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Where do Man City rank among the Premier League's greatest ever teams?

  • Manchester City were dominant in winning the Premier League title this season
  • Pep Guardiola's side set records for goals scored, points won and games won
  • But how do they compare to Arsenal's Invicibles or Chelsea's class of 2005?
  • Here, Sportsmail ranks the best seven Premier League sides of all time 

Manchester City have smashed all the Premier League records in sight this season – points, goals and a winning margin of 19 points.

But it is too easy to automatically assume they are the greatest English team of the modern era. What about the Manchester United Treble winners or Arsenal's Invincibles? Arsene Wenger's first Double team that contained World Cup winners or Fergie's 2008 vintage that boasted Ballon D'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo?

Wouldn't Jose Mourinho have a case that his first great Chelsea team would have been able to beat Guardiola's City? It's a fascinating debate with a lot of factors to take into account – here are the contenders.

Manchester City smashed all records in sight as they won the Premier League this season

Manchester City smashed all records in sight as they won the Premier League this season

 

MANCHESTER UNITED (1994)

First league and cup double in club's history

Sir Alex Ferguson labelled his first great United side his Dream Team. It contained warriors such as Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes, speedy wingers Ryan Giggs and Andrei Kanchelskis, Britain's most expensive player Roy Keane and the genius of Eric Cantona.

In addition, having been champions the previous season for the first time in 26 years, they had an inner confidence that they couldn't be beaten. 'It brought a new authority to our game,' said Ferguson.

Talent: 3/5

Style: 4/5

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson labelled his first great Manchester United side his Dream Team

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson labelled his first great Manchester United side his Dream Team

Best playerEric Cantona 4/5

Brought cool to the Premier League and kids turned up their collars in admiration 4/5

Other competition performance – 4/5

Came closer than anyone to domestic treble, winning FA Cup and reaching League Cup Final

Defining moment: Beat Man City 3-2 away after trailing 2-0 at half-time. Keane scored winner

 

ARSENAL 1998

Arsene Wenger wins Double in first full season

Just over 18 months after 'Arsene Who?' took the Arsenal job, the professorial Frenchman had knocked Fergie off his perch by claiming two major trophies. In front of the famous Arsenal back-five created by George Graham, Wenger introduced a new fluid attack with Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit dominant in midfield before they went off to win the World Cup with France.

Wenger revolutionised professionalism off the pitch with his players taking on new diets and stretching routines. He got under Fergie's skin at the time though the United manager later came to appreciate what his rival had done for the English game

In Arsene Wenger's first full season in charge, Arsenal won the Premier League and FA Cup

In Arsene Wenger's first full season in charge, Arsenal won the Premier League and FA Cup

Talent rating: 4/5

Style: 4/5

Best playerDennis Bergkamp 4/5

Top-scored with 22 goals and the grace with which he played made him a cult hero

Other competition performance – 3/5

Beat Newcastle to win FA Cup but lost in first round of UEFA Cup to PAOK Salonika

Defining moment: A 3-2 win over Man Utd in November signalled a changing of the guard.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 1999

Historic Treble winners

No English club before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in the same season. United did after two late goals in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to famously remark: 'Football, bloody hell.'

United's success was borne out of an unwavering belief in attack. If Andy Cole or Dwight Yorke didn't get you, supersubs Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would. Underpinning it all were the homegrown Class of 92; Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham.

Manchester United secured an historic treble with a dramatic win over Bayern Munich in 1999

Manchester United secured an historic treble with a dramatic win over Bayern Munich in 1999

Talent: 4/5

Style: 5/5

Best player – Roy Keane 4/5

The captain and midfield general who drove his team-mates on

Other competition performances – 5/5

You can't get much better than winning the FA Cup and Champions League within the same week

Defining moment: An 8-1 win at Forest showed their firepower. Solskjaer came on as sub to hit four

 

ARSENAL 2004

The Invincibles, unbeaten for a whole season

Not achieved since 1889, Arsenal went through a whole league season unbeaten with a multi-national side with players from Germany, Cameroon, England, Ivory Coast, Brazil, France, Sweden and Holland.

