They looked untouchable at the start of the season, and were even odds-on for the Premier League title back in September. But it’s since gone horribly wrong for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
And he has it all to do if he’s to secure a top four finish for the Citizens this year, let alone mount a title challenge.
Defeats to Tottenham, Chelsea, and most recently Liverpool, coupled with results elsewhere not going their way have left Man City sliding out of the Champions League places for the first time this season.
So where did it all go wrong?
Complacency has played a major part in City’s campaign so far.
After winning their opening 10 games in all competitions under Guardiola, this side must have thought that all four titles they were competing four were coming their way at the end of the season.
People were talking about this team being perhaps the best the Premier League has ever seen.
Then came the blip.
A run of six games in all competitions between September and October saw City fall behind in the race the for title, lose ground on Barcelona in their Champions League group, and crash out of the EFL Cup.
And since then the north-west outfit have struggled to find any real form, with just seven wins to their name from their last 13 games. Hardly world-beating, is it?
An ageing defensive unit have been playing in front of arguably the Premier League’s biggest flop of the season so far in Claudio Bravo, while disciplinary problems and injuries have seen City’s spine fall apart over the last few weeks.
With Sergio Aguero up-front, there’s always hope of achieving big things. But right now, Pep’s men are some 10 points adrift of league leaders Chelsea – and only three points clear of Manchester United in sixth, who appeared all but dead and buried earlier on in the campaign.
No side in the top six has conceded more than City (21), and they’re fast becoming a side who teams will feel confident of nicking points off. Just ask Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City.
But what will strike fear into the hearts of fans more than anything is the fact that their rivals in the division are all picking up points.
We know all about Chelsea’s incredible form of late. But Liverpool have won four on the bounce, Spurs have won four of their last five, Arsenal have lost only three games this season and Man United are enjoying a five-game winning streak.
All of this is going on and City can do nothing about it.
And you’d have to admit that if you were to pick out four sides likely to make the top four this year based on recent performances, there’d be no room for Guardiola’s side right now.
While the Spanish boss will insist that the title race is still very much on, it won’t be long before he has to rethink his aims for the season.
What do supporters think? Can City turn things around? And what would constitute to a good season?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing