Manchester City are slowly beginning to supplant their reputation away from home after a string of unconvincing encounters while on the road threatened to nullify their brilliant form at the Etihad and derail their Premier League Championship hopes. The Citizens have weathered the storm at Fulham and Swansea recently after being held to a stalemate by a resolute Southampton team last month.
City held firm to deny Wilfried Bony a hat-trick as the Swans’ woes continued with another loss — their ninth in 20 League games so far. All four of City’s losses this season have come when playing away from the Etihad, but Manuel Pellegrini seems to be getting his squad back on track on the road as they succeeded in staying close to table-topping Arsenal at the end of round 20.
City still face trips to places like Anfield and the Emirates, but given their ominous form and confidence, teams might soon not fancy facing them in their own backyards. Fernandinho and Yaya Toure are continuing to look dangerous in the midfield, and Alvaro Negredo has been playing admirably as City do not seem to be missing Sergio Aguero all that much. With the FA Cup and the Champions League knockouts fast approaching, Pellegrini needs to find the perfect balance in his squad to continue winning consistently.
City faces two big tests at home next month when Jose Mourinho‘s Chelsea and Tata Martino‘s Barcelona visit the Etihad — games that would put the home-field advantage to the sword. But the team also has a couple of key encounters before that when they travel to Newcastle and Tottenham this month as they attempt to strengthen their position at the top of the table. With this season being one of the most open in the League in recent years, City needs to sustain their form away from home to avoid the risk of falling behind Arsenal and close-lying Chelsea by too many points.