Man City’s road to the quadruple is clear, but do they have the energy to complete a historic season?
Manchester City are chasing history. Their trip to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on March 30 marks the first of a potential 15 games in 64 days that could end with Pep Guardiola and his players becoming football immortals.
No English club has ever achieved a clean sweep of every competition they have entered in a season. Manchester United famously won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999, while Liverpool pulled off the league, League Cup and European Cup in 1984. They also won a treble of cup competitions — FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup — in 2001.
Having won the Carabao Cup with a penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea at Wembley last month, City are still in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple and every victory takes them one step closer to succeeding in their quest. Guardiola admitted after Saturday’s dramatic, and controversial, 3-2 FA Cup quarterfinal victory at Swansea that he was “tired” and in need of a break, but while the international fixtures offer a much-needed opportunity for the City manager and some of his players to catch their breath, it will only be a brief respite because the next two months promise to be hectic, draining and career-defining.
They head into their final 15 games on the back of a remarkable run that has seen them win 18 and lose one of their last 20 fixtures in all competitions. The one draw, against Chelsea at Wembley, still ended with victory on penalties; in essence, they’ve walked off the pitch having won 19 of their last 20 games. If they maintain that kind of form, the record books are likely to be rewritten but fatigue will undoubtedly come into play and they will have to overcome formidable opponents to win all four competitions.
Their route to the quadruple has now been confirmed, so what lies ahead for Guardiola and his team?