Manchester City's squad celebrate winning the Champions League in Istanbul
City are the sixth English club to win the European Cup/Champions League

Three is the magic number for Manchester City this season.

In winning this season’s Premier League they also completed a hat-trick of titles, matching the feat achieved by Huddersfield Town, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United (twice).

City’s detractors will continue to point to the number 115, representing the amount of Premier League charges against them for breaches of financial rules – which the club strenuously denies.

For City fans, though, the only figures that matter are the remarkable ones resulting from their team’s brilliance on the pitch and which illustrate what has been the most successful season in their history.

BBC Sport takes a look through them to paint a picture of how Pep Guardiola’s side stepped up another level to conquer Europe and achieve their remarkable Treble.

We will start with the victory that sealed it – one City have been pursuing since the moment they were taken over by the group backed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008.

The big one at last

Manchester City's squad celebrate winning the Champions League in Istanbul
England now has twice as many European Cup/Champions League winners, with six, than the next best nations Germany, Italy and the Netherlands with three each

At their 13th attempt, City finally have a European Cup to their name, becoming the sixth English club to win it after Liverpool (six times), Manchester United (three times), Chelsea and Nottingham Forest (both twice) and Aston Villa.

It has been a long wait for the Blues, with some agonising near misses in recent seasons. Their first involvement in continental competition came in the European Cup in 1968-69, the season before they won their first piece of major silverware away from England – the 1970 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Returning to the European Cup (now called the Champions League) in 2011-12, they have appeared in it in every season since, reaching three quarter-finals, two semi-finals and one final (which they lost 1-0 to Chelsea in 2021) prior to their run to glory in Istanbul.

They came into Saturday’s showdown as heavy favourites to lift the trophy (Opta’s prediction model had them at a 74% chance of success), continuing the tag they have held since the group stage, and they made good on that with victory.

It ensured they ended this season’s tournament as the only unbeaten team, with a record of eight wins and five draws from their 13 matches.

They also outscored their opponents by 27 goals across those games, netting 32 times and only conceding five, their most emphatic win being the 7-0 drubbing of German club RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 tie. No team managed to put more than one goal past them in a single encounter.

Only two teams have ever had a better goal difference in a Champions League campaign: Bayern Munich in 2019-20 (+35) and Real Madrid in 2013-14 (+31). As you would expect, they both won the competition in those seasons.

P W D L F/A Win %
Premier League 38 28 5 5 94/33 73.68
FA Cup 6 6 0 0 19/1 100
Carabao Cup 3 2 0 1 5/4 66.67
Champions League 13 8 5 0 32/5 61.54
Overall 60 44 10 6 150/43 73.33

Saturday’s final was the 60th competitive game of 2022-23 for City and brought them their 44th win.

Only one side to have faced City this season has remained unbeaten against them and that is Brentford, who beat Guardiola’s team home and away in the Premier League – impressive when you look at how City have regularly handed out heavy beatings to opponents.

They scored three or more goals in 31 games in all competitions this season. The 20 such scorelines they achieved in the league is only the fourth time a team has done so in the Premier League era in a single season – Liverpool in 2013-14 (21), and City themselves in 2017-18 and 2011-12 (20).

In total, City scored 150 goals in all competitions this season, the most of any team in Europe’s top five leagues. It is the fourth time an English top-flight side has scored as many in a single campaign, with the Citizens also responsible for the other three – 156 in 2013-14, 169 in 2018-19 and 150 last season.

They also scored 100 goals at Etihad Stadium this season, equalling the record set by themselves in 2018-19 for most home goals in all competitions in a single season by an English top-flight club.

Nice try, United

Only two sides remained capable of stopping City winning the Treble last Saturday, and by quirk of fate one of those was the team looking to protect their status as the only English side to have done so previously.

Manchester United gave it everything they had to try to keep their 1998-99 achievement unique, but it was not to be as the in-form Ilkay Gundogan’s double gave City victory and kept their Treble on track.

It was the seventh time City have lifted the FA Cup – the joint-sixth most in the competition’s history along with Aston Villa, while Arsenal have the most with 14.

The 2-1 win at Wembley also provided them with a league and FA Cup Double for the second time, after 2018-19. They are the third team to do so on more than occasion after Manchester United (1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98, 2001-02).

