Manchester City have pulled it off. A 1-4 victory over Brighton has confirmed their second consecutive Premier League title. Guardiola’s men become the first side in a decade to retain the title in what has been a thrilling competition thanks to Liverpool’s outstanding performance, who got incredibly close with a record breaking 97 points, marking the end of an amazing Premier League season.
Pep Guardiola has done it again. A 14th straight league win has ensured the Citizens the title, as they pipped over Liverpool by a solitary point, despite the Reds’ 2-0 win over Wolves in Anfield. Manchester City have now won the title with 98 points, the second highest total in Premier League history, proving that it truly has been the season of comebacks, upsets and records for European football.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United was the last team to retain the title in 2009, after which point the Premier League has changed year on year. But City has done it again, and with this title win they now remain on course for the first domestic treble in English history.
But this title win was not all that clear in the first 20 minutes of the match, as Guardiola’s men were looking nervous, tense, and all around tired. A goal by Brighton’s leading man Murray in the 27th minute had City fans looking worried, and as reported, also caused a huge roar in Anfield, where Liverpool would have been champions had the score remained the same.
But those cheers were quickly muted, with Guardiola’s side leveling the score just 83 seconds later, when Aguero stayed onside and kept his cool and scored with a powerful low finish after a brilliant ball from David Silva. It was a clinical finish, and the kind of textbook football Guardiola has his fans used to by now.
Ten minutes later, the unmarked Aymeric Laporte rose to head in Riyad Mahrez’s corner to complete the turnaround for City. Mahrez, who was a surprise in the starting line up after not playing for almost a month, lived up to the expectations and instead decided to silence the critics through goals.
Indeed, Guardiola’s side continued to dominate at the start of the second half, and were rewarded when Mahrez smashed in a third goal with 27 minutes to go. The Algerian has failed to make the expected impact this season, and this goal probably brought some redemption to an otherwise average season.
The next one came when Ilkay Gundogan scored beautifully with a free-kick to put the result beyond doubt.
City now have their fourth title in the past eight seasons and can contemplate the prospect of a similar era of dominance under Pep Guardiola, having followed up last season’s 100-point haul with 98 to edge a relentless tussle with Liverpool.
The EFL Cup winners will now turn their attentions towards next weekend’s FA Cup final against Watford at Wembley and the prospect of the domestic treble.
Liverpool have the relative consolation of finishing with the best points total of any second-placed team in Premier League history, and possibly winning a Champions League title in a couple of weeks, but their 29-year wait for a 19th English title will have to go on.