Pep Guardiola-led Manchester City were crowned Premier League Champions after Arsenal lost to Nottingham Forest – How did that happen?
Pep Guardiola saw his blue army named as 2022/23 Premier League champions following Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest.
Manchester City won their fifth league title in six years under Guardiola after they thrashed Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.
The Citizyns annihilated Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium to book their place in the final on June 10.
With the Premier League in the bag, City are aiming at winning a treble as they have an FA Cup final against Manchester United scheduled for June 3.
Premier League table – Top five
Manchester City appeared a bit different at the start of the new year when they sat third in the Premier League table, a point behind Newcastle and 8 behind Arsenal.
Here, Futballnews answers the question as to how Pep Guardiola and CIty’s campaign played out and what exactly changed.
Manchester City Premier League Stats
|Games played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win Percentage||Position|
The Players That Played Their Part and When?
Man City signings 2022/23
|Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund||Summer||£51.1M|
|Manuel Akanji||Borussia Dortmund||Summer||£16.7M|
|Maximo Perrone||Velez Sarsfield||Winter||M£8M|
Man City outgoings 2022/23
|Ko Itakura||B. Monch’bach||£4.3M|
|James McAtee||Sheffield Utd||Loan|
|Joao Cancelo||Bayern Munich||Loan|
Looking at the minutes played by each City player, we can see that keeper Ederson has played most of City’s league games this season and has amassed 3,060 while Rodri (2,830), Erling Haaland (2,686) and Kevin De Bruyne (2,368) are following him.
Another most used player is Manuel Akanji that Pep signed from Borussia Dortmund – this highlights Pep Guardiola and City’s wise summer investments.
Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake are regular starters this season with Bernardo Silva playing several roles.
Jack Grealish also made himself prominent in a City shirt and Ake arguably produced his best season since the £41m move from Bournemouth in 2020.
Phil Foden did begin the season as a regular starter in the City side but injuries put him on the sidelines most of the season.
Kyle Walker, Riyad Mahrez and John Stones have also enjoyed sustained periods of game time.
The only player in the initial line up that clocked merely 903 minutes is center-back Aymeric Laporte.
Man City minutes played this season (top 10)
|Kevin De Bruyne||2,368|
Pep Guardiola And New Style That Won City The League
Guardiola deployed a 3-2-4-1 system for the first time after his side fell to Manchester United at the Old Trafford and drew with Everton.
The only got three points in three matches – which came against Chelsea – and the Spaniard changed his formation that saw Cancelo starting on the right wing.
Cancelo later left and joined Bayern Munich as rumors had it that he had issues with Guardiola, but the formation became City boss’ formation.
And that dominant formation introduced by Pep Guardiola to accommodate the absence of Cancelo was the catalyst in City’s change of fortunes during this calendar year.
The new system saw midfielders filling in as full-backs, full-backs acting as wingers and centre-backs pushing into midfield.
It looked quite shaky at first, but it didn’t take long for Pep’s and his blue army to balance the scale.
The new system did help Manchester City move into a better shape, with enhanced positional flexibility, both in and out of possession, and protection extending to the rearguard.
Despite Pep’s struggles to balance the team or find a better formation that will suit Haaland, they were tipped to win the EPL ahead of Arsenal.
One funny theory about Pep’s men’s initial mid-season struggles was that the team was struggling to adapt with Haaland in the side
Haaland averages 22 touches per game despite the Norway international repeatedly darting behind defensive lines without service and leading the scoring charts.
The former Dortmund striker has made a total of 985 off-the-ball runs in the Premier League this season, only Heung-Min Son and Kai Havertz have made more.
In just his first season, Haaland smashed the all-time Premier League record for goals in a season with five games to spare converting nine goals more than expected, according to xG.
The Norwegian smashed the all-time Premier League goal record after netting his 35th of the season in the 3-0 win over West Ham, breaking the record set by Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer of 34 goals in 1993/94 and 1994/95.
Bringing in Erling Haaland and reshaping the team to feed the striker is one tactics amongst several Pep Guardiola deployed this season to ensure his men win the Premier League.
They are currently on the verge of winning greatness with the treble in sight, but the questions remains if he will continue with this team at City.