The Man City cap set a record in 2021 with another victory and an eight-point lead in the title race

LONDON – Even when Manchester City do not reach the heights we have come to expect from Pep Guardiola’s team, they still end up sunbathing on the sunny side of the street. The Premier League champions worked on a 1-0 win at Brentford on Wednesday, but they ended the day by extending their lead at the top of the table and with the seal set on a record calendar year.

Liverpool’s defeat at Leicester City on Tuesday had already given Man City an unexpected boost ahead of their first visit to Brentford since 1937, but Danny Welbeck’s equalizer for Brighton & Hove Albion against Chelsea – while this match was still in play – made it possible for the Guardiola’s team to move eight points ahead of the top of the table in their last match in 2021. When Chelsea and Liverpool meet at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, City could be 11 and 12 points ahead of their nearest – or perhaps least – distance – challengers, respectively, if they start 2022 with a New Year’s victory at Arsenal.

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“Fifty-four points to play [for]. Fifty-four. We were 4-0 [up] against Leicester and then in 20 minutes it was 4-3, “Guardiola said after the match, downplaying the importance of his team’s rapidly growing lead over their title rivals.” Thank you for the kind words because we win, but I do not go. to think it has already been done because Chelsea and Liverpool are more than exceptional.

“We won 10 games in a row, so when you get 30 from 30, you are in a good position. But there are 54 points left to play [for]. We’re going back to London on Saturday and playing at 12:30, so let’s continue. “

Although Man City were distinctly average at Brentford and only won through Phil Foden’s goal in the 16th minute, it is impossible to play against Guardiola’s players right now, so it will be a surprise if they do not come out with three more points from the Emirates. . .

That’s what City do. They just win, relentlessly. Unique or not, the result is usually the same for a team that is now heading for a fourth Premier League title in five seasons.

It’s a team that has played without a classic center-back for most of this year, with Sergio Aguero’s fitness problems ahead of his summer departure for Barcelona and the lack of a contract with Harry Kane or Cristiano Ronaldo forcing Guardiola to play with a number of fake niere. – £ 100 million winger Jack Grealish rotated that responsibility with his foot against Brentford – throughout this season. Imagine how much further ahead they would be right now with Kane, Ronaldo or Erling Haaland at the sharp end of the team to turn around all the chances that Man City create.

Although they do not have a final No. 9, City have surpassed all their rivals this season by scoring 51 goals in 20 games – one more than Liverpool have managed from 19 league games. But while sitting with a leading lead after just passing halfway through the season, it is Man City’s performances and statistics from January to December that really hit the reality of their dominance of English football.

After starting 2021 with a 3-1 win over Chelsea, City have won 36 of their 44 Premier League matches over the 12-month league match, scoring 113 goals in the process. Their figure of 110 points in 2021 is a staggering 27 more than Chelsea and 33 more than Liverpool. City have played three league games more than Liverpool and two more than Chelsea, but even in terms of the COVID-19 impact on the games, their dominance is there for all to see.

And in terms of goals, they have scored 32 more than an excellent Liverpool team including Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane and 43 more than Champions League winners Chelsea.

Man City have also set a new record for top wins (36) in a calendar year, overshadowing Liverpool’s 33 in 1982. The win over Brentford was their 19th away win in the league, which is another record – two more than Tottenham Hotspur in 1960 .

Brentford did their best to give City a frustrating end to 2021, with Thomas Frank’s team going close through Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa before Foden scored with a first-half finish from Kevin De Bruyne’s post – remarkably it was the Belgian midfielder’s first Premier League season assist. The home team dug deep and limited City to just four bets on goal during the 90 minutes, but the Guardiolas never really looked anything but comfortable.

They did not cut loose and inflicted on Brentford the kind of defeat that others have had to endure this season, but City were always in control. The same goes for the title race: eight points free and free running.

Do not expect them to blow it.

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