regular-article-logo Friday, 08 December 2023

Manchester City celebrate Premier League title with 1-0 victory over Chelsea

Alvarez scores early as Pep Guardiola's second-string side gets the better of struggling Chelsea

Reuters, AP/PTI Manchester Published 22.05.23, 06:27 AM
Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola. File photo

Manchester City celebrated their Premier League title on Sunday, beating Chelsea 1-0 with an early goal by Julian Alvarez in the team's home finale at a sun-drenched Etihad Stadium.

Treble-chasing City, who wrapped up the title when Arsenal were beaten by Nottingham Forest on Saturday, have won 12 successive games in the top flight.


They have 88 points from 36 games, seven more than Arsenal who have played 37 games. Frank Lampard's Chelsea are 12th with 43 points and one game remaining.

Alvarez scored in the 12th minute for a largely a second-string City side, slipping the ball under goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from a pass by Kyle Walker. He had another goal chalked off for a handball in the build-up.

With nothing on the line on Sunday and two huge games on the horizon — the FA Cup and Champions League finals — Pep Guardiola left his big guns including goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland on the bench for most of the game. City still dominated, proving they are a well-oiled machine no matter what parts the mastermind manager has to work with.

City were crowned champions for the third season in a row and fifth in six years a day earlier than expected when Arsenal's 1-0 defeat doused any hopes the Londoners had of catching them.

The mood on Sunday was festive. Chelsea sportingly gave the City players, who had watched the Arsenal game together the previous evening, a guard of honour before kick-off while thousands of fans rushed onto the field after the final whistle.

Haaland was a late substitute and did not extend his record of 36 goals in a single Premier League season.

Relegation looms

Leeds United have a lack of depth in their squad that makes fighting for survival a tough task, according to manager Sam Allardyce, who watched his side get easily picked apart by West Ham United in a 3-1 away defeat on Sunday.

The result left Leeds in a perilous position in the relegation zone going into their final game of the season at home to Tottenham Hotspur next weekend.

They trail 17th-placed Everton by two points, and are one ahead of fellow strugglers Leicester City, who have two games remaining.

Leeds led in the first half thanks to Rodrigo’s goal as they put crosses into the West Ham box and looked to pick up the second ball, but were below par in the second period and might have lost by a greater margin.

Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini scored for the hosts.

“We have to look at ourselves and say if we do win next week and do miraculously stay in the league, we have a long way to go in terms of quality in the squad,” Allardyce told Sky Sports.

A first for Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion ensured they will play in Europe next season for the first time in their history after beating Southampton 3-1 at the Amex Stadium, with teenage striker Evan Ferguson scoring twice.

Brighton are sixth in the standings with 61 points and can no longer be caught by eighth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, meaning they are guaranteed a spot in Europe next season — either in the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.

After Kaoru Mitoma and Carlos Alcaraz both squandered chances in a lively start, Brighton went ahead in the 29th minute through Ferguson’s powerful effort, which squirmed under Southampton keeper Alex McCarthy.

A moment of individual brilliance from Mitoma doubled Brighton’s advantage 10 minutes later, as the Japan international outmuscled Romeo Lavia on the left wing before setting up Ferguson with a pinpoint cross with the outside of his boot.

Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back for Southampton in the 58th, but any hopes of a comeback were quickly snuffed out by Pascal Gross.

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