane’s Tottenham Hotspur ironically.

Everyone remembers City’s historic comeback on the final day of the 2011/12 campaign at home to Queens Park Rangers. However, the comeback had started five weeks earlier, with City eight points behind Manchester United for the title. Vincent Kompany handed City control, but only Aguero’s heroics on the last day completed the comeback.

Guardiola expressed his disappointment following a draw with West Bromwich Albion on Christmas Day, stating that he disliked the team and the way they played. City then made a strategic shift, introducing the “false nine” system. As a result, Ilkay Gundogan emerged as the team’s top scorer, despite the role being fulfilled by several players. They then secured 15 league wins in a row between mid-December and March.

Arsenal had an eight-point lead at the summit on April Fool’s Day 2023. Guardiola countered with a new system that saw his centre-backs move forward. John Stones adjusted to this new role and, in tandem with the changes in City’s defensive line, was vital to City’s overall victory.

In the tumultuous 2013/14 campaign, Manchester City pulled off a shocking title win by winning all their remaining matches. With 5 matches left, City was nine points behind Liverpool, but ended up winning the title thanks to a series of uncharacteristic losses by their opponents.

City’s success throughout the latter half of the 2018/19 campaign was largely due to their remarkably disciplined defense. In City’s final 13 league games, Ederson conceded only three goals. After Liverpool opened a double-digit lead in the season, they narrowly lost at the Etihad in January, offering City the chance to close in. The team collected a perfect 42 points over their final 14 games, culminating in a dominant 1-0 victory at Bournemouth, who didn’t manage a single shot.


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