Why City are genuine title contenders

The Citizens came from a goal down to register a memorable 2-1 victory over the defending champions, thanks to brilliant goals from Kermit Erasmus and new signing Chris David. They are now in third place, just a point behind new leaders Orlando Pirates and second-placed Sundowns.

KickOff.com looks at why coach Benni McCarthy and his City side are genuine title contenders.  

Home record

City are ruthless when they play in the Mother City, losing just twice at home – in the first half of the season against Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits. They have scored 24 goals in 12 matches at home. They’ve scored three or more goals at home on six occassions. 

Away results

City have registered some great results away from home. In the first half of the season, an own goal by Free State Stars’ Olivier Kwizera in the fifth minute of extra time helped them secure a point in a 2-2 draw at Goble Park. They drew 2-2 with Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium. They’ve beaten Polokwane City, SuperSport United, Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits – all teams in the top eight – away from home. 

There’s no pressure

McCarthy keeps on saying they are running their own race and that they are not ready yet to compete against the likes of Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns for the title. He is taking pressure away from his players, so that they continue to play with the freedom he has given them. City, who have already won the MTN8 this season, are under no pressure to win the title and teams like these can be very dangerous.

Key signings and back-up players

McCarthy used the January transfer window wisely, signing Kermit Erasmus and Thato Mokeke, two players who are already making a big impact in the side. Erasmus has bagged three goals in as many matches, while Mokeke is doing an immense job in midfield while Thabo Nodada and Roland Putsche are nursing injuries that are going to keep them out for the rest of the season. New man Chris David, who was signed last week, showed the quality he has with a brilliant goal against Sundowns last night and much more will be expected from him in the final few months of the campaign. Travis Graham was also signed recently and, once he is match fit, can make a mark in the team.

Players such as Riyaad Norodien, Zukile Kewuti and Craig Martin have also stepped up in recent weeks.