Unsurprisingly, City were the highest scorers in this season’s FA Cup – first round onwards – with 19 goals. The last team to score more in a single campaign were the Citizens themselves, netting 26 en route to lifting the trophy in 2019.

It did not take them long to make their mark at Wembley either, with Gundogan’s opener clocked at 12 seconds, making it the fastest goal scored in an FA Cup final, beating Louis Saha’s strike after 25 seconds for Everton against Chelsea in 2009.

Gundogan went on to become the third captain to score twice in an FA Cup final in the 21st century, after Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard (2006) and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2020), and also the first player on record (since 1963) to score twice from outside the box in a single FA Cup final.

Three in a row

Ilkay Gundogan holds aloft the Premier League trophy as Manchester City team-mates celebrate behind him
City won the 2022-23 Premier League with three games still to play

City are no strangers to success in England, especially under Pep Guardiola (more on him in a bit), with this season’s haul taking them to 16 major domestic trophies in the past 13 seasons, including the domestic treble of league, FA Cup and League Cup in 2018-19.

Sticking with the theme of threes, City made it a trio of consecutive top-flight titles this season, taking them into a select group comprising Huddersfield Town (1923-26), Arsenal (1932-35), Liverpool (1981-84) and Manchester United (1998-2001 & 2006-09).

This hat-trick means they have now won the title in seven of the past 12 seasons. They have also won it in five of the past six campaigns, becoming the third team to achieve such a feat, along with Liverpool (1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984) and Manchester United (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001).

They are now joint fourth in the list of overall English top-flight titles, level with Everton on nine. In the English top flight since 1888, only three teams have won more than City – Manchester United (20), Liverpool (19) and Arsenal (13).

Season P W D L F/A Pts
2022-23 38 28 5 5 94/33 89
2021-22 38 29 6 3 99/26 93
2020-21 38 27 5 6 83/32 86
2018-19 38 32 2 4 95/23 98
2017-18 38 32 4 2 106/27 100
2013-14 38 27 5 6 102/37 86
2011-12 38 28 5 5 93/29 89
1967-68 42 26 6 10 86/43 58
1936-37 42 22 13 7 107/61 57

This was not City’s most impressive or dominant title win, trailing some way behind 2017-18 statistically, when they broke numerous records, including scoring 106 goals and amassing 100 points.

It also was not as nail-biting a race as in some previous campaigns, such as 1967-68, 2011-12, 2018-19 and 2021-22, when they won it on the final day (or, in the case of 2011-12, practically the final second).

Unusually, they had to play second fiddle for much of the season to a resurgent Arsenal, who led from the front but faded over the final furlong.

City were top of the Premier League for only 42 of the season’s 296 days. Only two teams have led the table for fewer days and won the title in the rebranded top-flight’s history – City themselves in 2013-14 (15 days) and Manchester United in 2002-03 (31).

Between September and April, City were top for just eight days, and never on more than three consecutive nights.

As late as 7 April, with 10 league games remaining, Guardiola’s side were eight points behind the Gunners, but a run of 12 consecutive wins saw them overtake decisively. It represents the third time a side trailing the team at the top by eight or more points as late as April has won the title, and City are responsible for all three – also in 2011-12 and 2013-14.

Pep talk

Winning the continental Treble is new territory for City, but manager Guardiola has been here before. He led Barcelona to the same feat in 2008-09, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, beating Manchester United in the final. Needless to say, he is the first man to do it twice.

City’s victory in Istanbul was their 300th across all competitions under Guardiola, in what was his 413th game in charge of the club. Those 300 wins in this time is 63 more than the English team with the second-most in this period – Liverpool, with 237.

A table showing the most points earned by clubs in Premier League since start of 2016-17 - Man City (625), Liverpool (575), Man Utd (489), Chelsea (486), Tottenham (486), Arsenal (478)

Guardiola is only the sixth man to win five English top-flight titles, while only Sir Alex Ferguson (13) has ever won more Premier League titles than the Spaniard.

In his 14 seasons as a top-flight manager (with Barcelona, then Bayern Munich and now City), the Spaniard has won the league title in 11 of them, and has won three consecutive league titles with each of his clubs.

In total, he has 23 major trophies to his name as a manager to add to the nine he won as a player with Barca.

