Manchester City champions: Five key players that helped them win the title

share on:

Despite blowing the chance to win the league against United last weekend, City still matched United’s record by claiming the title with five games to spare.

Much of the praise has gone to manager Pep Guardiola for moulding a side being compared to the greatest-ever teams to win the English top flight.

But backed by free-spending Abu Dhabi owners, Guardiola has had plenty of talent to work with. Here are five players that helped them win the league.

Ederson

EPL Fixtures for 20 January
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JANUARY 14: Ederson of Manchester City collect the ball from the back of the net after Sadio Mane (Not Pictured) of Liverpool scored the 3rd Liverpool goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on January 14, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

Guardiola showed his ruthless streak after a disappointing first campaign in charge, snapping up goalkeeper Ederson for £35 million ($49 million) within three weeks of the end of the season.

Much of the blame for Guardiola’s first-season struggles was pinned on a series of errors from Claudio Bravo, brought from Barcelona to replace the ostracised Joe Hart.

In contrast to Bravo, Ederson has been solid when called upon to make saves. But, crucially, he is even better with his feet, which suits Guardiola’s style.

ALSO READ   MUSIC: Sho Madjozi – Huku

The Brazilian’s long-range passing to launch City on the counter-attack and beat any high press employed by opponents has been a regular feature of the season, adding another weapon to City’s frightening attacking arsenal.

Kevin De Bruyne

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring the second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images)

The man most often picked out by Guardiola himself as the heartbeat of this City side, Kevin De Bruyne looks set to battle with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the Premier League player of the year awards.

The Belgian leads the league in assists but he offers far more than raw numbers.

“He is the best example and he helps us to be a better club, a better institution for the future,” Guardiola said after De Bruyne led a 4-1 destruction of Tottenham Hotspur in November.

David Silva

EPL Fixtures, 9 - 10 December: Manchester and Mersey derby delight on Gameweek 16
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 03: David Silva of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides second goal while Pablo Zabaleta of West Ham United looks dejected during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

If De Bruyne doesn’t get you, David Silva likely will.

Having two natural playmakers in the same midfield has made City almost impossible to stop in the same way Guardiola harnessed the brilliant best from Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in a glorious four-year spell at Barcelona from 2008 to 2012.

“I think David is also one of the best this season,” said De Bruyne.

“Since I came here he has been unbelievable. He helped my game in a lot of ways.”

Silva has also chipped in with his share of important goals — opening the scoring in the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford.

ALSO READ   Tips: 6 reasons why couples should do things together

His telling contribution is all the more outstanding given the Spaniard has had to spend a lot of time back in his homeland between games after the premature birth of his son in December.

Raheem Sterling

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on November 29, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The beneficial effects of Guardiola’s coaching are clear-cut in the case of Raheem Sterling as the 23-year-old has come of age this season to deliver on his abundant potential.

The England international is City’s second-highest scorer behind Sergio Aguero but his goals have also come at some key moments on their road to the title.

ALSO READ   Youth, legal minds tear into Goodall Gondwe’s ‘baby’ remarks

Guardiola’s men were on course to drop points in two of their opening three games until Sterling’s 97th-minute winner at Bournemouth back in August kicked off an 18-match winning run in the league.

That streak was kept alive as Sterling also struck late twice in three days in late November to edge out Huddersfield and Southampton 2-1 to demoralise the chasing pack.

Sergio Aguero

Fantasy Premier League
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 20: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on January 20, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

In City’s mega-rich era, managers and players have come and gone but one constant has largely remained – Sergio Aguero’s goalscoring.

The Argentine, who joined the club in 2011, is now City’s all-time leading goalscorer and has enjoyed another bumper season.

Initially challenged for his place in the team by Gabriel Jesus when the Brazilian arrived last January, Aguero has reestablished himself as City’s number one striker

The post Manchester City champions: Five key players that helped them win the title appeared first on The South African.

Leave A Comment Below
share on: