Pep’s trifecta: how has he left his mark on the Premier League?

Where does Manchester City FC's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola's success lie?

Pep’s trifecta: how has he left his mark on the Premier League?

Josep 'Pep' Guardiola, with a little help of his South American talents, has left his mark on the Premier League halfway into his second season at the Etihad. Guardiola also holds the record of the consecutive winning steak in La Liga with Barcelona in 2010/11 campaign; in the Bundesliga with the Bayern Munich in 2013/14 campaign and now in the Premier League with the Manchester City.  

Recently, after the victory against Tottenham Hotspurs 4-1, he has drawn level with his La Liga record of 16 consecutive victories. However, he still three wins away from drawing level his 19 straight at Bayern.  

Each of Guardiola’s streaks has had some similar features, such as a few blowout victories and crucial wins against their biggest league rival. Guardiola’s Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams have outscored City so far, but the latter arguably has the toughest fixture list.

Barcelona scored an unheard of 60 goals in their 16 matches. This included an 8 - 0 thrashing of Almeria in which four Barcelona players scored and Lionel Messi bagged a hattrick. The Barcelona talisman scored 21 goals during the run. David Villa and Pedro each scored 12. The following week, the pair combined for three of Barcelona’s five goals in an embarrassing defeat archrivals Real Madrid. 5 - 0 at the Nou Camp.

Bayern Munich scored an impressive 64 goals in their 19 straight wins. Mario Mandzukic led Bavarian giants in scoring with 13 goals. Thomas Muller finished just behind with 11. Both hit the back of the net in a key win against their biggest rival, Borussia Dortmund, and in their 7 - 0 drubbing of Werder Bremen at home. It was their largest win of the season, in which five of Munich’s men scored.

City have scored 53 goals in their 16 match winning streak, but City's Brazilian goalkeeper, Ederson, has also allowed more goals against than either his Barcelona or Bayern counterparts did during their runs. City have conceded 11. Barcelona and Bayern only conceded six and 10, respectively.

The Sky Blues also secured seven goals in a 7 - 2 thumping of Stoke City. Gabriel Jesus, the rising Brazilian star, scored the opener and added another after half time. Fellow Brazilian, Fernandinho also hit the back of the net along with four others. A few weeks before City put six past Watford, Sergio Aguero got a hatrick. Jesus and Argentine-defender Nicolas Otamendi also scored.

South American players have led the way for City in scoring with four Mercosur citizens combining for 23 goals, representing 43 percent of the team’s total production. So far, 12 teams had scored fewer this campaign. Aguero sits joint-top of the City squad during their winning run, in terms of scoring, with 10 goals, and Gabriel Jesus has scored eight. Englishman Raheem Sterling has also scored 10 goals and four other players have scored at least five a piece. Compared with Guardiola’s previous teams, City have certainly spread the goals around a bit more.

The Sky Blues have arguably had a tougher run-in as well. They beat archrivals and second in the table Manchester United away at Old Trafford. Neither Barcelona nor Bayern defeated their biggest league rivals away from home that year. City also defeated champions, Chelsea as well as Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool. Guardiola’s two other record breaking sides did not face nearly as many tough opponents during their winning streaks.

Unlike his previous winning streaks, and most importantly, this one is still going!

Three more wins - at home to Bournemouth (sixteenth), away to Newcastle United (eighteenth) and in south London against Crystal Palace (fourteenth) - will see Guardiola match his Bundesliga record of 19. After that, one more win at home against Watford (ninth) and Guardiola sets a new personal best of 20 consecutive victories. The feat would also be a new record for the top five European leagues.

“Put in the superlatives yourself,” he once quipped. “I’m running out.”

 

Latin American Post | Daniel Dawson

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda

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