Manchester City started their 2015/16 Premier League campaign in a blistering fashion when they won their first five games at a canter. They were prolific in front of the goal, scoring 11 times and water-tight at the back, not leaking a single goal in their first five games.
Many announced them to be the champions-elect. However, the Citizens’ form has significantly dipped, and they are now winless in their last three games across all competitions, an unflattering record for a team of their resources. They were held to a scoreless draw by Premier League bottom dwellers Aston Villa at Villa Park. The draw the Villans was followed by a toothless display against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.
The Reds were constantly dominant while the Citizens were found wanting on all fronts after they conceded an own goal from Eliaquim Mangala. The exquisite interplay between the Brazilians Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino meant that the visitors went into the break in a commanding position. Defender Martin Skrtel added another goal to complete a humiliating 4-1 defeat of the 2012 and 2014 Premier League winners.
It was telling that despite the heavy defeat both the managers admitted that the result could have been worse for the hosts had Liverpool been more ruthless in front of the goal.
In a midweek Champions League clash, Manchester City lost 1-0 to reigning Italian champions and 2015 European Cup finalists Juventus in Turin. The defeat of the Premier League side means the Old Lady have done the double over their rivals in the group, revealing the struggle of the Citizens’ recent struggles as well as their familiar failings in the elite European competition.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men are currently sitting third in the league standings with their tally of 26 points from their first 13 games as Leicester City occupy top spot, and Manchester United sit second. There is a gap of only two points between the Foxes and the Citizens and by no means there is a clear contender for the league title so far.
Premier League title race is as open as it has ever been as Chelsea struggle with their own malaise, Liverpool continues to learn under Jurgen Klopp, Manchester United attempt to string together a series of coherent displays and Arsenal struggle to confront their familiar failings. Tottenham Hotspur have shined under the management of Mauricio Pochettino and are regarded amongst the teams capable of taking home the title.
However, Manchester City still remain the strongest side in the English top flight, and if they manage to get their first team in top shape, then they would be hard to defeat. Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and David Silva are all struggling with injuries while Joe Hart has been added to the injury list during the Juventus clash.
Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are yet to live to the billing, and once Pellegrini has all his men at his disposal, Manchester City can be expected to start firing from all cylinders again.