Man City crowned Premier League champions as Leicester win at United

Man City crowned Premier League champions as Leicester win at United

Manchester City were crowned Premier League
champions for the third time in four seasons after Manchester
crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Leicester on Tuesday.
Pep Guardiola’s side are 10 points clear of second placed
United and have wrapped up the title with three games to
spare.

In the midst of a gruelling run of three games in five days,
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer effectively handed the
title to arch rivals City by picking a weakened team with 10
changes.

With many of City’s players watching Luke
Thomas’ 10th minute volley put Leicester ahead before Mason
Greenwood equalised five minutes later.
Caglar Soyuncu’s towering header in the 66th minute ensured
City could pop the champagne corks for a title party that has
seemed inevitable for months.
City were denied the chance to celebrate on Sunday when
Chelsea won 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, while United kept
them waiting with a victory at Aston Villa on Sunday.

But the delay was only temporary and City, who also won the
League Cup in April, can finally savour a title triumph that is all
the sweeter given the obstacles they have overcome this term.
Treble-chasing City’s seventh top-flight title could be the
prelude to an even greater triumph on May 29 when they face
Chelsea in their first ever Champions League final.
Drained by the late finish to last season and ill-prepared due to
the subsequent lack of a proper pre-season, City were slow out
of the blocks.
After a dismal 1-1 draw against lowly west Bromwich Albion in
December, City had won just five of their opening 12 Premier
League games.
It was the worst start to a season of Guardiola’s managerial
career, prompting the Spaniard in the startling admission that
he didn’t like his team.
A coronavirus outbreak in the squad added to Guardiola’s
problems in December.
Having surrendered the title meekly to Liverpool the previous
season, it seemed City were heading for a period of regression.
But Guardiola masterminded such a superb recovery that City
turned the title race into a procession, giving him three
Premier League crowns to go with three La Liga trophies with
Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
One of keys to City’s success has been the inspired form of
Ruben Dias, who has transformed Guardiola’s defence since
arriving from Benfica in August.
The Portugal centre-back’s rock-solid partnership with the
revitalised John Stones laid the title foundations.
Even without club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero for long
periods due to fitness issues, City have been a potent force.
The emergence of England playmaker Phil Foden as a match-
winning force was crucial, with Kevin De Bruyne as consistent
as ever despite battling injuries.
Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez produced spells of lethal
finishing, while dynamic full-back Joao Cancelo wreaked
havoc with his attacking bursts.
Manchester United and Chelsea appear poised for strong title
challenges next season and Liverpool are likely to improve
after an injury-hit campaign.

But, after the exits of City legends David Silva, Vincent
Kompany and Yaya Toure in recent years, Guardiola has
created a new generation capable of reigning supreme for
years to come.
Guardiola’s latest Premier League success gives him an
astonishing 26 major trophies in his managerial career.
With two trophies already secured this season, the City boss
can focus on completing a memorable treble by winning his
club’s first Champions League crown.
He will have his work cut out after Thomas Tuchel’s side won
the last two meetings between the sides, including the FA
Cup semi-final at Wembley.
For all Guardiola’s protestations that domestic success is the
most significant achievement, it is the Champions League
that remains his holy grail.
The 50-year-old has not won the tournament since the second
of his triumphs with Barcelona in 2011, leading to belittling
claims Argentina superstar Lionel Messi was the key to those
Champions League victories rather than the coach.
Taking City to the Champions League title in their maiden
final appearance would be a glorious way for Guardiola to
silence his critics once and for all.

Source: Football – Fairplay News

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