Manchester City have won a fifth Premier League title in nine years
Manchester City have won a third Premier League title in four years after Leicester City beat closest challengers Manchester United.
Pep Guardiola’s team are now 10 points ahead of second-placed United, who only have three games to go.
It is the seventh time City has reached the top of the English football pyramid and the fifth time in nine years.
“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” said Guardiola.
“This was the most difficult one. We will always remember this season because we won. I am so proud to be the manager of this group of players.
“They are so special. With all the limitations and difficulties we’ve faced getting through this season – and showing the consistency we have is remarkable. It’s relentless.
“They are there every day, fighting for success and trying to get better and better. They were so, so resilient.”
Manager Guardiola, 50, has won eight national trophies since arriving in Manchester in 2016.
City had the opportunity to win the title themselves on Saturday, but suffered a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Leicester ended the job for her with one 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
It is the sixth time that the Premier League title has been decided at Old Trafford – the largest of all venues, three of which were for other teams.
It’s City’s second trophy in just over two weeks after they beat Tottenham to win the Carabao Cup. After beating Paris St-Germain in the middle of the week, they are also in their first Champions League final.
City has won 12 trophies since it was acquired by the Abu Dhabi Group in September 2008. This is the third time they have won a League and EFL Cup doubles.
They’ll pick up the Premier League trophy after their final game of the season against Everton on May 23rd.
Up to 10,000 fans will be present at the stadium following the recent lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England.
How City won the title
Guardiola’s side finished 18 points behind Liverpool last season and after Guardiola lost another key player to their recent win in David Silva, he had to act.
But City did not have the most promising start to the season and lost 5-2 in their first home game against Leicester City.
Just a day later, Guardiola moved to fix the problem – and the signing of Ruben Dias changed the course of the season.
Dias brought the serenity, leadership and stability lacking since Vincent Kompany’s departure, and his partnership with the reborn John Stones made City the most miserable team in the league.
Still, when Tottenham beat City on November 21 to take the lead in a seemingly unpredictable division, City were 11th and eight point behind and it looked like this might not be their year again.
Despite doubts and questions about the Spaniard’s future, City quickly closed them.
They won 22 of their next 27 games, including a 15-game run and a record of 11 consecutive away wins.
In Anfield in February, where they hadn’t won the league since 2003, City harassed and dominated the defending champions. Phil Foden was a brilliant 4-1 win.
The Stones and Dias partnership at the back was crucial, conceding just three goals in the 15 games following the Spurs defeat, while Ilkay Gundogan was the star at the other end of the field. His 12 goals have so far led the city’s top scorers.
The chase package didn’t have enough to contain them and the title is returning to the blue half of Manchester.
City Captain Fernandinho said it was “an honor and a privilege” to lead the team.
“I am so proud and happy about what we have achieved,” he said. “The Premier League is the toughest league in world football – every single game is tough. To win again means the world to me and the rest of the squad.
He added: “Football is everything to us and we strive to be the best we can every day in the hope that we can make Manchester City a success.
“Winning the Premier League is the ultimate fulfillment of our ambitions. This is what we all dreamed of as young players. So it’s a wonderful feeling to do it.”
“We missed the fans so much. We wanted to do that for them.
“We are going to enjoy this moment and hope the fans do too. Rest assured, we will continue to do everything we can to bring the Champions League home this season.”
How football reacted
Former City midfielder Michael Brown speaks on BBC Radio 5 Live: “City has been convincing throughout the season.
“They have been relentless in all competitions and it was an absolute pleasure to see them. They showed offensive flair, but also those brilliant four. It was just fantastic to be within reach of four trophies.”
“Pep Guardiola has found a team to count on and an overall performance from the team. They fully deserve the Premier League trophy.”
“You can only imagine that people’s phones will melt when you try to get tickets to the trophy lift.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United manager, in conversation with BBC Sport: “We pushed Manchester City for the last 10 to 12 days of the season. It’s a very good performance because they are a very good team.”
“They are very worthy champions. I have to congratulate them for doing some fantastic things this season.”
Brican Rodgers, Leicester Manager, in conversation with BBC Sport: “They are the benchmark. They were excellent. Brilliant players, an incredible manager and they really deserve the title.”