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How has Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola conquered another league?
Last Updated: 14/05/18 9:39am
Pep Guardiola capped a record-breaking campaign with a 1-0 win at Southampton - but how does it compare with his previous triumphs?
City smashed a plethora of Premier League records this term, including most points, most goals, most wins, most consecutive wins, most away wins, most away points, most passes in a game and most points ahead of second place.
After the 2-1 win against Manchester United in December, Guardiola said: "People say the way we played in Barcelona, it is not possible in England.
"It is possible. Always it is possible to play football, to keep the ball and to have the courage to play."
After a season of adaptation to the English game, there is a distinct correlation between his current side and his dominant sides of the past.
Where Pep's teams finished
Here, we examine the stats to compare the styles of Guardiola's Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City teams and reveal how he has conquered three of Europe's top leagues so effectively.
City ended the season with a remarkable 84.2 per cent win rate, taking 2.63 points per game - having only dropped points against Everton, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Burnley, Manchester United and Huddersfield.
Of all Guardiola's nine seasons as a top-flight manager, those numbers rank as his second best to date - behind only Bayern Munich in 2013/14, when he recorded an 85.29 per cent win rate and 2.65 points per game.
One of the most interesting patterns during Guardiola's tenures has been the rising number of passes, season on season - reflecting how he imposes his style of dominating the ball.
Barca only averaged 546 passes per game during his first season at the Nou Camp, but reached a remarkable 747 during his third term in 2010/11.
At City, Guardiola averaged close to that career-low tally with 598 passes per game last season, but that figure has soared to 743 during this campaign.
City have averaged 71.9 per cent possession in 2017/18, similar to the 72.8 per cent Barcelona enjoyed in 2010/11.
Again, the speed of development has been staggering during his time in Manchester. City averaged 64.9 per cent possession last season - the lowest of Guardiola's managerial career.
City's 106 goals this term equate to 2.79 goals per game - a marginally lower ratio than Barcelona in 2011/12.
In terms of shots, his teams have averaged between 15.6 and 18.7 per game - with a minimum of 5.7 on target during his first season at City and a maximum of 7.7 during his last term at Bayern.
With the increased dominance of possession, Guardiola's teams have required fewer tackles and interceptions over the last nine years.
His team recorded in excess of 20 per game during his early years at Barca but City have needed to average just 14.8 tackles and a career-low 9.1 interceptions this term.
For all the attacking flair of Guardiola's teams, his sides have also been among the toughest to breach.
After a summer of investing heavily to sign full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, as well as goalkeeper Ederson, City are now closer to replicating the mean defences of his Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides.
City have conceded 0.7 goals per game this season - a significant improvement on their one-goal-per-game rate last season - which was the worst ratio during Guardiola's managerial career.
Indeed, City faced fewer shots this season than any of Guardiola's previous teams.
City have hit tremendous heights under the Spaniard's management, with a style comparable to some of his finest teams of the past.
However, they still have a little way to go to be considered right up there with his best.
After the Manchester derby in December, Guardiola was asked whether he had every overseen a more dominant victory against United, to which he cited the Champions League final victory with his Barca team seven years ago.
That victory was Guardiola's highest moment so far. But more glory days look likely, as he looks to bolster City during the summer and attempt to dominate Europe in a similar vein to Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
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