Manchester City have racked up an incredible fifteen wins from eighteen matches in their march towards the Premier League title, losing just one and drawing two. And with Southampton the opposition for their final away game, it may be one of the best ever away campaigns in blues history.
But it hasn’t always been like that.
When City were relegated in 1987, they did so winning just eight matches all season. Every single one of those matches were at home. City went through the entire season without winning one away game, and you’d have to look back to 18 January 1986 to see their last win on the road; a 2-0 win at Spurs.
Fast forward to the 1989/90 season. After two seasons in the second division, the blues returned to the top flight, where once again, their inability to win away returned. City lost their first four away matches, and it took until the end of October to record their first point; 1-1 at Chelsea. Their inability to win away was compounded when Derby County thrashed the blues 6-0 at the old Baseball Ground.
The winless run was remarked by many fans as a joke, and it was fitting when City’s first top flight away win for over four years, came on April Fools Day. Aston Villa were the opponents and were fighting Liverpool for the Division One Championship, while City were fighting relegation.
Villa scored first, but Mark Ward equalised for the blues to go in at half time 1-1. With a national audience watching on live TV, City made a mockery of their position and scored again, Peter Reid grabbing the winner. As the seconds counted down, a now familiar song belted out from the stands:
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
The song stuck. City, who only won away once in a blue moon went on to win another two away games, at QPR and Norwich to escape relegation.
The following season, City left their fans waiting until December for their first away win, until they finally gave their fans some respite by winning at Coventry on the opening day of the following season. All City fans have ever wanted is a little consistency, and by that we mean consistently good, not consistently losing away. Well, apart from our annual visit to Anfield!
Despite the team settling over the years, away performances have been a little tricky, and City still love to throw the odd unexpected away defeat into the mix, just to allow the fans to reminisce a little. The song ‘We never win at home and we never win away,’ may now be sang in jest, but could still be aimed more at away games than anything.