With this week marking the one-year anniversary since the first national lockdown was announced, we’ve taken a closer look at the statistics and figures underpinning City’s remarkable record since then.
Of course, the subsequent 12 months have proved to be hugely uncertain and testing period for everyone.
Football has played a key role in helping provide a beacon of hope and entertainment – albeit under strict COVID-19 safety protocols.
It has been a challenging scenario, with supporters unable to attend games and a demanding schedule seeing Pep Guardiola’s side effectively face three games a week, both in concluding last season’s programme as well as fulfilling a 2020/21 schedule that didn’t begin until late September.
Yet despite the numerous difficulties and restrictions, City have shown remarkable consistency over a sustained period of time.
Since our first game following Project Restart – when we welcomed Arsenal to the Etihad on June 17 last summer following a three-month hiatus – by whichever metrics one chooses to use, City have coped superbly with the restrictions and challenges.
A quick look at the stats and figures makes for hugely impressive reading.
Overall, City have been unbeaten in 90 per cent of the 60 games we have played so far during the post lockdown period, chalking up 30 victories, five draws and five losses all told.
That remarkable consistency has, of course, seen Guardiola’s talented squad make a sustained challenge for success across all four major competitions so far this term.
Currently 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League, through to a fourth successive Carabao Cup final, and with an FA Cup semi-final and Champions League quarter-final also on the horizon, City’s incredible consistency has also seen the squad create a host of new records.
And the central tenets of hard work, selflessness and the relentless, competitive desire of the squad to continually seek to improve has been especially amplified in our lockdown league form.
A composite top ten table based on all domestic games played since last June’s 3-0 success over Arsenal on our return to action amply illustrates City’s hugely impressive form.
POST-LOCKDOWN TOP TEN
|West Ham United||38||17||10||11||59||47||12||61|
Even though we have played two games more than our leading rivals, we lead the standings by some distance.
In the 40 league fixtures we have played so far since the first national lockdown began, City have amassed 30 victories, five draws and five losses for a combined tally of 95 points - 17 ahead of the Manchester United who have registered the next highest tally.
Third-placed Chelsea are a further nine points behind, albeit with both United and Chelsea having amassed 38 games under lockdown conditions.
City’s superb record is further reinforced by our collective goals tally since Project Restart, with Guardiola’s squad having amassed an eye-catching 98 goals from those 40 Premier League matches to date, 20 ahead of next highest scorers United.
Of course, our defensive solidity has also been widely praised - particularly over the course of this season - and that iron-clad resistance is also strikingly borne out in the composite lockdown table.
Over those 40 league games since football restarted, Guardiola’s squad have conceded just 25 times, 12 less than Spurs who have shipped the second least number of goals.
City’s lockdown records in the three cup competitions makes for equally compelling and impressive reading.
To date, in post lockdown 10 Champions League matches, we have won eight, drawn one and lost one, amassing 20 goals and conceding just five.
From six FA Cup lockdown encounters, City have won five and lost just one racking up a cumulative goals total of 13 and conceding four.
It’s an even more impressive tale in the Carabao Cup – four games, four wins, 11 goals for and just two against.
Reflecting on the way his squad had answered the numerous challenges of a period like no other in the post-war professional era earlier this month, Guardiola was full of praise for the players’ collective attitude and application.
Though Pep was also at pains to point out that nothing had been won yet.
“Everyone is so committed and focused,” the City boss asserted.
“Every player knows they must play good because another can take his position.
“I am surprised.
“In the toughest year for society and the world, and the most difficult year for many years across the world, and in the toughest period in England with weather and pitches - to do what we have done is amazing.
“But we don't have titles, we are going to try.”
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