A resplendent blue moon has risen in England for with five games to spare, Manchester City have cantered to the Premier League title.
The amount of records Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side broke en route is staggering and considering we are still in mid-April,the Citizens can go on to shatter even more!
While their quest for the quadruple eluded them in the end, the Sky Blues did bag the Carabao Cup and the Premier League both in what will go down as the most glorious season in the club’s history.
Not just because of their dominance that turned the most competitive league in the world to a procession in the end but of the way they did it that had opposition fans and managers alike begrudgingly leading the applause.
Was it a perfect season though?
After their considerable outlay in the summer and their inability to overcome Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, not even Pep Guardiola’s imperious Manchester City can get a 10/10 but do they come mighty close.
No matter what side you support, this team ranks amongst the greatest title winners in the Premier League era and without further ado, here is The Statesman’s report card for the entire Sky Blues squad:
As calamitous as Claudio Bravo was last season, Ederson has been terrific this campaign. The 24-year-old’s been brave, quick off his line, commanded his box well and his distribution was top-class.
Key stat: Is second only to David de Gea (The United custodian has 16 while Ederson has 14) in the clean sheet charts.
The young Brazilian’s been nothing short of a revelation in his debut season and with his arrival, City’s defensive woes have largely dissipated.
Strong contender to make the Team of the Year.
The veteran only played in the league for 45 minutes when Ederson got injured in that infamous clash with Sadio Mane and has been utilised mostly in cup competitions.
Key stat: Got an assist in the Carabao Cup final.
Did play his part in their Carabao Cup triumph and made a number of key saves in the shootouts, so definitely an improvement from last season, although that isn’t saying much.
The fact that City won the league with their left-back effectively injured for the entirety of the campaign is a testament to their all-round quality.
Key stat: Is the youngest confirmed starter of Pep Guardiola’s defence.
A pity, for the Monaco man looked like the real deal and City fans will eagerly await to see his buccaneering displays next season.
City may well have won the season in dominant fashion, but their skipper has missed large swathes of the campaign.
Key stat: This is the Belgian’s third league title and second double.
When he’s played, however, the 32-year-old Belgian’s been at the top of his game, of that there’s no doubt.
Big things are expected from the 23-year-old Spaniard but due to a plethora of reasons, it looks like his top form will come next season.
Key stat: Became City’s record signing when he arrived from Athletic Bilbao for a sum of £55 million.
Due to Fabian Delph’s suspension and inury, has deputised at left-back but never looked comfortable there. To his credit, seemed assured when playing in the centre.
Yet another central defender to struggle with niggling issues all season, Stones has been far from impressive in the 2017-18 campaign.
His inconsistent form makes you wonder if he’ll ever realise his potential.
Key stat: Scored two goals against Feyenoord in a UEFA Champions League group-stage game in September.
Hasn’t played for the Sky Blues since March 7.
Arguably City’s finest defender all season, even if one factors the recent plunge in form.
Key stat: With five goals in all competitions, is City’s highest-scoring defender this season.
While the other central defenders have struggled with injuries, the combative Argentine has been Pep Guardiola’s go-to man and hasn’t disappointed for the major part.
The way Delph has filled in for Benjamin Mendy at left-back has been nothing short of outstanding.
Key stat: Played 20 games as a left-back and only one as a central midfielder.
Aymeric Laporte’s arrival, plus injuries and a suspension have seen his playing time get curtailed of late but on the whole, the 28-year-old has essayed the role of the utility man ably enough.
Initially everyone thought Pep would make the Brazilian fill in at left-back after Mendy got injured but the way Delph got ahead of him in the pecking order will rankle the former Real Madrid man.
Key stat: The only player in the squad to have won the UEFA Champions League twice.
It doesn’t matter how deep your coffers run, but a £26.5 million buy cannot be just a defensive back up and the Brazilian will definitely go down as one of the flops of the season.
Spurs fans may not like this, but Walker’s move to city has been vindicated and how.
Key stat: Has racked up six assists in the Premier League.
It may not have been the most spectacular season for the pacey fullback, but it’s definitely been the most consistent one in recent memory.
Still only 20, the City Academy graduate has time to make stake his claim for a regular starting spot.
