IN PICTURES: Manchester City’s 2015

It’s probably fair to say that the calendar year of 2015 didn’t quite go to plan for Manchester City. The Blues began on equal footing with eventual champions Chelsea in the Premier League, but they finished quite some distance behind the Stamford Bridge side. They were also weak in their eliminations from the Champions League and the FA Cup, as Barcelona and Middlesbrough were both victorious at the Etihad.

The 2014-15 season ended with a run of good results and performances that might have been the catalyst for Manuel Pellegrini remaining in his job – and a great start to 2015-16 make it seem like that was the right decision. However, an injury to Vincent Kompany in the home defeat to Juventus left the defence exposed and it took until the last game in December for the Blues to get a clean sheet without their captain in the side.

There were three defeats that saw Pellegrini’s side concede four times. First Manchester United netted that many in the derby in April, before Tottenham and Liverpool did it in September and November respectively. It’s the first time since 2004 that City have conceded four or more in a calendar year, back when Portsmouth (4-2), Manchester United (4-2), and Newcastle (4-3) all breached the Blues’ defence heavily.

There were high points, however brief, too. City played some excellent football in the top flight at the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign and finished the year just three points off the top of the table, even if they hadn’t got their act together. They also finished top of their Champions League group for the first time ever, securing a theoretically “easier” draw in the last 16 of the competition.

Here’s Manchester City’s 2015 in pictures.

Frank Lampard scores the winner against Sunderland after the Black Cats came from 2-0 down.

Frank Lampard scores the winner against Sunderland after the Black Cats came from 2-0 down.

James Milner gets City a last-minute winner in the 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

James Milner gets City a last-minute winner in the 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

Arsenal shock City at the Etihad by conceding possession and playing on the break, taking a 2-0 victory away with them.

Arsenal shock City at the Etihad by conceding possession and playing on the break, taking a 2-0 victory away with them.

Patrick Bamford scores Middlesbrough's second as the Championship side shock City 2-0 in the FA Cup.

Patrick Bamford scores Middlesbrough’s second as the Championship side shock City 2-0 in the FA Cup.

David Silva equalises at Stamford Bridge, but the 1-1 draw with Chelsea doesn't help City make up lost ground.

David Silva equalises at Stamford Bridge, but the 1-1 draw with Chelsea doesn’t help City make up lost ground.

James Milner's last-minute free kick rescues a 1-1 draw at home to Hull - as City lose more ground on Chelsea.

James Milner’s last-minute free kick rescues a 1-1 draw at home to Hull – as City lose more ground on Chelsea.

City turn the form book on its head with a 4-1 win at Stoke.

City turn the form book on its head with a 4-1 win at Stoke.

Edin Dzeko steals the show, as City rout Newcastle 5-0.

Edin Dzeko steals the show, as City rout Newcastle 5-0.

Joe Hart's penalty save at the death keeps City in with a chance, after Barcelona win 2-1 at the Etihad.

Joe Hart’s penalty save at the death keeps City in with a chance, after Barcelona win 2-1 at the Etihad.

David Silva celebrates his goal in City's 2-0 win over Leicester - only the club's fourth PL win in 2015.

David Silva celebrates his goal in City’s 2-0 win over Leicester – only the club’s fourth Premier League win in 2015.

City's title defence is in tatters with a 1-0 loss at Burnley - they finish the day five points behind Chelsea, having played two games more.

City’s title defence is in tatters with a 1-0 loss at Burnley – they finish the day five points behind Chelsea, having played two games more.

Joe Hart's sensational display isn't enough for City to get past Barcelona - the Spanish giants win the second leg 1-0.

Joe Hart’s sensational display isn’t enough for City to get past Barcelona – the Spanish giants win the second leg 1-0.

Out of luck at Selhurst Park, City succumb 2-1 to Crystal Palace.

Out of luck at Selhurst Park, City succumb 2-1 to Crystal Palace.

