Pep Guardiola increased his efforts on and off the pitch during pre-season knowing that Liverpool would provide an onslaught from the start. Retaining the Premier League title was his absolute focus.
The campaign has been a triumph for Guardiola’s man-management of City players.
Manchester City players barely had a genuine day off from November through to April.
The players stayed overnight at the training ground the day before a game. Training drills are generally kept to 10 minutes.
Benjamin Mendy and Gabriel Jesus in an attempt to avoid city centre distractions moved homes.
John Stones, who started two of City’s last 13 games, lives in Guardiola’s lavish apartment block.
Birthdays of players or staff members are celebrated in unison after matches.
The squad play card games on the way back from matches, rather than sit in isolation with headphones in. Players of different nationalities mix freely over compulsory breakfast and lunches at the training complex.
Vincent Kompany spent about an hour consoling a tearful Sergio Aguero in the dressing room after Champions League elimination.