Champions Manchester City has set its sights on rewriting the record books after clinching the Premier League title.
Pep Guardiola’s side was crowned king of English football on April 15 as its archrival Manchester United slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat against struggling West Bromwich Albion.
City is 16 points clear of second placed United, which can only take a maximum of 15 points from its remaining matches.
Given the way it has demolished all challengers in the league, it was apparent months ago that it was only a matter of when rather than if City would take the title.
But sealing the silverware thanks to a slip from old enemy United and its boss Jose Mourinho — a long-time rival of Guardiola — was a sweet moment, especially after it lost to its neighbor in the Manchester derby last weekend.
Joint earliest champion
Winning the title with five matches to go makes City the joint earliest champion in the Premier League era — matching the achievement of the 2000-01 Manchester United team.
That is just one of a welter of statistical feats that have led some to rank City among the Premier League’s greatest ever teams.
Whether it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Manchester United’s 1999 treble winner or the 2004 Arsenal “Invincibles” is up for debate.
But City, which will stage a title party when it hosts Swansea on April 22, has a chance to underline their credentials over their last five matches.
Fueled by the majestic form of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, City set a new Premier League record earlier this season by winning 18 successive matches.
The Premier League’s record points tally of 95, set by Chelsea in 2004-05, is within City’s reach if it can take nine from its last fixtures.
With 28 league victories so far, City needs three more wins to top Chelsea’s record of 30 Premier League wins in a season.
United holds the current record Premier League winning margin of 18 points and that could also fall to City.
City has won 14 games on the road this season and has two to go away from home — winning both of those would beat Chelsea’s record of 15.