Manchester City have been confirmed as Premier League champions after Manchester United suffered a shock home defeat to West Brom on Sunday.
It is Pep Guardiola’s first title as manager and the club’s third of the Premier League era after their 28th victory of the season against Tottenham on Saturday meant United had to avoid defeat at Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports.
However, watched by Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho’s side slipped up against the league’s bottom club with a 73rd-minute strike from Jay Rodriguez sealing the title for United’s city rivals.
City could have won the title against United last weekend but had to wait after surrendering a two-goal lead at the Etihad and handing Mourinho’s team a stunning 3-2 comeback victory.
Yet they still clinch the trophy with five games to spare – a joint-Premier League record – after dominating the division for most of the campaign, and Guardiola admitted last week it would feel like “one of the best” of his career.
“It’s more difficult (to win in England),” he said. “Physicality, weather conditions, the amount of games; the Premier League is so tough.
“That’s why winning next week, hopefully we will, it will remain in our hearts forever. It’s one of the best by far. Winning titles in every league is important, with Barcelona was special. But the Premier League is one of the nicest and most important.”
City did not lose a game until January – against Liverpool – and drew just twice until that memorable clash at Anfield, while smashing five past Liverpool at the Etihad early in the season, as they stunned opposition, supporters and critics alike with their performances.
They also hit four past Tottenham, six past Watford and seven past Stoke City in huge wins before Christmas, while also winning 2-1 away at rivals United in December as they also finished top of their Champions League group.
Guardiola’s side have only dropped points against Burnley and United since the New Year, while marching into an explosive Champions League quarter-final with Liverpool that saw them knocked out earlier this month.
With 87 points from 33 matches, City win their first Premier League title since 2013-14 under Manuel Pellegrini and their third since being bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. It is City’s fourth top-flight title in their history.