City are battered 4-2 at Old Trafford, putting the hosts comfortably ahead of the Blues in the table.

City are battered 4-2 at Old Trafford, putting the hosts comfortably ahead of the Blues in the table.

Pellegrini is under immense pressure after six defeats in eight games leave City in fourth in the table.

Pellegrini is under immense pressure after six defeats in eight games leave City in fourth in the table.

Fernandinho's last-minute winner steals City a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa - after the Blues threw away a two-goal lead.

Fernandinho’s last-minute winner steals City a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa – after the Blues threw away a two-goal lead.

Sergio Aguero's hat-trick helps City to a 6-0 win over QPR.

Sergio Aguero’s hat-trick helps City to a 6-0 win over QPR.

Wilfried Bony scores at Swansea on his return, as City win 4-2.

Wilfried Bony scores at Swansea on his return, as City win 4-2.

Frank Lampard scores on his final appearance in English football, as City beat Southampton 2-0.

Frank Lampard scores on his final appearance in English football, as City beat Southampton 2-0.

A new-look City returns in 2015-16 as they dismantle West Brom 3-0 at The Hawthorns.

A new-look City returns in 2015-16 as they dismantle West Brom 3-0 at The Hawthorns.

Sergio Aguero opens the scoring as the Blues take apart Champions Chelsea, 3-0 at the Etihad.

Sergio Aguero opens the scoring as the Blues take apart Champions Chelsea, 3-0 at the Etihad.

Samir Nasri's cheeky dink over Tim Howard secures a 2-0 win at Everton.

Samir Nasri’s cheeky dink over Tim Howard secures a 2-0 win at Everton.

Kelechi Iheanacho scores a stoppage time winner to give City all three points at Crystal Palace.

Kelechi Iheanacho scores a stoppage time winner to give City all three points at Crystal Palace.

It's not an ideal start in the Champions League; a 2-1 defeat to Juventus is compounded by injury to Vincent Kompany.

It’s not an ideal start in the Champions League; a 2-1 defeat to Juventus is compounded by injury to Vincent Kompany.

City crumble to a 4-1 loss at White Hart Lane, making it back-to-back Premier League defeats after West Ham's win at the Etihad.

City crumble to a 4-1 loss at White Hart Lane, making it back-to-back Premier League defeats after West Ham’s win at the Etihad.

Sergio Aguero scores five to help City to a 6-1 win over Newcastle.

Sergio Aguero scores five to help City to a 6-1 win over Newcastle.

Kevin De Bruyne scores a last-minute winner for City in the Champions League, at home to Sevilla.

Kevin De Bruyne scores a last-minute winner for City in the Champions League, at home to Sevilla.

City are sensational in the reverse fixture in Sevilla and go top of the group with a 3-1 win.

City are sensational in the reverse fixture in Sevilla and go top of the group with a 3-1 win.

City are a shambles at the Etihad when they face Liverpool - and lose 4-1.

City are a shambles at the Etihad when they face Liverpool – and lose 4-1.

Another dour performance - this time at Stoke - leaves the away side totally outclassed in a 2-0 loss.

Another dour performance – this time at Stoke – leaves the away side totally outclassed in a 2-0 loss.

A late rally sees City win 4-2 against Borussia Monchengladbach to win their Champions League group.

A late rally sees City win 4-2 against Borussia Monchengladbach to win their Champions League group.

City don't make their early dominance pay and are stung by two first half goals, as they lose at Arsenal.

City don’t make their early dominance pay and are stung by two first half goals, as they lose at Arsenal.

City get their first clean sheet of 2015-16 without Vincent Kompany in the side, but can't finish the year with a win as they draw 0-0 at surprise package Leicester.

City get their first clean sheet of 2015-16 without Vincent Kompany in the side, but can’t finish the year with a win as they draw 0-0 at surprise package Leicester.

 

Compiled by David Mooney.

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