Despite lagging behind Arsenal for most of the 2022/23 season, Manchester City hit formidable form to win a third consecutive Premier League title with two games to spare.
City pipped Liverpool to domestic glory in nail-biting fashion last season, pulling off a stunning second-half comeback against Aston Villa on the final day to edge the Reds out by a single point.
Unlike last season, when an evenly-contested title race went down to the wire, Pep Guardiola’s side have had to thank Arsenal’s significant drop-off for recovering substantial ground this term.
For most of the campaign, it looked like Arsenal could terminate Man City’s two-year reign of dominance, but they fell apart when it mattered the most.
Meanwhile, the Cityzens’ unrelenting 12-game winning league run, bookended by a 1-0 home win over Chelsea last weekend, proved too hot to handle for their title challengers.
Although they long seemed on course to relinquish domestic supremacy, Guardiola’s side somehow came out on top to lift a fifth Premier League title in six years.
Man City’s phenomenal league exploits under the Spanish manager bring up a simple question – can anyone stop them?
City’s first Premier League trophy under Guardiola was virtually uncontested as they clocked 100 points, leaving second-placed Manchester United 19 behind.
The Red Devils finished runners-up to their cross-city rivals in the COVID-19-plagued 2020/21 campaign, but a 12-point gap again testified to the Cityzens’ unparalleled dominance.
Man Utd lost track of Man City in 2021/22 as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick could only help the club to an underwhelming Europa League finish.
While Erik ten Hag is on the verge of guiding United back to the Champions League in his first season in charge, there’s still a substantial gulf in class between the Old Trafford outfit and City.
However, the Red Devils could still make an unlikely title push next season if transfer dealings in the coming months boost the quality of their squad.
Liverpool came agonisingly close to robbing Man City of the title last season, eventually falling behind by a single point, as was the question in 2018/19.
In both those campaigns, each side smashed a 90-point landmark, setting themselves apart from the chasing pack by some margin.
After six consecutive top-four finishes, the Reds have experienced their worst Premier League since Jurgen Klopp’s maiden campaign at the helm and will miss out on Champions League qualification in all likelihood.
But the Merseyside giants have been the only viable title contenders to Guardiola’s Man City over the years, and there’s a feeling they are the only genuine candidates to dethrone them in 2023/24.
Adding to this sentiment, Liverpool will undergo a comprehensive squad overhaul in the summer with the sole purpose of mounting a more serious title challenge next season.
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