Mens Team

Talking points: City's historic squad goals

Four key talking points as City gear up for a decisive final four games of the season...

1 Striking vision

In yet another season of stunning superlatives, it’s worth re-emphasising just how remarkable an achievement City’s latest goals landmark is.

Our midweek 2-0 derby success away at United saw Pep Guardiola’s squad take their collective tally of goals for the season across all competitions to 157 – a new English top-flight record.

Ironically, it beat a previous-best figure that also been set by City - Manuel Pellegrini's 2013/14 title-winning squad.

It’s a statistic that almost beggars belief – and with three league games remaining along with the small matter of the FA Cup final to come, who knows what our final cumulative total will be?

Whatever the final figure turns out to be, one thing does seem certain however – it is a going to take a superhuman effort if any side goes on to better that record in the years ahead.

2 Squad goals

Analysing the breakdown of the share and spread of where City’s strikes have come from only serves to illustrate how City’s success has been a collective achievement once again this term.

Fifteen different players have been on target during the season, with City also being the recipients of five own goals.

Of course, leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero (30 goals across all competitions) together with Raheem Sterling (23) and Gabriel Jesus (19) have led the goal charge,

But what’s just as impressive is how many different City players have weighed in with important contributions of their own over the course of the past nine months.

Take for example the effervescent Bernardo Silva who has weighed in with 13 vital goals, the latest of which was our crucial opener in last Wednesday’s derby win at United.

Then there is summer signing Riyad Mahrez who has made his own key impact, chipping in with 11 goals in total, including a crucial winner in our 1-0 league win at Spurs last October. Who knows how defining those three points could yet prove to be?

A word too for the likes of defenders Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kyle Walker who have also found themselves on the score-sheet this season.

The Ukrainian recorded his first goal for the club with a stunning 35-yard lob against Burton in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

England full back Walker meanwhile ended a near three-year wait to find the target by rifling home a stunning and crucial strike at home to Newcastle last September before following that up with another goal against Burton in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Those contributions may not have generated the headlines but come the final reckoning, it’s those types of efforts that could prove all the difference.

3 Strength to endure

The phrase the season is a marathon not a sprint has never seemed more apt.

In a campaign that has been draining both mentally and physically for Pep Guardiola’s squad, City have already clocked up a staggering 57 games.

And there are still plenty more hard yards to navigate before the welcome respite of the summer, not least tomorrow’s tough Premier League encounter away at Burnley.

But, so far, whatever the challenge City have more often than not provided a compelling answer, not least in a remarkable run of form that has seen us clock up 11 consecutive league wins since our 2-1 reverse at Newcastle in mid-January.

With Liverpool pushing City all the way in what has proved a titanic title battle – and Watford set to prove formidable opponents in next month’s FA Cup final - there will be no respite for City as we go in search of more silverware.

But Pep Guardiola’s marathon men have so far proved they relish the challenge of a long-distance test of endurance.

4 The lure of history

City’s players enter the final straight of the season knowing they are in a position to achieve something no other side has managed before.

The equation is simple in fact but fiendishly demanding in practice: Victories in our final three league games along with the FA Cup final would see Pep Guardiola’s squad re-write the history books by becoming the first-ever side to win all three domestic trophies in a single season.

Having already won the Carabao Cup, City know nine more points in the would see us retain our Premier League title before we then tackle Watford at Wembley to try and lift the FA Cup.

The fact that no other side in English football's long and storied history has ever been able to manage the domestic treble so far illustrates just what a herculean feat that would be.

But given our remarkable run of form since that loss at Newcastle back in the depths of winter, City have given ourselves more than a fighting chance of securing what would be the most special of achievements.