Roberto Mancini will look back on this campaign as a successful season for Manchester City, even if they fail to lift the Premier League trophy come May.
City had enjoyed a gap of five points over Manchester United in early March, but have seen that transformed into a lead of eight points for the latter.
With only six games remaining in the league, it would seem that the league crown is destined for Old Trafford when it had once looked like it would head to the Etihad Stadium for the first time.
Defeat to Arsenal on Sunday appeared to be the final nail in the coffin of City's title challenge, but they still host United before the end of the campaign and will retain hopes of a late turnaround.
But, regardless of whether or not they can pip Sir Alex Ferguson's side at the last, Mancini believes he can reflect on a good job well done, when compared to City's exploits last term.
“We did a good season in the Premier League and we have 15 points more than last year," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"We need to finish the season well.
“When you start a project, it’s important that you improve. In this situation you can be disappointed because we were on the top for 28 games. But from this situation you can improve as a team, improve as a player.
“If we get 18 or 20 points more than last year, I think we did well. Maybe United did better than us but I repeat, there are six games. It’s not finished.”