There’s been no stopping Manchester City this season
While we fast approach the festive season of Christmas, it’s still business as usual in European football with a thicket of fixtures lined-up week in week out. The race to the finish line is hotting up, as the teams are preparing to go all guns blazing for a frantic second-half.
The 2017/18 season in Europe is on the cusp of its halfway mark, yet we have some teams who are still unbeaten; clubs that are yet to lose a single game in the domestic competitions and show no signs of slowing down.
Here are the 5 teams that are still unbeaten in their respective leagues:
#5 Sporting CP (15 games)
Sporting CP have won 12, drawn 3, and lost 0 league matches
The Portuguese giants, for all the glory in their past, are without a league title since 2002. Amusing as it may seem, Sporting CP look dead set on breaking the duck this season, for they are 15 games unbeaten in the league, winning 12 times and drawing thrice.
Led by the blistering strike form of Bas Dost, the Lions have not only looked threatening up front, but have also maintained a mean defensive structure that has leaked only 9 goals so far, the joint second-lowest at this stage. All these factors have contributed to their positive beginning in the 2017/18 season in Primeira Liga.
With a string of big victories in other domestic cup games too, Sporting are staring at a successful season after a mediocre 16/17 campaign. However, league glory has eluded them for uncharacteristically long time, that would be their primary objective.
Their current run holds them in good stead on that front.
#4 FC Porto (14 games)
FC Porto have scored 36 goals in their 11 victories and 3 draws
After watching their Portuguese dominion dwindle in the recent years, FC Porto are aiming to restore the hegemony after a strong start to the season. With 11 wins and three stalemates from the opening 14 games of the league, the Dragons have set the league alight with a fiery run.
Porto are currently the most prolific side in the league with 36 goals, and also the most obdurate with only 5 conceded. This striking balance at either end of the field has worked tremendously well in their favour, as they get their noses ahead of Sporting on goal-difference.
After drawing twice in a row, Porto returned to form in resounding fashion this week, clinically dispatching Setubal with a 5-0 scoreline to cling on to their top spot. But more significantly, sending an ominous message of their title aspirations.
#3 Atletico Madrid (16 games)
Atletico Madrid haven’t lost a single game in La Liga so far this season
They may no longer boast the formidability about themselves after bowing out in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, but Atletico Madrid do hold an edge in La Liga. After 16 games, Diego Simeone’s side still remain unbeaten, registering one of their best ever starts to a campaign.
Despite flashes of shortcomings in almost every other game, Los Rojiblancos have managed to sneak away with desperate wins that have kept their slim title hopes alive. The six draws so far, however, are evidence to their stuttering and erratic vein of form.
It’s the quality in their ranks that has proved to be the major difference maker, as the recent game against Alaves might serve to evince.
The ennui of acclimatizing to newer surroundings of Wanda Metropolitano may be one reason. But regardless, they are enjoying a great run. Just six points separate them from leaders Barcelona, as Atletico Madrid remain hot on their heels.
#2 FC Barcelona (16 games)
FC Barcelona, led by Lionel Messi, have been rampant this season
The crushing loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Supercup triggered an avalanche of premonitions of an unmitigated disaster in Barcelona, ahead of the 2017/18 season. But fast forward by a few months, and the tables have startlingly turned and the Catalans find themselves on a fine run. At least in La Liga.
With 16 games played, Ernesto Valverde is yet to taste defeat in the league with his new club, engineering 13 victories in the process. In fact, they are now the only side to still be unbeaten in all competitions since the start of the new domestic season.
That’s the extent to which Barcelona have refined since their horror show in the Supercup Clasico.
However, the Catalans will be dealt with their toughest test yet when they travel to the Santiago Bernabeu, where the newly crowned world champions, Real Madrid await. Their amazing run will be put through the wringer then.
#1 Manchester City (18 games)
Barring Everton, no team has been able to win points against Manchester City in the Premier League
If there’s one team that has truly taken the world by storm this season, that distinction goes to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, hands down. The Skyblues are in a league of their own, conjuring a vein of form that hasn’t been witnessed in a while. And with a 11 point lead at the top of the table after 18 games, the Premier League crown looks to be in their bag already.
The Spaniard’s swashbuckling group re-wrote history with their 15th consecutive victory in the league in the middle of last week, with a win against Swansea City, before going one better over the weekend, defeating Tottenham Hotspur 4-1.
Such has been their form that none of the major sides in the division could take even a single damn point off them, whereas Everton remain the only side to stop them in the ill-tempered 1-1 draw on matchday two.
But that already seems ages ago, as City’s whirlwind form has banished any such bitter memories to the dustbin of history and set them on course for a historic season. Or perhaps, the greatest in the Premier League era if their current run is anything to go by.
Manchester City appear to have papered over the cracks that showed in the 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in the final UEFA Champions League group game, and have got the ball rolling again.