An alphabetical analysis of City's remarkable 2017, continuing with N to Z...
N New Year
The turn of the year began – not with a bang but with a Burnley.
As often is the case, Sergio Aguero proved to be the matchwinner with what was my favourite goal of the year, squeezing the ball into the near post first-time – much to the bewilderment of the two Clarets defenders on the line.
2017 kicked off with three points… and what a year it would turn out to be!
O On the road
City have tallied an astounding 20 away victories this year, including the last 11 Premier League trips.
No bouts of travel sickness for the Blues… so far! (We do have one away game left!)
P Penalty heroics
City’s shot-stoppers have pulled off some pivotal penalty heroics this year. Bravo has (almost) single-handedly sent his side through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals with super shoot-out displays.
Special mention for Aguero’s Panenka spot-kick against Wolves by the way! Glorious.
Joyous memories. 2017 heralded the five-year anniversary of arguably the greatest game and goal of City history.
Can you believe it’s been five years since THAT moment?
To commemorate its birthday, CityTV produced an excellent, insightful five-part documentary series, entitled 93:20. If you haven’t watched it already, look it up on YouTube. You won’t regret it!
The records… they keep atumblin’.
City have rewritten the history books so many times this year, we’ve had to introduce a new feature on the website, highlighting the stats which have been broken each week!
From the consecutive number of Premier League wins to the number of goals scored in a calendar year to the all-time Club top goalscorer charts… They’ve all been smashed.
S Shark Team
We don’t know quite how it happened but Benjamin Mendy has kicked off a craze.
One day, the charismatic social media master dubbed the Blues ‘the Shark Team’ and since then, buoyed by City’s success, it’s stuck.
Now, the term is even an official hashtag on Twitter, such was its usage and popularity!
We just keep eatin’…
Arrivals and departures. There has been plenty of transfer activity in 2017.
Meanwhile, a total of 13 players left the Club – some of whom were long-serving and much-loved stars, such as Pablo Zabaleta (more on him later), Aleks Kolarov, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna.
U UEFA Champions League
The 2016/17 European campaign saw City’s women’s side venture into the Champions League for the first time.
The French outfit narrowly triumphed over two legs – but the Blues would emerge from the Stade de Lyon victorious, thanks to two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd’s strike.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men were one goal away from progressing to the quarter-finals but exited the tournament on away goals following a highly-entertaining, two-legged 6-6 draw with Monaco.
Goals have been raining in from every angle across the Club.
No longer are the strikers relied upon to deliver the goods… the likes of Leroy Sane, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Jen Beattie, Claire Emslie, Demi Stokes, etc. have all been chipping in – and that’s also the case with the assist charts!
There’s also been a real mixture regarding the type of goal scored – set-piece, well-worked build-up, long-range bullet, headers, volleys, tap-ins… we’ve had the lot!
X XI goals
As mentioned in part one of this piece, Guardiola’s iconic, attacking style is shining through and on more than a few occasions in 2017, City’s goals have portrayed his vision to a T.
On three occasions (versus Hull, West Brom and Huddersfield), the Blues have netted with a goal crafted seamlessly from defence to attack – and with every single player involved.
In ‘Che Pep’ (Vicente Muglia’s book dissecting the Catalan manager’s influences), the former Real Madrid assistant boss Angel Cappa recalls a conversation he had with a 23-year-old Guardiola about what would constitute ‘perfection’ on the pitch.
“His ideal goal was one where all 11 players would pass to each other without the opposition touching it and that the last player would put it in the net,” he stated.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing this first-hand! Enjoy…
Y YouTube Million
October heralded another historic day for the Club as City became the first Premier League team to reach one million YouTube subscribers.
Our most famous YouTube videos include players taking on the Harlem Shake (9.2million views), Dude Perfect teaming up with Manchester City legends in an epic Bubble Football battle (5.2million views) and Pep’s Taxi with superfan Braydon Bent (2.2million views).
An epic achievement!
Z Zabaleta's farewell
In May, we bid a fond farewell to a true City legend – and ‘adopted Mancunian.’
Zabaleta sported sky blue and white for the last time at the Etihad Stadium, having notched 331 appearances under his belt since joining the Club in 2008.
Over the summer, he moved to pastures new, signing for West Ham, so it wouldn’t be too long before we saw him again… but that emotional day of his departure will live long in the memory for players, staff and fans alike.