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Manchester City 2021-22 Premier League Season Review – Business As Usual

Manchester City lift the Premier League 2021/22 trophy
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The Manchester City juggernaut rolled on in 2022, adding a fourth Premier League title in five years to their collection. Pep Guardiola’s side have broken English football, dominating the most competitive football league in the world in an unprecedented manner and relegating the second-best PL team over the past 15 years to an afterthought. 

For the 3rd season since 2017, City finished with more than 92 points, losing just one game all season to teams not named Tottenham Hotspur and ending with an incredible goal difference of +73.

What went right?

Despite missing out on their number one transfer target Harry Kane, City took care of business in the Premier League. They were pushed right till the end by Jurgen Klopp’s awe-inspiring Liverpool side, but eventually, City had too much quality in every department.


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The Cityzens took first place in the points table on matchday 15 from Chelsea and never relinquished that position throughout the rest of the season, despite a slight wobble on the final day of the campaign against Aston Villa. While City were the best defensive team in the country, they won the league because of their attack and the control they exerted on games.

City averaged a league-high 68.5% possession in their matches this season, thanks to the brilliance of their midfield trio – Rodri, Silva, and De Bruyne – and were able to wear down teams with their incisive passing and non-stop movement. Instead of having one go-to star for the goals, the spoils were shared throughout the team, with an incredible seven players scoring eight or more goals for the side this season.

What went wrong?

For all their success as a collective defensive unit, Manchester City are filled with players who can’t defend individually – barring Kyle Walker. City dominate the ball enough in the Premier League for this to never really be a problem, but when facing higher-quality opposition in the Champions League or against top four sides, the cracks begin to appear.


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World-class forwards such as Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, and Mohamed Salah all thrived when playing against City this year as they exposed their defensive flaws, while Real Madrid scored three goals in 20 minutes after Kyle Walker limped off the pitch in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Player of the season

Kevin de Bruyne revolutionized his game for Manchester City in 2021-22, evolving from the primary supplier of the goals to the source. The Belgian superstar scored plenty of clutch strikes for the champions in the run-in and enjoyed the best goalscoring campaign of his career this season, scoring 15 goals in the league, ten of which came after the turn of the year. De Bruyne’s impact on the side can be perfectly captured by his role in the title-clinching goal against Aston Villa, with the Belgian hunting down a poor clearance from Tyrone Mings before sliding in the perfect cross for Ilkay Gundogan to score the winning goal.


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What next?

Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Manchester City are only going to get better next season. With the additions of Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and Julian Alvarez from River Plate, City add height, verticality, clinical finishing and a target man to their attack next year, facets that will improve the dynamism of their already elite offence.


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With Haaland and Alvarez in the squad, City will have a new dimension in which they can construct their offence. Pep Guardiola’s side missed that ‘x-factor’ or killer attitude in attack in the big Champions League ties over the years, and with the addition of the Norwegian scoring-machine, the Cityzens might have the best get out of jail free card in world football at their disposal.

The one looming question ahead of next season, though, is Pep Guardiola’s contract – which runs out in 2023. However, considering the unprecedented success Manchester City have enjoyed over the past decade, it’s difficult to see anything but sunny days for the club in the years to come.


[Featured Image Credit: Manchester City]