And they have done it in style, too. City have scored 100+ goals more than they have conceded in three of the past five seasons (2018-19, 2021-22 and 2022-23) – prior to Guardiola’s arrival at the club, no English top-flight side had finished a season having scored 100+ more than they had conceded.

City’s new goal machine

A lot about City’s success this season feels very familiar. Ederson was a near ever-present in goal, Ruben Dias mopped up at the back, Rodri made the tackles and Kevin de Bruyne created the chances – his 28 assists in all competitions is eight more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.

The most notable difference this campaign, though, has been the man leading the line.

With his 36 goals scored in the 2022-23 campaign, Erling Haaland set a new record for most goals in a single Premier League season. His 52 goals in all competitions is a new high for a player in the Premier League era, although he is still eight short of the record in an English league season, set by Everton’s Dixie Dean in 1927-28. He is also two short of the most by a Manchester City player in a single top-flight campaign (Tommy Johnson’s 38 in 1928-29).

The fastest to score 36 Premier League goals - Haaland (33 games), Andy Cole (42), Alan Shearer (43), Sergio Aguero (65), Harry Kane (69) and Wayne Rooney (115)

This season, Haaland became the joint-fastest player to reach 10 Premier League goals (six games, along with Coventry’s Mick Quinn in 1991-92), and then the fastest to reach 15 goals (nine games), 20 goals (14), 25 goals (19) and 30 goals (27).

He scored six hat-tricks in all competitions, the most ever by a Premier League player in a single season.

Only Tottenham’s Harry Kane (26) scored more Premier League goals in 2022 than Haaland (21), and the Norwegian only joined the league in August.

Haaland has also continued his remarkable scoring feats in the Champions League, maintaining his record of more than a goal a game from his time at Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund.

His minutes-per-goal ratio in the competition, which currently stands at a goal every 63 minutes, is the best of any player to have scored at least five times in the competition.

Player Club Games Goals Minutes Minutes per goal
Erling Haaland Man City 52 52 4,039 78
Kylian Mbappe PSG 43 41 3,563 87
Robert Lewandowski Barcelona 46 33 3,953 120
Harry Kane Tottenham 49 32 4,300 134

Another notable contributor to City’s success this season is Jack Grealish, who struggled in his first season at the club following his £100m move from Aston Villa but has flourished in his second.

He has done it on the biggest stage, too.

The forward created 35 chances for City in this season’s Champions League, the most by an English player in a season that Opta has on record (2003-04 onwards) and most by any player since Dusan Tadic in 2018-19 for Ajax (37).

Treble top?

So England now has two continental Treble winners, both from Manchester. But how does one compare with the other?

Man City 2022-23 Man Utd 1998-99
Games 60 62
Wins 44 36
Draws 10 22
Losses 6 4
Goals for/against 149/33 128/60
Win % 73.33 58.06

City may have had to overturn an eight-point deficit, see off Arsenal and Chelsea and beat Real Madrid to claim their Treble, but its achieving was practically serene compared with the frantic, dramatic manner in which United sealed their Treble 24 years ago.

Much like City this season, the Premier League title race ultimately came down to a shootout between United and Arsenal, with the Gunners slip-up in their penultimate game at Leeds opening the door for the Red Devils.

It still went to the last day, though, with Ferguson’s side going behind at home to Tottenham before coming back to win and take the title by a point.

Despite facing Chelsea, Arsenal and United themselves this campaign, City simply proved too good for everyone.

In their FA Cup run of 1998-99, United scored twice in the last two minutes to beat Liverpool in round four, needed a replay to see off Chelsea in the last eight and then went toe-to-toe in a classic semi-final against Arsenal that went to a replay and extra time before Ryan Giggs settled it with one of the most famous goals in the competition’s history.

This was nothing compared with their Champions League campaign, though.

Starting in mid-August with a second-qualifying-round win over LKS Lodz, it developed into a 13-game rollercoaster that saw them qualify undefeated (but only win two games) from a group containing Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Brondby.

After beating Inter, they had to dig deep to win 3-2 at Juventus in their semi-final second leg, and then snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bayern in the final thanks to goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In contrast, City blasted through their Champions League group, brushed aside RB Leipzig, Bayern and Real Madrid before overcoming a stubborn Inter in the final thanks to Rodri’s goal. Mission accomplished.

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