Images of Aguero shirtless invokes perhaps the greatest moment in the history of world football - certainly in the Premier League. Aguero's last minute goal helped City win the league in 2012, but can City do it again? Just like last time, Aguero is helping to ignite City's title tilt, however whilst they are smoking hot at home, away from home the only smoke is distress signals.
So far they have won every home match but have lost four of their five matches away from home. Looking at their statistics home and comparing it with their away stats, it is hard to see why there is such as distinction in form.
- They have more possession away from home, which makes it even more startling they've only scored five - three against West Ham
- They are less aggressive away from home
Additionally, although having more possession generally means you concede less, City's increased possession away from home is the result of negative possession and as such runs the risk of many mistakes. Kompany 's mistake against Aston Villa, Joe Hart's mistake against Chelsea and Milner's mistake against Sunderland were all the result of negative possession inviting unnecessary pressure.
Now that the symptoms of City's poor away from has been analysed, what is the cause of it? I would put it down to the mentality of the players: David Silva, Jesus Navas, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri have never been the most consistent of players; Joe Hart's many clangers of have caused City to drop many points over the past two seasons; Kompany's injury problems has exposed City's weak defence and the ever changing forward line up brings confusion, the up and down form of Aguero and Dzeko highlights this.
Since the 2010/11 season I have always argued City have had the best team in the Premier League, yet they only have one Premier League title, an FA Cup, an FA Cup defeat against Wigan and several Champions League group stage knockouts to show for it. Pelligrini has already broken one hoodoo (Champions League progression) and he can break another, their biggest by making City a consistent side.
He can do this by naming his strongest available 11 from now until January. Since Mancini, City have always rotated their first 11 and although I am a fan of rotation, it can be done to overkill. City found out the hard way against Sunderland. After defeating CSKA Moscow 5-2, Clichy, Zabaleta and Nastasic were unceremoniously dropped. After a thumping victory ensued defeat against one of the worst teams in the league.
City have two more games in the Champions League and then apart from the odd Capitol One Cup fixture, they are fully fixated on the League until January. If City are serious about the Premier League then now is the time to show it. Apart from the Bayern fixture, there is absolutely no need to rotate and City should look to capitalise on their rivals mixed form before one of the them wakes up and makes a breakaway. On paper at least, City have the best team in the league and if their attitude matches their talent they will win the league.
*All statistics courtesy of WhoScored