Signing off with a 5-0 thumping, Manchester City ended their 2019/20 season just as they started it - in dominant fashion.
It was always going to be a difficult task to replicate their domestic treble of last season - yet they certainly gave it their best shot, and if not for injuries, could have made it harder for Liverpool in the league.
Here's an evaluation of the Cityzens' season.
Premier League - 2nd
Having looked unstoppable throughout the 2018/19 campaign, Pep Guardiola's side took a huge step back this season, finishing 18 points adrift of champions Liverpool.
While they remained a powerful force at times, a noticeable vulnerability at the back became clearer and clearer throughout the campaign - which was first shown in their 3-2 defeat at relegated Norwich. An injury to star defender Aymeric Laporte particularly hurt the team, forcing the Spaniard to regularly field Fernandinho as a centre-back.
That was the first of nine defeats - more than double last year's total - with Wolves and rivals Manchester United doing the double over them.
Defeats aside, the Sky Blues still looked incredible, at times, during the campaign, with big wins over Watford (8-0), Aston Villa and Burnley showing off their attacking prowess. They also made the Etihad Stadium a fortress, with Arsenal, Chelsea and even Liverpool all being put to the sword there.
In terms of individuals, Kevin De Bruyne had an exceptional season, equaling the league record for most assists in a season (20). Raheem Sterling had his most prolific season to date with 20 strikes, while Ederson picked up the Golden Glove with 16 clean sheets.
Domestic Cup Performance
Carabao Cup - Winners
City were never seriously troubled throughout their run to the Carabao Cup final. 3-1 wins over Preston, Southampton and Oxford United were followed by a crucial two-legged semi-final against rivals Man Utd. Another 3-1 win, this time in the first-leg, decided the tie - with a 1-0 defeat in the return fixture not enough to stop their progression.
They were the overwhelming favourites against Aston Villa and delivered with a 2-1 win, thanks to goals from Sergio Agüero and Rodri. But it was young Phil Foden who particularly starred for the team, and cemented his place among the best young English talents in the game, as Guardiola's side lifted the cup for a seventh time.
FA Cup - Semi-Final
Like the Carabao Cup, the Sky Blues didn't have a tough road to the semis - with big wins over Port Vale and Fulham, before putting up some workmanlike displays to get past Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle.
But their run was ended by a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal, who are now managed by former City assistant Mikel Arteta. While they had the lion's share of possession, their defensive deficiencies were ruthlessly exploited by the Gunners, who didn't need many chances to put the ball past Ederson.
Continental Cup Performance
Champions League - Round of 16*
Having topped their group without losing any of their six games, City were drawn up against Real Madrid in the round of 16, with the first-leg to take place in the Spanish capital.
A fantastic performance from De Bruyne propelled the English club to a 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabéu, giving them a huge advantage for the return fixture. Initially set to take place in March, the game will now be played on 7 August - and will be a major test for the club's European aspirations as they chase their first major European title.
Should they get past Los Blancos, a quarter-final encounter with either Juventus or Lyon awaits them, before a potential mouth-watering tie with one from Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Napoli in the semi finals.
There's really only one individual who can justifiably be named the club's best player for the season - it's Kevin De Bruyne.
33 - Kevin De Bruyne was directly involved in 33 Premier League goals this season (13 goals & 20 assists), the most by a central midfielder in a single season since Frank Lampard’s 36 in 2009-10 (22 goals & 14 assists). Greats. pic.twitter.com/B8rufYHjhO— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 26, 2020
The Belgian has been nothing short of majestic - his creativity has been instrumental to his team scoring over 100 goals this season, and he's been able to do everything for them on the offensive end.
He finished second to only Dimitri Payet in key passes made per game (3.9) in Europe, while Trent Alexander-Arnold finished seven assists behind his record-equaling Premier League tally of 20. But he's also been huge for Guardiola's side when they've needed him the most, scoring in important league wins over Chelsea, Sheffield United and West Ham.
No Sky Blue really comes close to having the impact he's had for the club this year.
With Laporte sidelined for several months, John Stones was expected to shoulder some of the team's defensive responsibilities in his absence. Yet the Englishman found himself left out of the matchday squad throughout the season, and watched on as the likes of Eric García and Fernandinho leapfrogged him in the centre-back pecking order.
In a season where the Cityzens needed someone to step up at the back, Stones failed to take his chance - and must wait to see where his future lies, given that incoming defensive reinforcements are widely expected.
Much of City's image and playing style has been moulded by Pep Guardiola ever since he arrived - yet with his contract expiring in 2021, questions remain over his long-term future in Manchester.
The Spaniard remains one of the best managerial minds in the world, and his ball-dominant, attacking style of football has made the Sky Blues a pleasure to watch this season. Yet their defensive faults have been amplified by Laporte's injury, and have made them vulnerable at the back.
It's been shown in their nine league defeats - the most they've suffered in any of the years he's been in charge. And a quick look at his managerial history suggests he could be leaving the club soon - but he's yet to make any decision just yet.
So, will he commit himself to continuing the pursuit for a Champions League title in Manchester? Only Pep knows the answer.
If City go on to have a successful Champions League run, this grade will certainly go up. For now though, given how they've fallen back in the league, it's been a disappointing season for the Sky Blues.
Source : 90min