With any pressure now absent, there was a celebratory atmosphere befitting of the occasion as City returned to the Etihad for the first time since confirming their dominance atop English football, with the visiting Swansea side forming a guard of honour for this season’s runaway champions.
Having tied up the domestic double, questions were posed about how the players would perform following the week’s celebrations, but a total demolition of the precariously placed Swans put any doubts to bed as City ran riot and laid down another marker in their quest to end the season in the same manner that they have defined it thus far.
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A season encapsulated
The victory here was City’s fifth instance this season of winning a match by five goals or more – more than all other sides combined – and the display put on by the triumphant Blues was reminiscent of what has been so regularly seen across the duration of the league campaign.
David Silva and Raheem Sterling’s first-half goals were indicative of the style of play that Pep Guardiola has managed to stamp on his team in his second year in charge and the individual brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne was at the forefront once again, with another rocket to add to his collection.
With all the goals coming from separate scorers and providers – sans the De Bruyne piledriver – it was a demonstration of the complete nature of City’s approach and, despite a couple of outstanding personnel, another insight into how Pep’s squad as a whole are indeed greater together than as individuals.
It is a collective effort through-and-through for all at the Etihad, as the celebrations at full-time whistle illustrated – and no golden boots or player of the season awards going elsewhere can take away from the fact that this latest City side have gone above and beyond anything the Eastlands’ faithful and league as a wider audience have witnessed in recent memory.
Record breakers and chasers
Another win at the Etihad pushed City to the 90-point barrier and only five shy of the all-time Premier League record set by Chelsea more than a decade ago. With no other competitions left to focus on, Guardiola has set his agenda for the season’s remaining fixtures and his objectives are simple – break every record in sight.
In the four remaining fixtures, there are still four sizeable records for the taking as this Blues squad continue to stake their claim as the greatest single-season side to date in the Premier League era.
Alongside Chelsea’s 2004/05 points tally, City are on the hunt to put their name in the annuals as the team with the most wins, most goals and biggest title-winning margin – all enviable records themselves but amassing a clean-sweep in a solitary campaign would be nothing short of staggering for Guardiola’s already lauded players.