1 Pinch Yourself
A few stats just to put our start to the season into some kind of perspective…
City have won the opening six games of a top flight league season for the first time ever.
Only once before in Premier League history has a manager won their first six games in the competition (Carlos Ancelotti at Chelsea – also six).
If City go on to beat Celtic and Spurs, Pep Guardiola will set a new club record for consecutive wins (12)... his first 12 games, no less.
It’s pinch yourself stuff being a City supporter at the moment and while it can’t go on forever, these moments of pure elation are rare in football, so it’s best to savour this magical elixir as you imbibe.
2 Hard Fought
Swansea arguably gave Guardiola his toughest test so far.
The 3-1 scoreline hints at a degree of comfort that was rarely evident in this full-blooded, rapid and often evenly-matched clash.
With the score locked at 1-1 until the second half penalty awarded for the arm to Kevin De Bruyne’s face, this one had the feeling of a game that genuinely could have gone either way.
The third goal in the match proved to be pivotal as it forced the hosts to attack which opened up the space for the Blues to carve them open on the counter, with Raheem Sterling making sure of the points with that piece of individual brilliance.
It’s still so early in the season but hard fought wins like these are often the ones that make the difference between hard luck stories and title glory come May.
Even tougher assignments will come City’s way but there’s another telling stat to absorb: In 2016/17 City are already ten points up on their tally from the equivalent fixtures last season.
3 A Decisive Switch
The best managers make the big calls in the big moments and get them right – Guardiola did just that on Saturday afternoon.
This was the first time City have had fielded a front five of Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling and Sergio Aguero and it’s fair to say that it didn’t quite click as well as it might have in the first half.
With De Bruyne unable to influence the game as much as he would have liked on the right flank, Pep used the half-time break to alter things, bringing the Belgian into the centre of the pitch, also pushing Gundogan further forward from his first half role alongside Fernandinho.
It was a subtle change but the impact was almost immediate as De Bruyne won the penalty bursting from his central position into the area and his perfectly weighted passes set City on numerous counter-attacks which could have led to an even greater winning margin if they had been converted.
4 Welcome Back
Like he’d never been away…
Aguero took the CityMatchday app users’ Man of the Match award after scoring his first-ever goals against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Following his three-match suspension, Aguero looked lean, mean and unerring in front of goal as he demonstrated his predatory instincts to give his team an early lead and then netted the cheekiest of penalties to restore the advantage.
That made it 28 goals in 27 Premier League games for Kun and 11 in six for the brilliant Argentine – it also brought up a century of league wins for City.
He’s creeping ever-closer towards the summit of the club’s all-time top goalscorers list, too…
5 One Negative
Pep didn’t sound too hopeful on the prospect of having De Bruyne available for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Celtic after City's no.17 left the pitch grimacing, flanked by medical staff.
Guardiola told reporters in Wales: "I don't know how he is, I think he is injured, that's why we have to have a big squad as everyone will help us."
It certainly looks as though Kevin De Bruyne may have succumb to injury – a cruel blow for a man at the peak of his powers.
The only black mark against an otherwise perfect day, we now wait for the doctor’s prognosis on the Belgian’s condition but we should know more on Tuesday when the boss faces the media ahead of our Champions League clash in Glasgow.
In happier news, Nolito's suspension which ruled him out of this game does not apply to European competition, so the Spanish international could come in for De Bruyne on Wednesday night.