Man City celebrate Premier League title at home with fans, now aim for treble

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — With an explosion of blue and white tape, Manchester City’s Premier League title celebrations have erupted.

That’s three league titles in a row, five out of six and who knows how many more for a team that continues to reach new heights?

“They set a benchmark that separated them,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said after his side were beaten 1-0 by the new champions on Sunday. “I think they’re exceptional…that’s why they’re ready for a possible treble.”

The first leg of this three-pronged trophy chase is over, with the FA Cup and Champions League finals still to come.

The concern for Manchester United and Inter Milan in these respective finals is that this City side only seem to be going from strength to strength as the season nears a spectacular climax for Pep Guardiola.

“To be considered one of the greatest teams, we have to win Europe, win the Champions League,” said the City manager.

The win over Chelsea extended City’s unbeaten run to 24 games in all competitions. And even with Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and a host of star players named on the bench against Chelsea, a 12th straight league win was assured.

It was a run that proved too much for an Arsenal side that had led the way for much of the season but buckled down the home stretch.

No one at City seems to tire of that feeling of victory.

Certainly not Guardiola, who has now won 11 league titles in 14 managerial seasons, spanning Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and City.

Neither did the players, who responded to their coach’s challenge earlier in the season by proving they hadn’t lost their edge and singing “We Are The Champions” in the dressing room.

And not the fans, who flooded the pitch after the final whistle at the Etihad Stadium, releasing canisters of blue smoke and celebrating happily as an unprecedented period of success for their beloved side continued.

While this latest title – a seventh under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi ruling family – was duly enjoyed, the prevailing feeling in the stadium was what was to come next.

A banner, carried onto the pitch by fans, read: ‘The hat-trick is on’ and Kyle Walker spoke of the team’s determination to ‘make history’.

In that sense, it would look like a disappointing end to the campaign if City fail to add to the league title.

It’s a natural consequence of Guardiola’s dominance and why the pressure on him is increasing to finally conquer Europe with this team.

For English rivals City, however, the title remains a dream and Arsenal – like Liverpool in recent years – have learned the hard way how painful it can be to face Guardiola.

In the end, Mikel Arteta’s side fell too easily, winning only two of their last eight games. But for much of the season it looked like Arsenal would hold out for a first title in 19 years.

There may not be a better chance of beating City than this year when Guardiola’s players struggled for consistency before embarking on a relentless march from February.

Even then, Arsenal led the table by eight points as recently as April 7, but still couldn’t hold off City’s charge.

“Arsenal took us to our limits, otherwise (we) wouldn’t win those 12 games in a row,” Guardiola said. “We didn’t give up and they felt we were there.”

It’s possible to imagine City getting stronger next season, with 52 more Haaland goals set up in the team and league.

New signings are also expected to arrive in the off-season and Guardiola’s new three-man defensive system could also be more refined after changing his formation this campaign.

It’s for the future. Sunday was all about City’s final party, but Guardiola will hope the end-of-season celebrations have only just begun.


The Sam Allardyce experiment looks doomed after Leeds’ 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Sunday pushed it to the brink of relegation.

Leeds need to win against Tottenham on the final day of the season and will be hoping for more results to stave off the fall.

Rodrigo opened the scoring at the London Stadium, but goals from Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini condemned Leeds to a final defeat.

Allardyce was tasked with securing survival in early May, but picked up just one point in his three games in charge.

“It was always going to be a difficult task,” said the 68-year-old former England manager. “A lot of people said I’m crazy to take it. I am not crazy. I love football and Leeds United was too big a job for me, no matter how short.


Roberto de Zerbi could be one of the most in-demand coaches this summer – but he says he aims to lead Brighton to Europe next season.

“The club, the players, me, my staff and the fans, they have to organize their passports to travel to Europe next year because we have to grow together,” he said after a 3-1 victory against the relegated Southampton on Sunday.

Few could have predicted such a successful season for Brighton after manager Graham Potter left for Chelsea in September.

But De Zerbi has taken the club to new heights after leading them to Europe for the first time in their history.

That was assured against Southampton, with Evan Ferguson scoring twice in the first half to set up victory.

Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back after the break, but Pascal Gross’s goal sealed a 3-1 win.

Brighton can no longer finish below seventh place – in the Europa Conference League berth – although a sixth place and a Europa League spot are almost mathematically guaranteed.


James Robson is on


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