For the second time in a matter of days, Arsenal and Liverpool have crumbled under the weight of expectation leaving City with a golden opportunity to battle the more consistent Tottenham for second place. As Chelsea show no signs of fading, most would agree with Pep that the title is theirs to lose – and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they will blow it now.
For City fans, our mission is clear: to cement our position in the top 4, and having emerged victorious at Swansea; we are now 2 points clear of the Gunners and three ahead of Liverpool.
Swansea, lying in 17th place on 21 points, came to us with their tails up after two straight wins against Crystal Palace and Hull City (recent conquerors of Liverpool and equalisers of United). They were no pushovers especially given the current form of playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson, who bright new boss Paul Clement says could easily play for some of Europe’s elite (and he should know!)
Our objective must now be to let Arsenal, Liverpool and United be the ones to sweat over which of them are going to miss out on the top 4 this season. We, on the other hand, need to rise above this unneeded pressure and we are now well-placed to do so.
At home in front of our own fans, with our front five on fire and finally getting grudging praise from sections of the press, we will find out in the coming weeks if we can take advantage.
We need to go on a run now. We have it in us to leave Arsenal and Liverpool in our slipstream to battle Spurs in the race for second. The title may be gone but second spot would provide some small comfort in this transitional season.
Our attack looks frightening, but we all know it’s the defence that’s the concern. Pep will waste no time putting that right in the summer so the question is, can we outscore our opponents in the final run-in?
If Vincent Kompany, in particular, puts his injury woes behind him, then the prospects look splendid indeed.