Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium today to crown their third successive Premier League title and fifth in the last six seasons.
Despite already being crowned champions following Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Pep Guardiola’s relentless Cityzens kept their foot on the gas to defeat Chelsea on trophy day.
Pep Guardiola fielded a heavily rotated XI, with the Spanish manager making nine changes to his line-up. However, his fringe players got the job done over the lacklustre Blues.
Man City were the more dominant side in the opening stages and found it far too easy to carve up Frank Lampard’s clueless Blues, creating dangerous situations for fun.
It took the Cityzens less than 15 minutes to take the lead. Cole Palmer found Julian Alvarez, who made no mistake when firing beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga and into the bottom left corner.
Despite going behind early on, Chelsea were bereft of ideas in attack, and they made it easy for the champions to dictate proceedings.
Phil Foden came close to doubling Man City’s advantage when he latched onto Kalvin Phillips’ pass, but his effort dropped agonisingly wide of the post.
Guardiola’s side were almost made to rue that missed opportunity moments later, with former Man City man Raheem Sterling racing clear on goal, but his effort was saved by Stefan Ortega.
The visitors came close to drawing level again when Lewis Hall’s pinpoint cross found Conor Gallagher at the far post, but his header struck the woodwork.
After a slow start to the second half, there were chances at both ends, with Kalvin Phillips hitting the post with a header minutes before Hall drew a smart save from Ortega after a Chelsea break.
Alvarez then looked to have grabbed his second of the game with an easy tap-in after Riyad Mahrez ghosted in behind the Chelsea defence, but a brief VAR check showed the Algerian had controlled the ball with his arm.
However, the decision proved inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, as City, who are experts in game management, held on to secure a 12th successive league victory.
The result means Chelsea will finish in the bottom half of the table for the first time in 27 years, although this performance was far from their worst in what has been a terrible campaign by their standards.
Manchester City – Premier League Champions again
The Etihad erupted with Man City fans invading the pitch in celebrations as Man City defended their Premier League crown. The Blues had to be hurried into the tunnel to avoid their rampaging supporters.
It has been a phenomenal season for Guardiola’s relentless side, who are currently seven points ahead of title pretenders Arsenal and could finish the season with a ten-point gap over the Gunners.
Although Man City chased Arsenal for much of the season, with the Gunners topping the table for over 240 days, they were always considered the favourites for the title.
Such is the depth of talents at Guardiola’s disposal but take nothing away from the Spanish genius who has crafted a title-winning team and steered them to the finish line.
There could be more celebrations for the rampant Blues with an FA Cup and Champions League final ahead as Guardiola’s side bid to join their Manchester neighbours in the treble-winning club.
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