February saw a return to Champions League football for the blues and also the opportunity to win the first silverware of the season, with Arsenal standing between City and the League Cup. But before that was a tough game against one of the surprises of the season.
City had enjoyed a decent record at Turf Moor, so hopes were high of another victory when the blues arrived for the first match of the month.
And the omens were good when Danilo scored with a long range effort midway through the first half. Raheem Sterling had a golden chance to make the game safe with 20 minutes remaining, only for him to miss the target from six yards when it was easier to score.
Sterling and City would then rue the miss as Johann Berg Gudmundsson equalised for the home side with just eight minutes remaining to give Burnley a share of the spoils.
City manager Pep Guardiola refused to blame Sterling for his side’s failure to win the match, as City had 70% possession and 20 shots, but only 7 on target. The result allowed United to claw back a couple of points in their pursuit of the blues, but were still 13 points behind.
10th February 2018 – Manchester City 5-1 Leicester City
Two seasons earlier, Leicester had arrived at City and claimed a 3-1 victory as the headed for the title. But this time, it was City who were going for the Premier League and Sergio Aguero was out for revenge following that 3-1 defeat.
City didn’t take long to get into the Foxes. Raheem Sterling, who missed a sitter a week earlier, got himself in the same position and this time he converted Kevin de Bruyne’s cross to give City the lead in the third minute.
But Leicester did not want to roll over so easily and Jamie Vardy equalised on 24 minutes, a goal which sent the teams in level at the break.
In the second half, it became the Aguero show. His first came three minutes after half time, converting another brilliant de Bruyne pass and five minutes later, the same two combined to make to 3-1 with Aguero getting his second.
The Argentine completed another hat-trick with 13 minutes remaining, chipping the ball over the keeper, before being set up by Phil Foden for his fourth of the game. Aguero was on fire and City were sixteen points clear with eleven games remaining.
13th February 2018 – FC Basel 0-4 Manchester City
The blues returned to Champions League action with a trip to Switzerland. The draw had been kind to City, but this was the team that had beaten United in the group stages, so were always capable of springing a surprise.
But Basel were not prepared for City’s attack and the home side found themselves 3-0 down by the 23rd minute. Ilkay Gundogan scored after 14 minutes,
Five minutes later, it was 3-0, the prolific Sergio Aguero again on the scoresheet, grabbing his 29th goal of the season and 198th overall for City.
The bleus relaxed after the break, but still found time to score a fourth. It was Gundogan again, curling a shot into the top corner. The German was denied a hat-trick by a brilliant stop from the keeper from close range.
The result put City firmly in the driving seat for the quarter finals, and also meant the blues could potentially rest some key players for the second leg.
19th February 2018 – Wigan Athletic 1-0 Manchester City
When the blues were drawn against the Latics for the fifth round of the FA Cup, some greeted it was a chance to gain revenge for the 2013 and 2014 FA Cup defeats, while others viewed the tie with dread…Wigan…again!
City had all the pressure and most of the possession, but just could not make it count, and when Fabian Delph was strangely, and controversially sent off a minute before the break, the signs of defeat were there. Delph’s heavy tackle on Max Power was initially deemed a yellow card by the referee, but inexplicably changed his mind after being surrounded by several Wigan players.
Delph was off but City continued to dominate, but it was a mistake by Kyle Walker that led to Wigan’s goal. Walked left the ball for no reason, and Will Grigg ran through to score past Claudio Bravo.
The final whistle saw joyous scenes as Wigan fans invaded the pitch, but it turned ugly as Sergio Aguero was apparently verbally abused and spat at, while many home supporters stood in front of the away end to taunt blues fans.
It was a sour end to what was an incredible night for Wigan, and another to forget for City.
25th February 2018 – Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City
With the FA Cup dream gone, City’s attention turned to Wembley and a date with Arsenal. The blue shad won the trophy four times, while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had never won it. And he would lose it again.
Sergio Aguero stood his ground as Shkodran Mustafi backed into him. The defender claimed a foul, but the referee waved it away and allowed Aguero to run through and chip the ball over the keeper in the 18th
Thirteen minutes after half time it was 2-0, with Captain Vincent Kompany knocking home Ilkay Gundogan’s cross. David Silva wrapped the game up
The blues saw out the rest of the game and goal scorer Kompany held aloft the League Cup for the fifth time in City’s history and gave Pep Guardiola his first trophy in England.
It wouldn’t be his last.