Manchester City finally eased through the gears to claim back-to-back Premier League titles. It was the first time this extraordinary feat had been achieved since the days when since the waning Stretfords did likewise back 2009-2010.
The difference is that this team, carved and created by Pep Guardiola is one of pure genius. The Premier League yields no easy matches. Only Chelsea of the so-called “top six, which is only called that because the pundits still try to locate a berth for Stretford’s Finest, have managed to beat City with the rest of the point traded to Premier League also-rans.
For their part, Liverpool will cry wolf because they have only lost one match and have failed to beat the only team capable of stripping them off top spot. At the business end of the season, Klipetty Klopp might be finding that playing three times a week is a drain on his scant resources, but hey they were dropping points in a series of draws after having fortnights off when City were playing semi-finals and quarter finals in the domestic cups. It is this that cost Liverpool their chance to become champions after an absence of close on thirty years. They will be favourites to hoist the Champions League, which shows they can deal with a 13-match season, but in the end, they couldn’t match City in the 38 weeks of Premier League football. They may have pushed the blues all the way, but instead of City’s season being a tale of 2 handballs or a tale of 2 penalties, so far it is a tale of 3 trophies with a chance to add number 4 at the weekend.
It could have gone wrong. With the Brighton fans gleefully singing “1-0 to the Liverpool” before watching the unattended Murray destroy Ederson’s chance of a share of the golden gloves in a season when he has taken goalkeeping to a whole new place, the stage looked set, as City teased the Scousers, for 81 seconds at least, for a last-day upset. That was until, as usual, Sergio Aguero slipped the ball through Ryan’s legs to level things up and the Laporte heading home from a corner which is not one of City’s strong points.
With the Blues in the lead at the break, it was a case of trying to pick off the Seagulls and it finally came home to roost when Mahrez, a surprise selection made it 3-1 and then Gundogan served up a free kick completed the scoring sending the Blue-Mooners into ecstasy.
There was time for the Blues to demonstrate their quality in giving a sound round of applause as Bruno left the field for the last time, before enjoying their own celebration as Vincent Kompany was presented once again with the Premier League title trophy.
With Liverpool achieving 97 points, this was an unbelievable success for Manchester City as Pep vowed – next season we go again. But not before the little matter of the FA Cup Final which King VK desperately wants to win.