Let's be serious for a minute: Manchester City aren't actually that bad this season.

At their lowest ebb since Pep Guardiola's tenure hit full swing, they remain on course for a strong 80-point+ finish, and have lost just five games in 24. Prior to their draw with Crystal Palace, they had won five competitive matches on the bounce, scoring 17 and conceding just four. 

Sure, by their own mighty standards, they've fallen some way short, and are being left in the dust by a ​Liverpool team who are just being silly. In the context of the ​Premier League and indeed in Europe, however, they are still a very good side and a match for anyone on their day. 


If by nothing else, that is evidenced by the stupendous amount of goals they are scoring. Their 65 in the league is the highest in the division by a considerable distance, and in ​thrashing Fulham during the week, they hit 100 in all competitions. 

100 goals. 

In just 37 games. 

It's the seventh consecutive season they have surpassed a century of goals, in fact. For context, that feat hasn't been achieved since Manchester United did it for nine in a row between 2004/05 and 2012/13 - incidentally the last season they won the Premier League. 

It seems they are continuing to have no issue whatsoever hitting the back of the net, then, something that will bode well for them as they seek to save some face with a strong finish to the season in which they are still competitive for three trophies - even if we write the Premier League off until 2020/21. 

They advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup at the Cottagers' expense and will look to see off rivals United on home turf in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final during the week. 

In February, though, comes the big one that may just define their season. They take on Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League; the one trophy that has so far eluded Guardiola in his time in England.

He, and City, will be desperate to advance in that competition, since it is perhaps the one trophy that would compensate for losing their grip on the Premier League title. And if they can carry on their immense goalscoring form, then they perhaps shouldn't be written off on the European front. 

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