Key stat: Started one UEFA Champions League tie and two Carabao Cup clashes.
At 6’5, he’s got serious height, but will have to really take his game up several levels if he’s to impress Guardiola.
The 21-year-old Ukrainian has actually done a pretty decent job at left-back whenever he’s been called upon.
Key stat: Boasts of a 92.4 pass completion percentage after seven Premier League appearances.
Still, with Delph and Mendy back in training, it remains to be seen if Zinchenko will remain a City player next season or be loaned out.
The unsung hero in City’s midfield is their Brazilian enforcer. When he doesn’t play, the Sky Blues look far more vulnerable in defence than they should.
Key stat: Accumulated 12 yellow cards in all competitions.
Why he wasn’t nominated for PFA Player of the Year is a mystery but his true worth has been acknowledged on a number of occasions from Guardiola himself.
Kevin De Bruyne
The crown jewel of the Citizens’ midfield is undoubtedly their Belgian maestro.
Key stat: Scored 12 times and has registered 19 assists in all competitions.
On course to be crowned the ‘Assist King’, De Bruyne’s game is so much more than that for the 26-year-old can truly claim to be a complete midfielder.
El Mago’s renaissance has delighted the Sky Blues fans to no end in what has been an difficult season for the diminutive Spaniard.
Key stat: With eight goals, 11 assists and five yellow cards, it’s safe to assume the Spaniard has put in a real shift in the Premier League.
What he’s been going through on the personal front makes his form even greater in perspective and he’s rightly made the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year gong.
City’s sole offensive recruit this season took his time to settle in, but has been enjoying his football of late.
Key stat: Scored for the Citizens in all four competitions this season (Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup)
What he lacks for in size, makes up for in guile and technical ability, not unlike the other Silva in the squad.
After a knee injury wrecked his 2016-17 season, there were doubts whether the German would ever get back to his best after a lengthy injury lay-off but Gundogan has proven all the naysayers wrong.
Key stat: Has a pass completion percentage of over 90 in the UEFA Champions League (90.9%) and Premier League (91.4%) both.
More, however, is expected from the vaunted midfielder next season.
At 32, Yaya Toure is a shadow of his former self and the fact that he’s failed to make a single Premier League start in City’s title-winning campaign doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
Key stat: Played a cumulative total of 353 minutes (all competitions) this season.
Looks certain to be shipped out in the summer.
Considered the brightest talent to have come out of City’s Academy in recent years, Foden’s season has been interrupted by injury but the youngster stands to get some game time with the title under wraps.
Key stat: Helped himself to an assist during City’s 5-1 triumph over Leicester City.
Starred in the England U-17’s triumph at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup as well.
Another bright talent who’s struggled to get regular minutes under Guardiola.
Key stat: Sole start came in the Carabao Cup.
Despite not being a regular starter all season, Sane’s scored 13 times and has registered 14 assists in all competitions.
Key stat: The third city player to make the six-man PFA player of the Year shortlist.
The stats don’t tell you the whole story for the fleet-footed leftie has terrorised defences and his displays on the left have been a sight to behold.
Sterling still gets a lot of stick for the ample chances that he misses but what’s commendable about the jet-heeled winger is that he always gets back up and tries to get into a similar opportunity immediately.
Key stat: Has scored a remarkable 23 goals and notched nine assists in all competitions.
The scary part is that the 23-year-old still has a long way to go and can only get better.
It’s been a strange season for the Argentine hitman, for despite becoming City’s all-time top scorer, he’s been forced to accept Pep’s rotation policy up top.
Injuries, more than rotation have interrupted his season though and he most certainly won’t win the Golden Boot this time round.
Key stat: Is City’s top-scorer this season with 30 goals in all competitions.
His uncanny ability to explode in games and almost single-handedly down opponents with a barrage of goals remains unmatched.
While Jesus cant quite match Aguero’s goalscoring prowess, it’s easy to forget the ‘smiling assassin’ is still only 21.
Key stat: Is yet to lose a Premier League game in which he has started.
Had he not gotten injured midway into the season, would definitely have improved on his haul of 16 goals and three assists (all competitions), but considering his limited playing time, that’s not a bad record, is it?