Blown away in the title race and stunned in the Champions League quarter-finals, Manchester City came into the 2020-21 season with a point to prove and on a mission back to the top.
The Citizens finished 18 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League last season and the Champions League title remains ever-so evasive for Pep Guardiola’s side.
So, how have City fared early on domestically and in Europe?
Manchester City: The season so far
City were granted an extra week’s rest after their exploits in the Champions League in July, returning to Premier League football with an impressive 3-1 win at Wolves.
But that was followed by a shock 5-2 home defeat at the hands of Leicester City before the Sky Blues were held at Leeds United.
Since that result, Guardiola’s side have beaten Arsenal and Sheffield United in between draws with West Ham and Liverpool placing them 10th on the table, though a win in their game in hand would have them equal-fifth and three points off the top.
Manchester City summer moves in
Liverpool summer moves out
|Leroy Sane||Bayern Munich||£41m|
|David Silva||Real Sociedad||Free|
|Claudio Bravo||Real Betis||Free|
City have breezed through their Champions League group thus far, scoring three goals in each of the first three fixtures to beat Porto, Marseille and Olympiakos.
New signing Ferran Torres has scored in each group stage match to date while centre-half Ruben Dias has shown early signs of a fruitful partnership with Aymeric Laporte at the back.
By no means a show-stopping start, but you get the feeling City are beginning to hit their stride and are building towards a strong showing this season.
Manchester City: Grade B
Considering the absentees they have had due to injury and positive coronavirus cases, City have done well to lose just one game across the three competitions they have played in so far.
Guardiola has bemoaned the frequency of draws so far, but his side are still well-placed to be within touching distance of the top if they carry on this form.
The Champions League remains the big goal and the Citizens have hit the ground running on that front. An early qualification could be crucial in allowing squad rotation as the Premier League schedule becomes more and more packed.
If the former champions can build on this momentum and maybe add a piece or two in the January window, the opportunity for major silverware is again one they will be looking to take.