With almost three months of 2017 gone, how can Manchester City look back on the first quarter of the calendar year? Club Journalist Jack Mumford takes a look at the numbers.
Pep Guardiola’s City have played 16 matches played across all competitions since the loss at Liverpool on New Year’s Eve, winning ten of them. The Blues’ only two losses came at Everton in January and Monaco earlier this month.
The nine matches in the Premier League are made up of five wins, three draws and that solitary defeat at Goodison Park.
In the eyes of many that watch the club regularly, the emergence of Leroy Sane has played a big role in City’s exciting form.
Sane has started every match, barring the 0-0 draw at Huddersfield in the FA Cup fifth round, since the loss at Everton on 15 January and the German has scored an impressive six goals in that time from his left-wing berth. The German has created 11 chances in his seven consecutive Premier League starts, three more than he managed in his nine sporadic showings earlier in the season.
Another creative player to have reached great heights so far this year is Silva. Operating in a deeper midfield role and wearing the captain's armband, the Spaniard has created 20 of City’s 92 chances in the Premier League in 2017 himself.
Guardiola has called for his side to be better in both boxes and it appears to be coming true as the season wears on.
City have scored 36 times in the 16 matches of 2017, at a rate of 2.25 per match, whereas they scored 59 from the 29 matches between August and December at a rate of just over two.
The Blues are still conceding at a similar rate though, having conceded 16 from 16 matches in 2017 and 28 from 29 matches in the second half of 2016.
John Stones’ form since New Year’s Eve has been another huge positive for the club. The centre-back has cemented his place at the heart of City’s defence, missing just two of the 16 matches.
Stones is still winning around 60% of his duels but his average pass accuracy has risen from 91% to 94% in recent months and fans are excited to see how the England international builds on such a dominant performance against Liverpool last time out.
Many of the on-the-ball statistics demonstrate a slight improvement from City’s form in the first half of the season.
The average Premier League possession since turn of the year has been 59%, which is the same as it was during the 2016 portion of the campaign.
However, the overall average pass accuracy has crept up ever so slightly from 85% to 86% with the number of successful passes per match rising from 417 to a whopping 464.
With a challenging week approaching, including trips to Arsenal and Chelsea, Guardiola and his players can take plenty of confidence from the fact that the statistics seem to indicate they are heading in the right direction.
Have you spotted any noticeable differences? Tweet us at @ManCity to let us know what you think has been the best thing about City’s play in 2017!