After a summer of unprecedented spending, and with the world’s leading coach at the helm having had a year to bed in, big things were expected on Manchester City this season, and they are delivering.
The runaway leaders of the Premier League, 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester United with 27 games played, still in the FA Cup, their place in the League Cup final booked and the bookmakers’ favourites to claim a first-ever Champions League title, Pep Guardiola’s men are raising the bar for achievement.
In addition to the trophies in their sights as they pursue an incredible quadruple, City are also closing in on several Premier League records, such has their dominance of the English top flight been.
The chance of replicating Arsenal’s unbeaten season of 2003/04 has gone following a dramatic 4-3 loss to Liverpool in January, but City could yet set new high marks in several categories.
We’ve taken a look at the records the Citizens are on course to claim, and who those records currently belong to.
Highest Points Tally: 95, Chelsea 2004/05
José Mourinho, now in charge of Manchester United, is playing catch-up to the Red Devils’ cross-city neighbours this season, struggling to keep pace with Guardiola’s side.
But Mourinho knows a thing or two about setting the standard and raising the bar in the Premier League. In his first season at Chelsea manager, back in 2004/05, the Portuguese tactician masterminded a record-breaking title triumph, accumulating 95 points with the Blues.
Chelsea also set a record for the fewest goals conceded in a single season that term, with Petr Čech beaten just 15 times in 38 games, one record City, having conceded 20 so far this season, will not be able to break.
City do have the record points tally within their reach, though. The Manchester side currently have 72 points to their name, with 11 fixtures left to play. If they can maintain their current rate of 2.67 points per game, they will finish the season on 101 points.
Most Goals Scored: 103, Chelsea 2009/10
If Mourinho’s Chelsea were arguably the Premier League’s most ruthless and efficient side, Carlo Ancelotti’s double-winning Blues side of 2009/10 were an altogether more entertaining winning machine.
Claiming the Premier League title and the FA Cup in his first season at the Stamford Bridge helm didn’t earn the Italian coach too much credit in West London, with the former AC Milan and Juventus boss sacked at the end of his second term.
But before they faded away, Ancelotti’s Chelsea burned brightly, setting a new record for goals scored in a single season, with striker Didier Drogba producing the most prolific form of his career to claim the Golden Boot with 29 goals.
After netting five against Leicester City last weekend, City took their Premier League tally for the season to 79, meaning they have an incredible average of 2.93 goals per game; if they keep it up, they’ll finish on a staggering 111 goals for the campaign.
Best Goal Difference: +71, Chelsea 2009/10
Ancelotti’s Chelsea also set a record for the highest goal difference on their way to calming the 2009/10 title, shipping just 32 goals while scoring 103, for a goal difference of +71.
Although their defensive record alone will not break any records this season, City’s average of conceding only 0.74 goals per game is on course to help theme eclipse Chelsea’s goal difference high mark.
If maintained, along with their aforementioned scoring average, City will finish 2017/18 with a Premier League goal difference of +83.
Most Wins: 30, Chelsea 2016/17
Yet another record that belongs to Chelsea that City are targeting is the most wins in a single Premier League season, which Antonio Conte’s champions set last term by, quite remarkably, winning 30 of their 38 matches.
In order to break this record, City, who have 23 wins so far this season, will have to secure victory in eight of their remaining 11 fixtures.
This might prove to be the most difficult record for City to claim. Their current win rate of 85.18 per cent, if maintained, would leave them with 32 wins.
If City win all of their remaining league games at the Etihad, they will equal the record of 18 home wins in a season, currently held by Chelsea (2005/06), Manchester United (2010/11) and Roberto Mancini’s title-winning City side of 2011/12.
City would also have to win all of their remaining games on the road to beat Chelsea’s record of 15 away wins from 2004/05.
Biggest Title-winning Margin: 18 points, Man Utd 1999/00
If City can widen the gap on whoever finishes second by three points more than the 16 United currently trail by, the will claim yet another record.
The current greatest title-winning points margin is the Red Devils dominant triumph of 1999/00, when their 91 points was 18 better than Arsenal’s final tally in second.