It might sound like a bad joke to many around town, but the way Manchester City are going they are on course to rival the Barcelona dynasty of recent times.
City’s impressive form this season, with 99 goals scored in all competitions and it’s only mid January, has caused people in certain quarters to suggest that they may go on to win an unprecedented quadruple.
City face off against Barcelona in the Champions League knock-out phase on Feb 18 in Manchester before the March 12 decider and Manuel Pellegrini’s men should be feeling extremely confident.
While Barcelona are by no means in decline, they may be there for the taking if City are up for the challenge.
Questions were raised about this Barcelona side last season after they were destroyed home and away by the eventual winners, Bayern Munich, losing 7-0 on aggregate.
Certain figures claimed Barca were a ‘spent force’ after that tie and that their much lauded tiki-taka football had finally met its match against the much more physical Bayern side.
In many ways, City are not too dissimilar to the Bayern side that humbled Barcelona given they too are full of strong, athletic players, but like the Germans have the skill to back up their raw strength.
Barcelona were also criticised after the tie for being overly-reliant on four-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, who missed much of the tie through injury.
This season Messi has also been on the sidelines too much for coach Gerardo Martino’s liking having picked up a hamstring injury in November.
The Argentine is expected to be fit for the crucial Champions League last 16 tie, but with a lack of pitch time he may struggle against this confident City side that will be baying for blood at the Etihad stadium – where they average exactly four goals agame this season – come next month.
If City manage to see off Barcelona, they may even go on to beat one of the Spanish giants’ records.
In the 2011/2012 season, Barca scored a remarkable 190 goals in 64 matches in all competitions and with just over four months of football to go until the season draws to a close, at the rate City are going, who’s to say they won’t surpass that.
City currently top the European scoring average charts in the league with 2.81 goals per top flight game, ahead of Barca and Real Madrid (2.79).
Sergio Aguero’s return on Wednesday, where he scored with his second touch on the pitch as a substitute in an FA Cup replay, will be a huge boost to City’s campaign and the Argentine will undoubtedly be needed if they are to break Barcelona’s goal record.
Despite Aguero’s absence City notched up some impressive victories, beating Norwich 7-0, Tottenham 6-0 and league leaders Arsenal 6-3 last month and are now firm favourites to win the Premier League crown with the bookmakers.
If City reach 100 goals against Cardiff on Saturday they will own the record of scoring a century in the shortest time-span in the Premier League.
Let’s not forget that Bayern are still the team to beat in Europe and City may well have to dethrone the current champions if they are to go all the way in the Champions League, however at this point in time they should should fear no one but themselves. Oh, and they beat them 3-2 the last time the pair met.
After much time and investment, we may finally be witnessing the birth of a side that could go on and dominate English and European football for many years to come.
It’s easy to get carried away at this stage of the season, but there is no denying that this City side look a different beast under Pellegrini and could cement their place in the history books this season.
Put Barcelona in the shade and they will have fewer and fewer detractors.
Image courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks.