How many Premier League titles have Man City won? Measuring Pep Guardiola’s champions against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal

Manchester City’s modern dominance of the Premier League has continued with Pep Guardiola’s men prevailing in their latest titanic title tussle against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, thanks to their improbable Ilkay Gundogan-inspired 3-2 comeback win against Aston Villa.

City have now lifted England’s top-flight trophy in four of the past five seasons, with only Liverpool able to punctuate that run in the pandemic-interrupted 2019/20 campaign.

But how do City stack up historically among the heavyweights of English football?

Here, we look back at all of their title wins to date.

How many titles have Man City won?

Team Top-flight titles won
Manchester United  20
Liverpool 19
Arsenal 13
Everton 9
Manchester City 8
Aston Villa 7
Chelsea  6
Sunderland 6

1936/37 season

The 1930s were boom times for City, who won their second FA Cup in 1934 against Portsmouth at Wembley, having lost the previous year’s final to Everton. During the 1934 run, City broke the record for the highest home attendance in English football history when 84,569 fans packed into Maine Road for a sixth-round clash with Stoke City.

Manager Wilf Wild added a maiden league title in 1936/37, with City plundering 107 goals over the course of the campaign — forward duo Peter Doherty and Eric Brook being responsible for 50 of those. In a tragicomic turn that foreshadowed many of the club’s woes later in the century, City were relegated the following season and remain the only reigning English champions to suffer such a fate.

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1967/68 season

Two seasons on from winning promotion back to Division One, a swashbuckling City team under manager Joe Mercer and pioneering coach Malcolm Allison marched to glory. A side boasting club greats Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee won 4-3 at Newcastle on the final day of the season to pip Matt Busby’s Manchester United to the title.

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That success kicked off a golden era at City that remained unsurpassed until the modern-day, with Neil Young scoring the only goal to sink Leicester in the 1969 FA Cup final before Mercer’s men lifted the League Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1970.

Francis Lee celebrates for Man City at St James' Park in 1968

2011/12 season

City also edged out United on the final day 44 years on, as Edin Dzeko and Aguero rescued glory from the jaws of calamity with a 3-2 win over QPR to spark scenes of bedlam at the Etihad Stadium.

Roberto Mancini’s side had already collapsed earlier in 2012, having led the way for much of the first half of the season. They fell eight points behind United with six games remaining but bounced back to win all of them, including Vincent Kompany heading the winner in a high-stakes Manchester derby to set up the remarkable denouement.

Sergio Aguero celebrates his winner against QPR

2013/14 season

Mancini’s title defence unravelled to the extent he was sacked in the aftermath of City’s shock 2013 FA Cup final defeat to Wigan. Manuel Pellegrini took the reins and City thrilled with an attacking brand of football — Aguero and Alvaro Negredo’s partnership in attack inspiring a thrilling mid-season run.

An April defeat to a rampaging Liverpool at Anfield suggested City had run out of road, but the same core of the squad mimicked their exploits of two seasons earlier, winning the final five games. 

An array of stumbles elsewhere –  from Chelsea taking one point out of home games against Sunderland and Norwich to knock themselves out of the title race before beating Liverpool when Steven Gerrard slipped and Demba Ba scored, to Brendan Rodgers’ side collapsing to an incredible final-week 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace – meant all the snookers City needed came in and they beat West Ham 2-0 to seal the title on the final day. 

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2017/18 season

Guardiola inherited a squad in need of significant surgery from Pellegrini and his first trophy-less campaign in 2016/17 was followed by the influential arrivals of Ederson, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva. City proceeded to rip up the record books as they streaked clear of the competition.

A December derby win at Old Trafford effectively rendered the second-half of the season a procession as the Blues racked up win after win. The only blot on the season was a 3-2 defeat from 2-0 up against United at the Etihad Stadium in April, when a victory would have seen City crowned with victory over their bitter rivals. 

Jose Mourinho’s side slumping to a loss at home to West Brom the following weekend meant they did not have to wait too long to be confirmed as champions and Gabriel Jesus’ last-gasp winner at Southampton on the final day ensured City were the first team in English history to amass 100 points in a single season. 

2018/19 season

Set against the 19-point advantage City enjoyed over United in the final analysis, things could not have been more different the following season. Klopp’s Liverpool had already marked themselves out as City’s most likely challengers with a destructive  5-1 aggregate Champions League quarter-final win in 2018. By the time the teams met at the Etihad Stadium in January 2019, they were seven points ahead of Guardiola’s men at the summit.

Aguero and Leroy Sane scored either side of Roberto Firmino to give City a stirring 2-1 win. Liverpool would not lose again but a handful of draws proved their undoing as, after a January defeat at Newcastle, City won each of their final 14 games to triumph on the final day of the season by a point. 

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2020/21 season

Liverpool stormed clear of City to record a huge winning margin of 18 points in 2019/20. Guardiola’s men suffered a humiliating Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon before stumbling to 12 points from the first eight games of the 2020/21 Premier League season to sit 11th.

A lacklustre December draw with West Brom persuaded the Catalan tactician to go back to his fundamentals of pegging the wingers wide, players holding their positions and looking for an extra pass. The result was an English record 21-game winning run across all competitions and another title race blown to pieces — a 4-1 win over an ailing Liverpool at Anfield in February serving as an emphatic exclamation point.

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2021/22 season

Mastering the treadmill of pandemic football in empty stadiums with a more methodical style was one thing, but could City do it amid the noise and the heat of full houses? Despite failing to secure Harry Kane or any replacement for the outgoing Aguero, the answer has been an emphatic “yes”.

City were rarely better this season than in the biggest games — having the better of thrilling 2-2 draws with Liverpool and twice inflicting 90 minutes of total control and domination upon Chelsea and a beleaguered Manchester United. The fact they contrived to be largely rubbish against Villa, clattering into the final hurdle head first, only served to set up a conclusion to rival Aguero’s finest hour.