Fans celebrate outside the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City wins the Premier League


A Manchester City supporter celebrates outside the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. AP

Manchester City won the Premier League for the third time in four seasons after Manchester United were defeated 2-1 by Leicester City on Tuesday.

Pep Guardiola's team leads second-placed United by ten points and has clinched the championship with three games to spare.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer practically handed the championship to arch-rivals City by fielding a depleted squad of ten changes in the midst of a grueling three-game stretch in five days.

Luke Thomas' volley placed Leicester ahead in the 10th minute, with several City players watching on TV before Mason Greenwood equalized five minutes later.

In the 66th minute, Caglar Soyuncu's towering header ensured City could pop the champagne corks for a championship celebration that had seemed inevitable for months.

City were denied the opportunity to celebrate on Sunday when Chelsea won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, though United held them waiting with a win over Aston Villa.

But the hold-up was only temporary, and City, who also won the League Cup in April, can now relish a title triumph made all the sweeter by the challenges they faced this season.

"This season and Premier League title have been unlike any other." "This was the most difficult," Guardiola said.

"We'll remember this season for the manner in which we won." I'm incredibly proud to be the manager of this team and this group of players.

"They're one-of-a-kind. It's amazing that we've made it this far in the season despite all of the constraints and challenges we've faced. It's never-ending."

City's seventh Premier League title could be a warm-up for an even bigger victory on May 29, when they face Chelsea in their first-ever Champions League final.

City started slowly, drained by the late finish to last season, and ill-prepared as a result of the lack of a proper pre-season.

City had won just five of their first 12 Premier League games after a dismal 1-1 draw against lowly West Bromwich Albion in December.

Guardiola's squad had the worst start to a season in his managerial career, causing the Spaniard to make the surprising confession that he didn't like them.

In December, Guardiola's problems were exacerbated by a coronavirus outbreak in the team.

City seemed to be on the verge of regressing after surrendering the title to Liverpool so easily the previous season.

Guardiola orchestrated such a remarkable comeback that City converted the title race into a procession, earning him three Premier League titles to go along with three La Liga titles with Barcelona and three Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich.

Dias Dominant

Following the West Brom contest, City went on to win 21 games in a row in all competitions, a Premier League record, including a 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool at Anfield.

City will play their first match as champions at Newcastle on Friday, following a streak of 19 straight away victories in all competitions.

"The Premier League is the most important title for us at the start of every season." "This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your opponents at home and away," Guardiola said.

"You can only win this competition by consistently being the best week after week." It's a resounding success."

The inspired form of Ruben Dias, who has transformed Guardiola's defense since arriving from Benfica in August, has been one of the keys to City's success.

The title foundations were laid by the Portugal center-rock-solid back's partnership with the rejuvenated John Stones.

City have been a potent force despite missing club-record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for long stretches due to fitness issues.

Despite injuries, England playmaker Phil Foden emerged as a match-winning force, and Kevin De Bruyne remained as reliable as ever.

Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez both scored goals, and versatile full-back Joao Cancelo caused havoc with his attacking bursts.

Manchester United and Chelsea look like they'll be serious title contenders next season, while Liverpool are expected to recover following an injury-plagued season.

Guardiola has created a new generation capable of ruling supreme for years to come, following the departures of City icons David Silva, Vincent Kompany, and Yaya Toure in recent years.

Guardiola now has 26 big trophies in his managerial career since his latest Premier League triumph.

With two trophies already under his belt this season, City manager Pep Guardiola will concentrate on achieving a memorable treble by winning the Champions League for the first time.

Publish : 2021-05-12 11:19:00

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