Men's Team

Writers panel: Guardiola's best wins

APPLAUSE: Pep Guardiola celebrates.
On the day Pep Guardiola celebrates his 47th birthday, we’re recalling some of Manchester City’s most impressive performances under his stewardship.

The Catalan has been in charge at the Etihad Stadium for 18 months, breaking several records on his way to guiding the Blues to pole position in the Premier League.

Here, our Club Journalists pick out Pep's most impressive win...

Rob Pollard: City 3-1 Barcelona

This was a special night.

Barcelona, still considered the benchmark in Europe competition, arrived at the Etihad having beaten us five times in succession, with Lionel Messi, the finest player to ever play the game, leading the attack.

And for the first half an hour, the game was going the visitors’ way.

Messi scored to put them ahead and it looked likely to be another game in which City looked short of competing with the Catalan side. They were quicker and sharper on the ball and were creating the better chances.

But City rallied and produced a memorable performance, scoring three goals to seal a famous win. Ilkay Gundogan bagged two and Kevin De Bruyne the other as Guardiola’s ideas began to really bear fruit on the European stage for the first time since his arrival at the Club. 

WATCH: City v Barca: Match highlights

Paul Handler: United 1-2 City

This was a big win for a number of reasons.

A derby victory always means that little bit more than three points, and to do it at Old Trafford for the second successive year was a fantastic feat.

At the time City moved 11 points clear of United so the win was a real statement of intent from Pep’s men. More than anything, though, it was the manner of the performance that impressed.

City had almost 65 per cent possession, 10 shots and saw the game out in a supremely controlled fashion. It was a show of dominance rarely seen at United’s ground. 

Caroline Oatway: City 7-2 Stoke

Goals galore, beautiful football and an unwavering resilience… the visit of Stoke to the Etihad Stadium portrayed multiple traits of Pep Guardiola’s City in a breathless encounter.

Time after time, the Blues sliced open the Potters' defence with sumptuously-crafted waves of attack, sprinting into a 3-0 lead before the half-hour mark. The hosts were quite literally queuing up to convert.

With such a commanding lead, admittedly City relaxed their foot off the gas, allowing a spirited Stoke to claw themselves back into the contest with a goal either side of the break.

It proved a surprising setback, given the home side’s display, but in response, the Blues simply thrust down the accelerator and ran riot.

In a frantic 25-minute spell, Guardiola’s men netted four more goals – all wonderfully created and expertly finished – to produce one of the most enjoyed and entertaining clashes of recent memory.

John Edwards: Chelsea 0-1 City

There have been no shortage of goal gluts in Pep's reign and the 5-3 victory over Monaco stands out for entertainment value, but this more subdued win at Stamford Bridge is up there with Guardiola's best.

It was a game which pitched the Premier League’s great entertainers against the pragmatism of Antonio Conte’s Blues and any worries as to how City would fare were proved unfounded after 90 minutes of patient yet entertaining football.

It was a performance that bore all the hallmarks of Guardiola’s coaching, with City relentless both in attack and without the ball as the reigning champion’s offensive threat was rendered futile.

Pep’s impact on individuals was evident too. John Stones produced arguably his finest game in a City shirt, while Kevin De Bruyne reinforced how valuable his match-winning qualities can be.

A dominant display which really benchmarked City's early title credentials.

WATCH: Chelsea v City: Brief highlights


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