Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City to the Premier League title
City moved within three points of securing Premier League glory on Saturday night as Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling’s goals claimed a 3-1 win over Tottenham.
And they would have been hoping to wrap it up next Sunday when they take on relegation-threatened Swansea, with United having been expected to steamroll bottom-of-the-table West Brom on Sunday afternoon.
United failed to make a breakthrough against the Baggies at Old Trafford though and they counted the cost when Jay Rodriguez nodded a winner for the visitors in the second half.
United’s defeat means Manchester City have an unnassailable lead at the top of the Premier League and Pep Guardiola’s men have been crowned champions as a result.
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany has now won three Premier League titles
City have the opportunity to break the 100-point barrier with five games to come against Swansea, West Ham, Huddersfield, Brighton and Southampton.
And they can beat the record of 30 wins in a Premier League season that was set by Antonio Conte’s Chelsea as they secured glory last year.
City already consigned Chelsea’s record run of 13 consecutive victories to the scrapheap when they set up their title win with 18 in a row during the winter.
City could surpass Chelsea’s record goal-haul of 103 if they find the back of the net 11 more times in that set of fixtures against bottom-half sides.
City’s Premier League title win adds to the Carabao Cup success they enjoyed in February, when they comfortably dispatched Arsenal at Wembley.
City captain Vincent Kompany sent a message to the club’s supporters in the wake of United’s defeat to West Brom, saying: “As much as this has been a record breaking season, this one’s for you, the fans, this is why we do it!
“Come on City! Champions! I’m buzzing, over the moon, so happy and proud to be able to share this with all of our fans, everybody who’s been there to support us especially in this last week as many know it’s been very difficult but at the same time we’ve bounced back, we’re champions now and thank you to all of you. It’s an incredible season.”
Kompany also revealed that many of City’s players are out of the country after being allowed a three-day break in the wake of the win over Tottenham.
Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions after West Brom beat Manchester United
“Yes, there’s players all over the world Portugal, Spain – you name it – wherever,” he added. “We didn’t expect this, we’ve been Facetiming, talking on the chat and everyone is in touch and as much as we’re far away from each other at this moment in time, we are still very close, and we will somehow spend the night celebrating together.”
The irony of United handing the title to City on Sunday will not be lost on the Old Trafford or Etihad faithfuls given goings-on in the Manchester Derby last Saturday.
City had the opportunity to secure Premier League glory at the Etihad had they beaten United and went 2-0 up via Gundogan and Vincent Kompany’s goals.
But they blew that lead in the second half as Paul Pogba bagged twice and Chris Smalling fired a winner to claim an unlikely comeback victory for United.
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Pep Guardiola will not mind a jot how City’s Premier League title win has come about though and he deserves credit for bouncing back from a difficult first season in England.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has ensured his own signings have melded with longstanding City players to create a formidable team.
And central to their success has been the form of Kevin De Bruyne, who was discarded by United gaffer Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.
Guardiola hailed the Belgian earlier this season, saying: “He can do everything on the pitch. And, in terms of mentality as well, he never hides.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has now won league titles as a manager in three countries
Manchester City have added the Premier League title to the Carabao Cup they claimed in February
“The big players you realise [who they are] in the bad moments, the bad moments in terms of 75 minutes, [if] we are losing, how you react in that situation.”
Aside from United, Liverpool are the only team to have beaten City in the Premier League this term, recording a 4-3 victory at Anfield in January.
However, such is City’s supremacy that they enjoy a 17-point advantage over Jurgen Klopp’s side as the campaign draws to a close.
City will be determined to carry on their form from this season as they pursue an unprecedented Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup quadruple next year.
Bournemouth 1 – Manchester City 2
It was only the third game of the season but Raheem Sterling’s late, late winner – scored in the seventh minute of added time – underlined the feeling that this was going to be a special season for City.
Chelsea 0 – Manchester City 1
The match that Guardiola pin-points as the one that gave his City side the belief they could be champions. Kevin De Bruyne’s second half gave them an hugely impressive win over last season’s champions and underlined City’s title credentials.
Manchester United 1 – Manchester City 2
The win at Old Trafford for a second season running confirmed the gulf between the two clubs and inflicted a major psychological blow on Jose Mourinho’s side. Goals by David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi were the least they deserved before Marcus Rashford pulled on back.
Tottenham 1 – Manchester City 3
After three successive defeats and the blow of going out of the Champions League, this was a significant mental test for City. They came through it with flying colours with goals from Gabriel Jesus Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty and Sterling.
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