London (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City’s swaggering march to the title has seen Pep Guardiola’s side hailed as one of the finest teams in the Premier League era.
Fuelled by the majestic form of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and company, City have sent records tumbling, including notching an incredible 18 successive top-flight wins.
They could yet beat three significant Premier League landmarks set by Chelsea — the highest points tally of 95 in 2004-2005, the most wins in a season at 30 in 2016-2017 and the most goals scored at 103 in 2009-2010.
Manchester United’s shock 1-0 defeat to West Brom on Sunday saw City match another record by winning the league with five games to spare.
But where do they rank among the Premier League’s most celebrated sides?
“It doesn’t take a genius to tell us Manchester City are playing scintillating football right now. Some of the best we have ever seen in this country? I would say so,” former England captain Alan Shearer said.
But Ryan Giggs, who won 13 titles with Manchester United, believes City need to maintain their dominance for several seasons to join the all-time greats.
“I think to compare them to ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea, you have to win multiple titles. You have to be consistent, not just one wonder season,” Giggs said.
The pinnacle of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal reign remains the “Invincibles” — only the second team to go through an English top-flight season without losing a single game after Preston’s unbeaten feat in 1889.
Finishing 11 points clear of Chelsea, the Gunners won 26 times and scored 73 goals, but mere numbers do not do justice to their majesty.
Arsenal’s strength lay in their incredible collection of attacking talent, with Thierry Henry the perfect spearhead alongside the sublime Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires.
Gilberto Silva and Patrick Vieira’s combative presence in midfield shielded a rearguard that, aside from the towering Sol Campbell, had three players in Ashley Cole, Lauren and Kolo Toure who were converted by Wenger into defenders as he put a premium on technical skill.
Manchester United (1998-99)
“Football, bloody hell!” Alex Ferguson said with a bemused smile after United capped the most successful season in the club’s illustrious history.
United had just achieved what many deemed impossible, winning the Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup treble.
An unbelievable comeback in the Champions League final, where goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the final seconds secured a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich, was the crowning glory for Ferguson as he finally got his hands on Europe’s elite club prize.