Manchester City are running away with things in the Premier League right now.
Give or take their surprising derby defeat to Manchester United, the Citizens have a perfect record in England’s top-flight since mid-December with an astonishing 17 victories in 18 games.
As a result, it’s safe to assume that Pep Guardiola will be conquering England for the third time in four years and securing his status as one of the greatest managers in Premier League history.
Man City’s European legacy
However, I think we’re all acutely aware that Guardiola’s legacy at the Etihad Stadium will ultimately be measured by his ability to bring a long-awaited Champions League trophy to the club.
Quarter-final defeats to Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Lyon as well as a round of 16 exit against AS Monaco have earned Guardiola a reputation as a Champions League bottler with City.
That might be a strong way of putting things, granted, but the Citizen’s European record is distinctly poor when you consider they have – at least once or twice – been the continent’s strongest team.
Are Man City the best team in Europe?
And there’s good reason to think the Premier League leaders have earned that status this season, emerging as one of the Champions League’s top contenders along with Bayern Munich.
Now, only time will tell whether City will be able to overthrow the Bavarians, as well as Liverpool and Real Madrid, but their toughest rivals might well have exited the competition already.
No, I’m not on about Barcelona or Juventus, but rather the only team across Europe’s top five leagues to boast a better points-per-game rate in their own country this season.
Combined table of Europe’s top five leagues
Football statisticians FBRef allow fans to make a fascinating combined table of the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 that highlights Europe’s strongest clubs in 2020/21.
The 98-club division, which is ranked by points-per-game to remove the problem of matches played, currently has City and Atletico Madrid occupying second and third as England and Spain’s leaders.
However, there’s a surprise at the top of the table with Guardiola’s points-per-game ratio of 2.37 ousted by the smallest of margins, so be sure to check out the full combined league down below:
What an incredible job Antonio Conte is doing at Inter Milan.
Take a bow, Antonio Conte
It can’t be underestimated how monumental it would be for Conte to bring an end to Juventus’ historic run of nine consecutive titles with Inter’s first Scudetto since Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
And to do so in a season that has brought us the strongest AC Milan team since their most recent Serie A triumph in 2011 will make it taste all the sweeter for those on the blue side of the San Siro.
However, on top of all of that, Inter topping the combined table of Europe’s top five leagues might be the biggest achievement of all when you consider City recently won over 20 games on the bounce.
They do, of course, have the advantage of no Champions League football on their plate, but perhaps that will simply make things easier for Guardiola to bring ‘Big Ears’ to the Etihad in May.