Manchester City’s dramatic 2-1 win over Southampton on Wednesday restored their eight-point lead at the Premier League summit and further enhanced their status as overwhelming title favourites.
Pep Guardiola’s sparkling team have smashed record after record since the start of the season and are currently on a 19-game winning streak in all competitions.
But how do they match up against teams who have made similarly impressive starts to a Premier League campaign?
Arsenal 2003-04 Premier League record after 14 games: W10 D4 L0 F28 A10 Pts 34
One of the most feted teams in the history of English football, Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ became the first side since Preston North End in 1889 to complete a top-flight season unbeaten. After 14 games of the 2003-04 campaign Arsenal were actually second in the table behind Chelsea, who had flown out of the blocks under Claudio Ranieri. But Chelsea wilted during the English winter, winning only three of their next eight games, and Arsenal, inspired by Thierry Henry, stormed past to glory.
Chelsea 2005-06 Premier League record after 14 games: W12 D1 L1 F33 A7 Pts 37
Chelsea took England by storm in Jose Mourinho’s first season as manager in 2004-05, finishing 12 points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table, and they picked up where they had left off the following campaign. Mourinho’s men won their first nine games and although Manchester United beat them 1-0 in early November, Chelsea were 10 points above them — having played a game more — after 14 matches. Chelsea responded to the defeat against United with a salvo of 10 successive wins and finished eight points clear at the top despite losing their last two matches.
Manchester United 2006-07 Premier League record after 14 games: W11 D2 L1 F30 A7 Pts 35
Having been left for dead by Chelsea in the previous campaign, there were few expectations United would become front-runners, but Alex Ferguson’s side took the title race by the scruff of the neck with 11 wins in their first 14 games. United’s early-season form showcased the nascent partnership between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, whose goals would fire the club to three successive Premier League titles and Champions League glory in 2008. United finished the 2006-07 season six points clear of Chelsea, who suffered the indignity of having to offer their rivals a guard of honour when they hosted Ferguson’s men on the season’s penultimate weekend.
Manchester City 2011-12 Premier League record after 14 games: W12 D2 L0 F48 A13 Pts 38
The only team to have outscored Guardiola’s City at this stage of a Premier League season, Roberto Mancini’s side made a blistering start to the campaign, averaging 3.43 goals per game in their first 14 matches. The centrepiece of that run was a seismic 6-1 victory away to defending champions Manchester United in the October, which was their derby foes’ worst home defeat since February 1955. It left City five points clear of United at the top of the table, but a spring surge by United took the title race right to the wire. Mancini’s men ultimately prevailed on goal difference courtesy of Sergio Aguero’s immortal stoppage-time goal against Queens Park Rangers on the final day.
Manchester City 2017-18 Premier League record after 14 games: W13 D1 L0 F44 A9 Pts 40
Guardiola’s City are the first Premier League team to have amassed 40 points in their first 14 games, their sparkling sequence of victories featuring a 6-0 win at Watford, a 7-2 annihilation of Watford and 5-0 thrashings of Liverpool and Crystal Palace. Spearheaded by Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane, they have not dropped points since a 1-1 draw with Everton on August 21. Eight points clear of Manchester United, the title seems to beckon and if they win their next two games — at home to West Ham United and away to Manchester United — they will set a new record for successive victories within the same English top-flight campaign.