Pep Guardiola has brought the relentless winning pedigree of his Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides to England, while Liverpool have nearly matched them – they’re enjoying their best-ever season in terms of a points tally yet could still miss out on the title.
English football has never seen a title race quite like it, and we’ve taken a look at the stats which show just how far they’ve left the rest of the top six behind.
Liverpool’s defence has earned all the plaudits this season, partly due to the remarkable improvement since PFA Player of the Year Virgil van Dijk was brought in.
But City have been nearly as good at the back, conceding just two goals more in total. And they’ve been especially good in the latter stages of the season: in this 12-game winning streak, they’ve kept nine clean sheets and conceded just three goals.
Only Spurs (36 goals conceded) and Chelsea (39) have conceded fewer than double the goals City (22) and Liverpool (20) have.
With just two games left to play, as things stand both sides are set to record the fewest goals conceded in a decade, since both Chelsea and Manchester United conceded just 24 goals apiece in the 2008-09 season.
Not only do they boast the best defences, they’re also considerably ahead of the rest when it comes to scoring goals. City have scored 90 goals, while Liverpool have 84 – that’s 25 more than the next-highest scorers, Arsenal.
Combined with the defensive record, that leads to seriously strong goal differences. City (+68) and Liverpool (+64) have trebled the goal difference of everyone else in the league apart from Tottenham (+29), whose tally they the top two have still more than doubled.
Part of that is down to personnel. Between them, both sides possess the only three players in the league to hit 20 goals – Sadio Mane (20), Sergio Aguero (20) and Mo Salah (21).
Raheem Sterling (17 goals, nine assists) and Leroy Sane (10 goals, 10 assists) are also up there in terms of combined output, while Liverpool’s full-backs Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are both in the top seven assist-providers, with 11 and nine respectively.
It goes under the radar, and some have complained about Guardiola’s team committing tactical fouls to stop counter-attacks, but both sides have done well in the disciplinary charts.
Liverpool have the fewest bookings in the league (37), while City have the second fewest (41), which is impressive given how both teams play aggressively to win the ball back. Guardiola’s men have received only one red card this year, while Klopp’s side have been given two.
They’re also tied for the fewest fouls committed per game in the league, both averaging 8.6.
City, unsurprisingly given Guardiola is their manager, record the highest average possession with 64%. Chelsea, adopting Sarriball, are next with 60.2%, but Liverpool are third with an average of 58.7%.
City also average the most shots per game (17.9) and the most on target (6.8). Again Chelsea are second (15.9), but Liverpool are more clinical, scoring more with fewer shots (15.3) and directing more on target (6.0 to Chelsea’s 5.1).
In a mini-league of the “big six”, now complete after they’ve all played one another, City and Liverpool come out way on top.
City have remarkably won eight out of 10 games against fellow big six teams, with the only defeat coming against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool are second, picking up seven points more than Chelsea in third. They’re six points behind City though, which is ultimately down to the 2-1 defeat at the Etihad in January, their only league loss this season.