In 2019 I wrote this profile of Peter Doherty – a man who well into the 1970s was described as the greatest Manchester City player of all time. Of course, views change and other heroes have come and sadly gone since then, but it is clear that Doherty was the leading player of his generation.
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After today’s (7th February 2021) 4-1 victory over reigning Champions Liverpool by League leaders Manchester City it’s worth highlighting a few of the records and the significance of today’s win in City’s history. It was the Blues’ greatest win at Anfield for over 80 years.
In 1937 the Blues managed a 5-0 victory on Good Friday (and three days later won 5-1 at Maine Road). That season the Blues went on to win the League – hopefully this is a good omen for this season.
As the above advert shows, it cost 3 shillings for a return train fare to Anfield that day (sadly no fans were allowed today).
Here’s how the MCFC match programme remembered the victory:
Here are the League results and table following that historic win at Anfield. It’s interesting to see which clubs are no longer members of football’s top division and which of today’s giants are missing.
Here are a few snippets from a Liverpool based newspaper telling the story of that day:
The Blues have struggled to win at Anfield over the last 40 years (I don’t need to go through the stats, City fans get bombarded with them every time there’s a game at Anfield! You can check all results here if you really want to: https://bluemoon-mcfc.co.uk/History/Matches/Opponent.aspx?id=15 ) and so today’s resounding victory over Liverpool is significant. Of course, it is only one result and anything is possible this season.
Here’s a few stats:
Sterling became the third player to score 100 or more goals under Guardiola, after Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (211) and City’s Sergio Aguero (120).
Of all players to score at least 10 goals within the top five European leagues (England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) this season, only Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland (20 years 2021 days) is younger than Phil Foden (20 years 255 days).
Since netting his first goal of the season on 15 December, Ilkay Gundogan has scored at least three more Premier League goals than any other player (nine).
At 20 years and 255 days Phil Foden is the youngest player to score and assist in a Premier League game at Anfield.
Oleksandr Zinchenko made his 50th Premier League appearance today.
Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another 80+ years for City’s next 4 goal plus win at Anfield!
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I am not going to pretend that English football teams making tours of Continental countries do not have a very pleasant time, but at the same time these tours are not picnics. You are there to play serious football, and you have to go about it in the ordinary businesslike way.” Sam Barkas, City Captain, 27th May 1937
As Sam Barkas hinted, sometimes end of season football tours are not the fun experience a lot of fans think. Sometimes the tour takes on a whole different meaning. This is certainly true for the May 1937 tour to Germany.
The Blues, as Champions of England, were invited to play a series of high profile matches across Germany and its neighbouring States. Although this was a major honour for City it has to be stressed that the whole concept of the tour, as far as Germany’s Nazi rulers were concerned, was to promote Germany’s sporting prowess against the best England could offer.
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