Welcome to the June edition of the Official Manchester City Magazine.

And so another glittering campaign ends with a fourth successive Premier League title.

It’s an amazing achievement by Pep Guardiola and his players and, quite rightly, the boss is our cover star this month.

It’s often said that success in football is all about fine margins, and this season was so nearly a mirror of last year's Treble campaign.

Once again we battled against an excellent Arsenal team and, once again, managed to fend off their fierce challenge to become champions again (ole, ole, ole!).

Our main feature marks that achievement, but achieving back-to-back trebles is nigh on impossible - even for this City team.

Yet again we crossed paths with Real Madrid as we looked to defend or Champions League crown, but despite doing everything we could to beat them, we exited the competition on that cruellest of deciders – a penalty shootout.

Had we won that, who knows how far we might have gone?

And, once again, we faced Manchester United in the FA Cup final, but this time we couldn’t repeat he feats of last June and suffered a rare Wembley loss.

Our wonderful women’s team came so close to winning a second WSL title, losing out only on goal difference and our youngsters secured the FA Youth Cup.

All in all, a wonderful campaign for the Club.

As for this issue, we have a Steph Houghton interview as our legendary skipper hangs up her boots an reflects on a magnificent playing career, galleries of our glorious moments and plenty more besides...

We hope you enjoy it!

CITY MAGAZINE looks back at a campaign full of goals, drama, ups and the occasional downs – but all in all, another unforgettable season…

August

Overview: The campaign began with a penalty shootout loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield, before we kicked off our Premier League defence with a 3-0 win at Burnley. The first silverware of the new season was secured after another penalty shootout – this time a successful one – against Sevilla to secure a first UEFA Super Cup success. Then we had hard-fought league wins over Newcastle United and Sheffield United to end the opening month in style.

Goal: Cole Palmer’s stunning effort in the Community Shield against Arsenal.

Moment: Pep’s celebration into the camera for Julian Alvarez’s winner against Newcastle!

Not so good: Kevin De Bruyne’s hamstring injury against Burnley that would keep our Belgian genius out until January.

September

Overview: It looked very much like business as usual as City first thrashed Fulham 5-1, before winning 3-1 away to West Ham United and then opening our Champions League defence with a 3-1 win over Red Star Belgrade. A 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, however, came at a cost (see below) and we ended the month with a 1-0 Carabao Cup loss at Newcastle and a 2-1 league defeat at Wolves.

Goal: Jeremy Doku’s first ever City strike away to West Ham.

Moment: Erling Haaland completing his hat-trick in the win over Fulham.

Not so good: Rodrigo’s red card after an altercation with Morgan Gibbs-White against Forest - and the resulting three-match ban.

October

Overview: Four wins out of five, October was another great month for City. It began with an impressive 3-1 win away to RB Leipzig before an early summit meeting with Arsenal at the Emirates. The Gunners won thanks to a deflected late Gabriel Martinelli strike and secured a result that already felt huge in the title race. The Blues bounced back with wins over Brighton, Young Boys and a comprehensive 3-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Goal: Alvarez’s curler away to Leipzig.

Moment: Erling Haaland’s emotional celebration at the Stretford End against the Reds.

Not so good: Losing at the Emirates.

November

Good: Five games, three wins, two draws and plenty of goals!  In fact, 25 goals went in – 17 for City and eight against – as the Blues continued to challenge in the league and Champions League. We began with a 6-1 win over Bournemouth and that was followed by a 3-0 win over Young Boys at the Etihad. An eight-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea ended 4-4, then the Blues dropped two more points at home to Liverpool in a 1-1 draw. To end November, City came from 2-0 down to beat RB Leipzig 3-2.

Goal: Doku’s lovely curling strike against Bournemouth.

Moment: Doku’s goal and FOUR assists against Bournemouth.

Not so good: Late goals conceded against Chelsea and Liverpool cost the champions four vital points.

December

Overview: Another month of mixed fortunes began with a 3-3 draw against Spurs – our third league draw in succession - as Dejan Kulusevski (yet again) scored against City with a late leveller at the Etihad. And six dropped points from three games became nine from 12 with a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa as pundits began questioning the Blues' title credentials. Hard-fought single-goal wins over Luton Town and then Red Star Belgrade was followed by a 2-2 home draw with Crystal Palace. Yet, in spite of just one win in six  league games, the fourth-placed Blues were only three points adrift of leaders Liverpool and still right in the thick of it. Then it was off to Saudi Arabia, where wins over Urawa Diamonds and Fluminense meant a first FIFA Club World Cup title for the Club - and we ended December with back-to-back league wins over Everton and Sheffield United.

Goal: Phil Foden’s long-range strike at Everton.

Moment: Lifting our first FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia.

Not so good: An uncharacteristically flat performance at Villa.

January

Overview: Only four games, but the Blues won the lot! The return to fitness of Kevin De Bruyne gave the Club a huge boost going into 2024 and he was on the bench for the 5-0 FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town at the Etihad. Then, the Belgian returned to action in style, coming on when City trailed 2-1 away to Newcastle and scoring inside five minutes before assisting an added time winner for Oscar Bobb. The Blues then managed to finally score at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with Nathan Ake’s last-minute prod home in the FA Cup fourth round securing a 1-0 win, followed by a 3-1 win over Burnley in the league.

