The treble-winning Manchester United squad of 1999, Jose Mourinho’s 2004-06 Chelsea team, and Arsenal’s Invincibles were all incredible, but none could surpass Pep Guardiola’s side’s exploits in 17/18, ‘The Centurions’.
At the start of the summer, City made significant investments in their playing roster, bringing in Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Kyle Walker, Danilo, and Benjamin Mendy.
In January, the Blues broke their transfer record by signing Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.
Bernardo arrived from Monaco and instantly hit the right note with City supporters, stating his ambitions for the coming season as reported by the MEN: “This club is an ambitious club. We want to win the Premier League and go as far as we can in the Champions League as well. All the players want to play on the big stages – and I am no exception.”
City won their Premier League opener against Brighton but lost their second game of the season against Everton, with Raheem Sterling saving a point with eight minutes remaining. After the game, Guardiola commended his team’s efforts and pledged to improve.
They improved. The draw against Everton launched an 18-game winning streak for the Citizens, which featured a 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool as well as triumphs against Arsenal, Manchester United, and Tottenham.
The streak was finally halted during a 0-0 tie with Crystal Palace, but records had already been set. It was the most straight Premier League wins in a single season and the most consecutive Premier League wins overall, breaking records previously held by Chelsea and Arsenal.
Guardiola was asked after the draw with the Eagles if City could compete with Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles, but the Catalan dismissed the notion.
“I am not thinking to be unbeaten,” said Guardiola. “That is not going to happen. Maybe Arsene is worried about that but I tell him many times that 2004 run is for him. Today is completely different to 2004. There are now more strong teams, a lot of competitions, a lot of games.”
City’s first defeat of the season occurred in January 2018 at Anfield against Liverpool.
The score was tied at halftime, but the Blues let up three goals in less than 10 minutes in the second half. Despite late goals from Bernardo and Ilkay Gundogan, City’s comeback fell short.
MEN’s chief Man City writer Stuart Brennan wrote: “The Blues had sailed through the season serenely until they froze for 15 minutes at Anfield, and conceded three goals that looked hauntingly like those Leicester thrashed past them just over a year ago in a 4-2 defeat at the King Power Stadium.”
The undefeated streak had come to an end, but City were 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League standings with a plus 50 goal difference.
City would need to win only three of their remaining 15 games to become Premier League champions for the third time with a total of 100 points!
A truly fascinating feat.