Manchester City’s fine form continued as the Cityzens recorded a 1-0 win away at Arsenal to extend their unbeaten run to 25 games in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola’s side were made to work hard for the victory in North London, where Raheem Sterling’s second minute header sealed a win which consolidates their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
City’s last defeat – a 2-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur in late November – left them in 11th position and eight points adrift of Jose Mourinho’s men at the top of the league.
What has followed since has been a remarkable example of consistency.
City’s 25-match unbeaten run includes 18 consecutive wins in all competitions and 13 in a row in the Premier League, whilst their win at Arsenal equalled a club record 11 consecutive away triumphs.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs have all been beaten in the period, during which Guardiola’s men have trailed just once.
League 2 Cheltenham Town are the only side to have led in City’s last 25-games, for a total of 22 minutes, before City fought back to progress from their FA Cup fourth round tie.
Pep Guardiola’s men are the second highest scorers in the Premier League, but for all their attacking prowess, it is their solid defence which has stood out.
It was evident again against Arsenal, where they kept a clean sheet for the 23rd time this season to equal the total number they managed in the entire 2019/20 campaign.
As it stands, City have the most clean sheets in England’s top four tiers and, even more impressively, also lead the way for the top five leagues in Europe.
Everyone in the club’s back four has contributed to their superb defensive record, with Ruben Dias and John Stones earning plenty of plaudits, whilst Joao Cancelo’s efforts at both ends of the pitch have made him one of City’s most influential players.
But behind them is a goalkeeper at the top of his game.
Ederson has kept more clean sheets than he has conceded goals in the Premier League.
The Brazilian has recorded 15 shutouts – three more than Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez in second – and has only been beaten on 14 occasions to give himself a great opportunity to retain the Golden Glove he won in 2019/20.
City too are in a great position, though Guardiola knows there is a long way to go this season.
“39 points to play and we need the victories to be champions,” was his message after the win at Arsenal and maintaining their exceptional consistency will certainly be integral to securing the wins they need