Manchester City have won the Premier League after their nearest rivals Manchester United lost against Leicester City on Tuesday evening. The defeat left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 10 points adrift of the leaders with only three games a maximum nine possible points to collect, meaning City closed out the title despite losing 2-1 against Chelsea on Saturday.
The triumph is City’s third in four seasons under manager Pep Guardiola and reasserts their position as the dominant force in English football after Liverpool beat them to the top last season. With the League Cup already won and the Champions League final still to come, City’s attention will turn to becoming European champions for the first time in their history and completing a famous treble of trophies.
“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” Guardiola said after the title was sealed. “This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won.
“I’m so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable.
“It’s relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.
“That is equally true of each and every member of our backroom staff, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our players are fully equipped to take on the unexpected challenges and new routines throughout such a turbulent year.
“At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us. This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals, home and away.
“Only by being the very best, week-in, week-out, can you win this competition. It’s a huge success.”
City won the title comfortably with three games still to play, but it was not always easy as they got off to a slow start. On 15 December City drew 1-1 at home against West Brom to leave themselves ninth in the table, and it seemed it would not be their year. But the team suddenly clicked, winning their next 15 games to climb to the top of the table and they never looked back.
Guardiola revealed this was a crucial moment and has talked about returning to his core principles of players moving less from their positions and letting the ball do the work.
“We had to reconstruct the team from that point,” Guardiola recalled a few months later. “What we are as a team, how we had success in the past. We had to come back to our game, move the ball quicker, do more passes, stay in position, run less with the ball, do it together. We don’t have a specific player to win games, we have to do it together.
“Don't think we are in a position to win the Premier League or whatever,” he told his players. “We are not good enough to compete right now. Win the next game with our principles and see what happens.”
The change worked dramatically and City are now on the verge of a historic treble and the chance to finally bring European glory to the club on top of their continued domestic success.
Captain Fernandinho said: “I’m so proud and so happy with what we have achieved. The Premier League is the hardest league in world football – every single game is tough.
“To win it again means the world to me and the rest of the squad. To captain this team is an honour and a privilege because the players have given their all throughout season, whether in training or in matches. The teamwork has been amazing.
“Football is everything to us and we strive every single day to be as good as we can be in the hope we can bring success to Manchester City.
“Winning the Premier League title is the ultimate fulfilment of our ambitions. It’s what we all dreamed of as young players, so to do it is a wonderful feeling.
“We have missed the fans so much. We wanted to do this for them. We will enjoy this moment and we hope the fans do too.
“Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to bring the Champions League home this season.”
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