Can Man City win historic quadruple this season?

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Manchester City are looking threatening on all four fronts.

Pep Guardiola may have dismissed the idea but Manchester City remain in contention for an unprecedented quadruple this season.

The runaway Premier League leaders reached the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, are through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will begin their FA Cup campaign next month.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses City’s chances in each competition.

PREMIER LEAGUE

It would take an extraordinary change in fortunes for City not to win the league. Guardiola’s side sit 11 points clear of closest rivals Manchester United after 18 games, having dropped just two points and won 16 times in succession. It is not just the results but the manner of the victories, with City averaging more than three goals a game. They appear on course not just to win the title but to do so in record-breaking fashion.

Manchester City have left the likes of United and Chelsea in their wake.

Manchester City have left the likes of United and Chelsea in their wake.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

The holy grail for City’s owners might just arrive this season given the combination of their playing squad and Guardiola’s experience in the competition. Back-to-back wins over Napoli were the highlight of an impressive qualification campaign. City did suffer their only defeat of the season to Shakhtar Donetsk but were already guaranteed to top the group by then. Basel was a good draw for the last 16 and, although there are plenty of big beasts lurking, arguably none have looked as impressive this season as City.

City have got a favourable draw in the Champions League.

City have got a favourable draw in the Champions League.

CARABAO CUP

City’s penalty shoot-out victory over Leicester on Tuesday put them through to the semi-finals. Guardiola has been fielding a lot of fringe players in the competition and they have needed penalties to make it through the last two rounds. The final four could well be City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, so City’s hopes may depend on whether Guardiola strengthens his side or not.

City's fringe players have impressed in the Carabao Cup.

City’s fringe players have featured heavily in the Carabao Cup.

FA CUP

City begin their FA Cup campaign with a third-round tie against Burnley. If last season is anything to go by, Guardiola will take the competition seriously. He named strong City teams throughout and they progressed to the semi-finals before losing in extra-time to eventual winners Arsenal.

Guardiola will taking the FA Cup seriously like last season.

Guardiola will taking the FA Cup seriously like last season.

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola plays down talk of winning quadruple

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It has been a stunning season for Guardiola's men.

Claudio Bravo saved Riyad Mahrez’s effort in the shoot-out after Jamie Vardy also missed to hand City a 4-3 win following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.

Vardy had taken the tie to an extra 30 minutes after he scored a stoppage-time spot-kick to cancel out Bernardo Silva’s first-half opener.

City are 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League but, after being run close by the Foxes, Guardiola dismissed any suggestions they will complete a clean sweep in the league, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

“That is not going to happen. Of course not,” he said. “Come on, that isn’t real. What we’re living isn’t real.

“That is not going to happen. The situation of winning 16 or 17 games in a row in the league and qualifying for the Champions League before we finished the group stage and now we’re here playing with a lot of young players.

“That is not normal. In football you drop points and you lose competitions.

“I am not thinking about how many titles, I am thinking about the next game.”

City relied on penalties to beat Wolves in the last round and were under pressure for long spells of the second half and extra-time after the introduction of Mahrez, Vardy and Demarai Gray.

The trio started on the bench and watched on as the visitors dominated the first half, with only Silva’s 26th-minute goal to show for it.

But Leicester levelled in the seventh of eight minutes of time added on at the end when Kyle Walker tangled with Gray and Vardy scored the spot-kick.

“What is important is how we react, so what if it is a penalty or not a penalty,” Guardiola added.

“It was the last minute so it was tough, especially with a lot of young players. At big teams you have to handle the bad moments and have to find situations.

“I said in the locker room to celebrate again. You have to wait to win the title and even in the position we are in you don’t know if we are able to win the Premier League.

“But in the process in the moment you have to celebrate always. We will enjoy it.”

Bravo denied Kelechi Iheanacho and Mahrez in normal time and Foxes boss Claude Puel felt they were unlucky.

“We have had most chances. It was a fantastic game between two good teams,” he said.

“We gave our best. It was important to give a good response after the last league game. I like our positive outlook. No regrets about tonight, we were unlucky with a lot of chances.”

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Man City's winning run and other stats from the weekend's Premier League action

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From Manchester City‘s 16-game winning run to Mohamed Salah‘s fantastic goalscoring form, these five stats from the latest Premier League fixtures are worth checking out.

Romelu Lukaku‘s goalscoring run against West Bromwich Albion, Marcos Alonso‘s excellent contribution going forward and Rafa Benitez‘s trips to Arsenal also feature.

MAN CITY’S WINNING RUN

The record-setting streak is now at 16 after City’s demolition of Spurs.


Tottenham ended Chelsea’s winning run last season, just one short of setting a new record, but they couldn’t stop City this time around.








City look unstoppable at the moment.

City look unstoppable at the moment.


SALAH HITS 20


Liverpool have been crying out for a consistent goalscorer ever since Luis Suarez left in 2014 and Daniel Sturridge began to struggle with injuries soon after.


Step forth Mo Salah, who is now on 20 for the season across all competitions – the first player to hit that mark since Suarez and Sturridge four seasons ago.


Salah is compiling one of the best seasons by a Liverpool player in modern times.

Salah is compiling one of the best seasons by a Liverpool player in modern times.


BENITEZ’S BOGEY GROUND


Newcastle United have been in dire need of a win, but the Emirates Stadium was never going to be the place they would secure the three points.


Rafael Benitez has never won an away game against Arsenal, who hung on for a 1-0 victory on Saturday.


The Emirates Stadium hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Benitez.


The Emirates Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Benitez.


LUKAKU LOVES WEST BROM


Romelu Lukaku enjoyed a productive loan spell at West Brom early in his career, but that’s not the only reason he loves the club.


They’re also one of his favourite opponents – after Sunday’s goal, he’s now scored five and assisted three against the Baggies.


Lukaku had a good season on loan with West Brom, but he shows them no mercy.

Lukaku had a good season on loan with West Brom, but he shows them no mercy.


ALONSO LEADING FROM THE BACK


Yet another goal from Marcos Alonso, who’s making a habit of providing a goalscoring threat for Chelsea despite nominally being a left wingback.


Since his Chelsea debut last season, he’s leading all Premier League defenders in goal involvements.


No defender provides more of an attacking threat than Marcos Alonso.

No defender provides more of an attacking threat than Marcos Alonso.



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