Premier League: How Manchester City Went Off The Rails

Manager Pep Guardiola of Manchester City (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Manager Pep Guardiola of Manchester City (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images) /
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Manchester City has remained a prolific scoring machine this season, but not as great as seasons past.

In Premier League play, they have averaged 2.43 goals a game and scored three or more goals in 10 matches. Most of the faces at City have remained the same, but there has been a significant change in their goal-scoring prowess.

Last year, they scored a league-best 95 goals, averaging 2.5 goals a game, and had a goal conversion rate of +1.28. This rate was over six goals better than this year.

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In their Centurions season, Pep’s club netted 106 goals, averaging 2.79 goals a match, and had a goal conversion rate of an incredible +14.57. For opposing defenses that year, Man City was the “Death Star”. This season, they are a “Star Destroyer”. They have still done the job, just not as efficiently.

Gabriel Jesus is a top goal-scorer. However, he is one of the worst finishers in the Premier League. This season, he has scored 11 goals, but his conversion rate is -4.48. Last year, his rate was -5.62. Two years ago, it was just -2.37.

Raheem Sterling‘s goal conversion rate has fallen from +1.09 last year to -2.79 this season. One critical missing piece for City has been the loss of Leroy Sané, who scored ten goals in each of the previous two seasons. He suffered a knee injury in their Community Shield match and has not returned to action since.

The 24-year-old German and Bayern Munich transfer target had goal conversion rates of +3.02 (fifth-best in the PL) and +3.76 (fourth-best) in the last two seasons, respectively.

There is a stark divide in offensive efficiency between Manchester City and Liverpool. The league leaders have scored 66 goals from an xG of 61.03 for a conversion rate of +4.97, which is third best. Their rate is over ten goals higher than City.

Last year, the Reds had a better rate, but Man City’s was also better. The gap between the two in this category was just over eight goals. The most significant differences between the two have been on defense and their abilities to earn all three points from matches they should win.