Manchester City

Factfile:

Nickname: The Citizens

Founded: 1880

Manager: Josep “Pep” Guardiola

Stadium: Etihad Stadium

Current league position: 1st

Last season’s finish: 2nd

Current top scorer: Ilkay Gundogan (16 goals in all competitions)

FFV’s one for the future: Liam Delap

INTRODUCTION…

Manchester City were founded as St. Marks (West Gorton) in 1880, before entering the Football League in 1892 and winning the 1904 FA Cup as their first major honour.

City followed up that triumph with another FA Cup in 1934, before going on to win their first league crown in 1937.

The first major period of success came in the late 1960s, as the mercurial Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison took over. Having won the Second Division in 1966, the duo then helped City to win the League, FA Cup and League Cup in just three years. City also won their only current European Trophy, the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1970 following a 2-1 win against Gornik Zabrze.

This period is also synonymous to City fans for some of their most famous players, from Mike Summerbee to the late Neil Young and Colin Bell, the latter of whom is still widely regarded as the club’s greatest ever player.

After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final to Tottenham Hotspur, the club went through a sharp period of decline. City were relegated to the third tier of English football for the only time in their history in 1998, as other results went against them despite a final day 5-2 victory at Stoke City.

The following season finished with one of the greatest ever comebacks, something the club would become famous for.

After finishing third to qualify for the playoffs, City overcame Wigan 2-1 on aggregate to set up a play-off final with Gillingham. Late goals saw City go 2-0 down with only minutes to play, before Kevin Horlock scored in the 90th minute to give City hope.

As the clock ticked down, a long ball found Paul Dickov, who smashed the ball into the top corner in the 95th and final minute to send the City end into raptures.

The game went to penalties, with Nicky Weaver saving twice in a 3-1 triumph. The club would go on to seal back-to-back promotions the following season, while Dickov’s goal is recognised as being the most important in City’s long history.

City have been a fixture in the top flight ever since, finishing 8th in 2005 and 9th in the 2007-8 season. Following this, Manchester City were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group for £210 million under Sheikh Mansour, and were instantly catapulted into being one of the wealthiest clubs on the planet.

Having waited 35 years for a trophy- since the 1976 League Cup- Roberto Mancini oversaw a 1-0 win over Stoke in the 2011 FA Cup final thanks to a late Yaya Toure goal. The year was also notable as it saw City qualify for the Champions League for the first time.

The following season would see the club win its first league title since 1968, as Edin Dzeko and then Sergio Aguero both scored in stoppage time to earn City a dramatic 3-2 win over QPR, and seal the title on goal difference.

A further league title followed under Manuel Pellegrini, before City managed to sign Pep Guardiola as their manager in 2016, in what was regarded as City’s step to the next level.

Although no trophies followed in his first season, City would go on to win the Premier League in 2018 with 100 points, a record points haul in the English top flight. A 3-0 victory against Arsenal in the League Cup also gave Guardiola his first trophy as City manager.

In 2019, City managed an unprecedented sweep of all four domestic trophies in England, as well as becoming the first English men’s team to win the domestic treble.

Manchester City’s trophy haul makes them one of England’s most successful ever clubs, with 6 League titles, 6 FA Cups and a joint-record 8 League Cups to compliment their European Cup Winners Cup triumph. They have also won the Community Shield 6 times.

Sergio Aguero of Manchester City scores a goal to make it 2-3 during the UEFA Champions League group F match between SSC Napoli and Manchester City...
Credit: Getty Images

 

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