Manchester City are referred to the ‘noisy neighbours’ of Manchester United. Since their club was bought by a Middle Eastern business group in 2008, they have gone on to challenge in the league and Champions League. Since their formation in 1880, City have won the league four times, most memorably their injury time comeback against QPR to snatch the Premier League title from their arch rivals, Manchester United’s, grasp. They have also won 5 domestic trophies. City have endless talent in their squad and play at the popular, Etihad stadium, that is also used for other occasions such as concerts. Their world class manager, Pep Guardiola has brought a very attacking philosophy to the club, which the players have adapted to quickly, as well as being resolute at the back. It is the style of football that fans dream of watching week in week out and luckily City fans can with great confidence in winning games.
When they were first formed as St. Mark's, their first name change occurred in 1887 when they became Ardwick Association Football Club, they became known as Manchester City from 1894 and are now one of the biggest clubs in world football. They have one of the biggest managerial names in Pep Guardiola in control and have some of the biggest names in their squad. The club won their first trophy in 1904, winning the FA Cup to become the first Manchester club to win a major honour. The Citizens originally played their home games at Hyde Road but a fire destroyed a big part of the ground in 1920, resulting in a move to Maine Road in 1923.
City won the FA Cup again in 1934 and in that run, broke the record for the highest home attendance in FA Cup history, with 84,569 fans packing into the stadium on Maine Road for the sixth-round tie. They won the first division title for the inaugural time in 1937, but still suffered relegation the following season, despite scoring the most goals from any team in the league. City finally regained the FA Cup 20 years later and will go down in history, where it was discovered Blues goalkeeper, Bert Trautmann, broke his back mid game without realising, in the 3-1 victory against Birmingham City.
Manchester City suffered shock relegation to the second division in 1963 meaning something had to change, therefore Joe Mercer took over as manager and won promotion back to the top tier. The 1960's proved to be a very good decade for the club as the First Division was won for a second time with stars still talked about around the blue parts of Manchester like Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee. Mercer also led his side to the FA Cup in 1969 and the European Cup Winners Cup the following year.
From the 1970s onwards, City were very much a yoyo side for the next 30 years, going back and forth between the top two divisions, changing managers several times along the way. City were one of the Premier League’s 23 founders and finished ninth in the first season, however, struggles continued and they were relegated out of the top flight once again in 1996. Things did not improve and they spent two seasons struggling in the second tier, and then became just the second team to ever win a European trophy and then drop down into the third tier. A change was needed again, and once again it was a success, as City returned to the second division at the first attempt. After a few more yo-yo seasons, Kevin Keegan led the Blues to the Division One title in 2002 and the club has stayed in the Premier League since. City bid farewell to the iconic Maine Road at the end of the 2002-03 season and inherited the City of Manchester Stadium, built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which is now named the Etihad Stadium.
Sven-Goran Eriksson became the first overseas manager for the club in 2007 but only lasted a year as Manchester United great Mark Hughes took over in 2008. City’s transformation from a mid-table side to English giants was completed in 2008 when Abu Dhabi United Group bought the club off financially unreliable owner Thaksin Shinawatra. The Middle Eastern group injected billions of pounds into not just Manchester City, but the area and community surrounding the stadium – which is referred to as Etihad Campus. This was a turning point for the club and although performances did not pick up immediately, City were safe in the top half of the table. Continued investment and spending on top quality players like club-record £55m man Kevin De Bruyne have seen the club become not just more prominent in England, but in Europe as well.
Manchester City properly marked their arrival among the country’s elite in the 2011-12 season, as super no. 16 Sergio Agüero and Mario Balotelli led Roberto Mancini’s side to a first title win since the rebranding of the Premier League. Highlights of that campaign include the 6-1 humiliation of city rivals United at Old Trafford, however they trailed the Reds by eight points with just six games remaining. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side massively slumped in the run-in though, and the two sides were level on points going into the final day. United did all they could by beating Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, while City trailed 2-1 to QPR at home with 24 minutes to go after being stunned by goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie. Edin Dzeko headed Mancini’s men level on 92 minutes before Balotelli played Agüero through on goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time, and what happened afterwards was history – Manchester City’s greatest bit of history, ever. Martin Tyler cries “Agüeeerrrooo” as the Etihad pours into bedlam, the Blues had pulled off one of the most historic title wins of all time leaving United in tatters in the North East.
City are still performing at the highest level today, and have improved their performances in the Champions League as the years have gone on, but only hold one more Premier League title since that momentous day on 13th May 2012 under Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean boss made way in the 2016 close season for one of the world’s most sought-after managers, Pep Guardiola – made famous from his glory days at Barcelona. Despite a disappointing first season in charge, something seems to have clicked in the 2017-18 campaign with his side scoring goals left, right and centre. City invested massively in their defence signing players such as England right-back, Kyle Walker, for £50m. Guardiola has adopted a fast pace style of play, where full backs play like midfielders. They play some of the most attractive football in the game and boasts talent in the way of Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus. Under the guidance of Guardiola, Manchester City seem set to continue their status as main contenders for the foreseeable future and will be hoping to, one day, achieve their ultimate goal of Champions League glory.