Goal: Oscar Bobb’s delightful finish at Newcastle.

Moment: The emotional and lengthy standing ovation that Kevin De Bruyne received as he warmed up against Huddersfield following his return from injury.

Not so good: Nothing – a great month!

February

Overview:  Pundits and journalists will tell you this is the month when the ‘Manchester City machine’ clicks into top gear – and with six wins out of seven in February, who could argue? A Phil Foden hat-trick saw City win 3-1 at Brentford, followed by a 2-0 win over Everton, courtesy of an Haaland brace. A 3-1 Round of 16 first leg win over FC Copenhagen meant we had one foot in  the Champions League quarter-finals already, but Chelsea proved stubborn opposition again, holding City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad. A hard-fought 1-0 win over Brentford was followed by an equally difficult 1-0 win at Bournemouth as the Blues continued to find ways of getting over the line. Haaland ended the month in style with five goals in the 6-2 FA Cup win at Luton.

Goal: Foden’s third in the victory at Brentford.

Moment: Haaland’s five goals at Luton - almost repeating Denis Law's double-hat-trick in a game that was abandoned more than 60 years before at the same venue.

Not so good: Nothing too bad!

March

Overview: Another unbeaten month and March looked pivotal to our hopes of match the achievements of 2022/23 – which was always going to be a massive ask. We began with a 3-1 win over Manchester United at the Etihad and beat FC Copenhagen by the same score to set up a clash in the quarter-finals with old foes Real Madrid. City then collected a valuable point away to Liverpool before  we saw Newcastle United off 2-0 to move into the FA Cup semi-finals.  March was ended with what was dubbed as a potential title decider with Arsenal at the Etihad – the visitors would defend in numbers and leave with a 0-0 draw…

Goal: Phil Foden’s leveller against United.

Moment: John Stones’ goal at Anfield after a well-worked corner routine.

Not so good: Would dropped points against Liverpool and the Gunners prove costly?

April

Overview: Eight games, three competitions and with a thrilling title race hotting up, no room for error.  City started April by superbly dispatching Aston Villa 4-1 at the Etihad – inspired by a mesmeric Foden performance saw the play-maker grab his second hat-trick of the campaign. The Blues then beat in-form Crystal Palace 4-2 at Selhurst Park, with De Bruyne in sparkling form. A thrilling 3-3 draw away to Real Madrid seemed to have tipped the balance in City’s favour in the UCL quarters, with the Blues then effortlessly dispatching Luton 5-1 at the Etihad to keep the pressure on leaders Arsenal. The following day, both the Gunners and Liverpool were beaten at home by Villa and Palace respectively to blow the title race wide open in a dream weekend for City. There was to be heartbreak next after the Blues lost on penalties to Real Madrid at the Etihad, and Pep Guardiola’s crestfallen side then needed to dig deep  to edge past Chelsea and book another FA Cup final Manchester derby, ending the month with vital league wins at Brighton and Nottingham Forest.

Goal: Foden’s hat-trick goal against Villa.

Moment: Ederson taking his first competitive City penalty against Real Madrid and Ortega Moreno’s Cruyff turn against Chelsea!

Not so good: More shootout disappointment…

May

Overview: A gruelling campaign would be decided this month. The title destiny was in our won hands and four more wins would guarantee a fourth successive top flight crown – something no other English men’s club had ever achieved. Four goals from Haaland started May perfectly with a 5-1 win over Wolves before a tense trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham. A tricky hurdle was comfortably overcome as City beat Marco Silva’s team 4-0 leaving just six more points needed to win the league. Our game in hand over leaders Arsenal was away to Tottenham – a ground we had never previously scored a Premier League goal at. It proved as tough as everyone had imagined, but a Haaland tap-in on 51 minutes gave City a slender advantage before Ederson had to be subbed with a nasty eye injury. Stefan Ortega Moreno came on and on 86 minutes, A Manu Akanji mistake let Son Heung-min through on goal – the nation held its collective breath as the South Korean ran towards the box, but Ortega Moreno stood tall and made a magnificent save. Haaland then converted an added time penalty – his 38th of another memorable season – to seal a 2-0 win. West Ham were now the only obstacle between the Blues and history and, though it wasn’t as comfortable as everyone had hoped, a 3-1 win was secured and City were champions. History again beckoned with the possibility of a ‘double Double’, but it sadly wasn’t to be as on this occasion and a slightly off-colour City were beaten 2-1 by United.  

Goal: Haaland’s penalty against Spurs sealing three points. 

Moment: Ortega Moreno's save at Spurs and the Blues lifting the Premier League trophy again. 

Not so good: Ederson’s injury and the derby loss at Wembley. 

VERDICT: Three trophies – the Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup. We also competed in the Community Shield and FA Cup final and reached the Champions League quarter-finals. Phil Foden won the Premier League Player of the Season, Etihad Player of the Season, and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year. All in all, yet another wonderful campaign by our men and women's teams.