While Manchester City go about prising open rivals Manchester United’s tight grip on the Premier League trophy this season, they have the chance this weekend to prove they are their rivals equals in at least one aspect on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini’s men go into their game against Bolton at the Etihad Stadium knowing that a win against their relegation threatened opponents will see them equal United’s record of 19 consecutive home wins.
This season City have a remarkable record in front of their won fans, winning all 13 games so far, while only conceding six goals in the process.
With the game against Bolton to come and the chance to break United’s record in their next home encounter against Chelsea, GMF runs down City’s finest home wins since they last tasted defeat on home soil back in December 2010.
v Tottenham 3-2, January 2012
Perhaps City’s best win in the Premier League this season aside from the 6-1 away win against Manchester United, the game against Tottenham marked a turning point for both sides.
Before the game the title battle was still a three way duel, with just five points separating City in first from Tottenham in third; a win for Spurs would give them and United a chance to drag City back into a real slog for the title while a home victory would make it a two horse race for the rest of the season.
A 2-0 lead was wiped out by the visitors in a frantic second half before Jermain Defoe spurned a gilt-edged chance to win the game for Spurs late on, only for Mario Balotelli to win a last-gasp penalty and convert it himself with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders.
v Arsenal 1-0, December 2011
This season’s 1-0 win over Arsenal may not appear like a classic on the face of it, but Arsene Wenger’s men are one of only a few sides to have gone to the Etihad Stadium and taken the game to City.
However it was their response and the resilience they demonstrated in picking up a 1-0 win that makes this game memorable for the home side.
An engrossing game throughout, Arsenal had plenty of chances to register on the scoresheet and Joe Hart had to be at his best to deny Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Robin van Persie in particular.
David Silva then slotted home in the 53rd minute, a goal which proved to be the match winner as Mancini’s men returned to the top of the table after losing to Chelsea the week before.
v Swansea 4-0, August 2011
The visit of newly promoted Swansea wouldn’t have particularly induced much fear in City’s home support, but the importance of registering such an important win in their first home game of the season to send a message to their rivals cannot be underestimated.
The manner of Swansea’s football throughout their maiden Premier League campaign has won plenty of admirers, but even they couldn’t resist City’s attacking force, with Sergio Aguero notching twice on his debut, while David Silva and Edin Dzeko also netted.
v Tottenham 1-0, May 2011
Before they were genuine title contenders, Roberto Mancini had just one task to fulfill last season; take City in to the Champions League for the very first time.
Spurs had landed themselves a place alongside Europe’s elite thanks to a 1-0 win in their last visit to the City of Manchester stadium as it was then called in 2010.
Now City had the chance to gain revenge in the most fitting of fashions as they booked their place in the Champions League in front of their own fans, and they did just that, even receiving the present of an own goal from Peter Crouch – the man who had scored to give Tottenham Champions League football two seasons ago.
v Liverpool 3-0, January 2012
Another game in which City were relying on their fearsome home form to carry them to victory against tough opposition on the back of a defeat, their win over Liverpool sent a real message that they weren’t going to be knocked from the top of the table easily.
Just 48 hours after losing to Sunderland, City conceded plenty of possession to Liverpool who lacked cutting edge without the suspended Luis Suarez.
While the night was marred by Barry’s sending off, Mancini would have been delighted with the way his side soaked up pressure after going ahead early on through Sergio Aguero.
A goal from Yaya Toure and a 75th minute James Milner penalty rounded off another excellent day at the Etihad Stadium for the home side.