The team was packed with Gallic flair from Wenger in the dug-out to Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires on the pitch. From the academy, Ashley Cole became the left-back in the world while Jens Lehmann, Sol Campbell and Gilberto Silva ensured The Gunners had plenty of steel.

Arsenal became the first team since 1889 to go through an entire league season unbeaten

Arsenal became the first team since 1889 to go through an entire league season unbeaten

Talent: 5/5

Style: 4/5

Best playerThierry Henry 5/5

Emerging as one of the best players in the world, Henry won the first of three Premier League Golden Boots

Other competiton performances 3/5

So near, yet far. Arsenal reached the semis of FA Cup and League Cup, and quarter-finals in Europe

Defining moment: Henry's mazy dribble left Carragher on his backside in 4-2 win vs Liverpool

 

CHELSEA 2005

The Special Ones

Jose Mourinho took the Premier League by storm and blew open the old duopoly of Manchester United and Arsenal. Backed by Roman Abramovic's money, Mourinho won his first four games, and Chelsea conceded just four times before November.

The idea of playing with just one striker was seen as almost subversive at the time but was quickly copied by others after they saw it was successful. The Chelsea spine of Petr Cech, John Terry, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba has probably never been bettered

In his debut season, Jose Mourinho secured Chelsea's first title of the Roman Abramovic era

In his debut season, Jose Mourinho secured Chelsea's first title of the Roman Abramovic era

Talent: 5/5

Style: 3/5

Best playerDidier Drogba 4/5

Redefined what was expected of a striker. A focal point for Arjen Robben, Joe Cole and Lampard

Other competition performances – 4/5

Mourinho won the League Cup but lost Champions League semi-final to Luis Garcia's 'ghost goal'

Defining moment: Caught Man Utd cold on the opening day and didn't look back after their 1-0 win

 

MANCHESTER UNITED 2008

The last Premier League-Champions League double

During an era when the Premier League dominated Europe – three out of four semi-finalists in the Champions League – United stayed top dogs both at home and abroad, beating Chelsea on penalties in Moscow.

Sir Alex Ferguson was able to call upon a most dazzling front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney, then in his prime. Indeed, his full XI was probably the best-balanced of any Premier League side: van der Sar – Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra – Hargreaves, Carrick, Scholes – Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney with players like Ryan Giggs to come on in reserve.

United edged out Chelsea in Moscow as they secured a league and Champions League double

United edged out Chelsea in Moscow as they secured a league and Champions League double

Talent:5/5

Style: 4/5

Best playerCristiano Ronaldo 5/5

Became the first, and so far only, Premier League player to win the Ballon D'or whilst in England

Othter competition performances – 4/5

Won Champions League on a rainy night in Russia but denied the Treble by Portsmouth in FA Cup

Defining moment: Ronaldo is unplayable as he scores hat-trick in 6-0 win against Newcastle

 

MANCHESTER CITY 2017/18

Record-breaking champions

Pep Guardiola answered the critics who said his style wouldn't work in the Premier League by leading his team to a remarkable season in which they won 32 of 38 matches, scoring 106 goals and winning 100 points, to finish 19 points clear of Manchester United – all records.

City dominated possession in every game they played and they achieved their success despite long-term injury to left-back Benjamin Mendy and other spells out at different times for Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. They deserve to join the pantheon of great champions. If they can retain the title, they may be regarded as the best of all. 

Pep Guardiola's victorious Manchester City side enjoyed a victory parade on Monday night

Pep Guardiola's victorious Manchester City side enjoyed a victory parade on Monday night

Talent: 4/5

Style: 5/5

Best playerKevin De Bruyne 5/5

Got more assists than any other Premier League player and turned passing the ball into an art form

Other competition performances – 4/5

They did win the League Cup, but lost to Wigan in FA Cup and Liverpool in Champions League

Defining moment: Winning at Old Trafford in December to cement their superiority over their nearest challengers. 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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