There have been long club winning streaks in the top European soccer leagues, and Pep Guardiola (currently Manchester City) has been involved in a few of them. Here is a quick overview:
It is 16 straight victories and counting for Manchester City.
Under Pep Guardiola, City has won every league game since snatching a 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on Aug. 26 thanks to Raheem Sterling’s goal in the seventh minute of injury time.
A 2-1 win at fierce rival Manchester United on Dec. 10 made it 14 in a row, a record for a single English top-flight season, and beating Swansea three days later gave City the mark for consecutive victories in any English league.
Having beaten Tottenham 4-1 on Saturday, City now faces Bournemouth, Newcastle and Crystal Palace — teams currently lying in the bottom seven of the league — to round off 2017.
Fittingly, Guardiola set a record of 16 straight wins in the Spanish league while coaching Barcelona in the 2010-11 season. Real Madrid equaled that mark under Zinedine Zidane in 2016.
Barcelona went on to win its second Champions League title under Guardiola that season, in addition to its third consecutive Spanish league.
In the 2013-14 season, when Bayern Munich dominated the Bundesliga like never before to clinch the title in March, the team did so on the back of 19 consecutive wins culminating in the 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin that sealed Guardiola’s first German championship.
Bayern was unbeaten at the time and had racked up 25 wins from its 27 games. The streak started on Oct. 19 and ran through March 25.
Inter Milan holds the Serie A record at 17 straight wins, established during the 2006-07 season under Roberto Mancini.
Defending champion Monaco holds the record for consecutive league wins with 16, starting in late February and crossing over into early this season.
In every league Guardiola has coached he has set the record. I haven’t always been a fan of his questioning some player selection and tactical decisions in key games. These decisions came in Champions League games and potentially cost titles. But there is no doubt that he has taken top teams and delivered better season results than his predecessors. In watching Manchester City games this season it is also commendable that Guardiola has moved away from his “carved in stone” possession and ball control/circulation style. I am seeing a good balance of fast transition soccer, vertical play and ball circulation. Even at his relatively young age, Guardiola is certainly amongst the best club coaches in history. It would be interesting to see him coach a national team.