What is success for Manchester City? By any measure, a domestic treble, combined with the second most points in Premier League history, has to qualify.
That leaves only the Champions League, where they bowed out in the quarterfinals again to chase, and a question. Going forward, is anything, up to and including a season like the one just completed, that doesn’t include European hardware, enough?
At first glance, it seems unfair to group City in a category with the handful of continental teams that dominate their competitions year in and year out.
After all, this is only their second victory in a row. It only came by a single point, and they had to win 14 matches straight at the tail end of the season to pull it off. It seems categorically wrong to assume that City’s league dominance should be guaranteed as a starting point.
But the underlying numbers are kinder to City than the table was, an extraordinary feat given that City ran up 98 freaking points.
Having just secured the Premier League title with an astonishing 98 points, with the Carabao Cup and Community Shield and the FA Cup under their belts, this season is arguably the greatest in Manchester City’s history.
City managed to retain the Premier League title despite coming under immense pressure from an excellent Liverpool side throughout the season. They have dominated English football while playing the attractive brand of football that manager Pep Guardiola has been renowned for.
After breaking several records in their title-winning campaign last season, not many would have expected them to hit the same heights this year.
City managed to rack up a total of 98 points and have also equalled their record from last season for the most wins in a 38-game Premier League campaign, with 32.
These feats have been all the more impressive considering that the Citizens suffered three defeats in four games in December, leaving them in third place and seven points behind league leaders Liverpool.
City crucially beat Liverpool at the Etihad in January to reduce the gap to four points. However they then lost to Newcastle at end of the month, with the Reds having an opportunity to once again extend that gap to seven points and strengthen their grip on the Premier League title.
Liverpool failed to win their game in hand and crucially dropped points in away games in February and March to West Ham United, Manchester United and Everton.
The loss to Newcastle would be the last time City would drop points, winning 14 consecutive games at the end of the season to secure back-to-back Premier League wins and their fourth triumph in Premier League history.
This was made even more impressive when taking into account injuries to key players such as Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgian missing large parts of the campaign. De Bruyne was City’s talisman last season, but in his absence the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva stepped up to enjoy their best campaigns in a City shirt.