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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Imperious City make it four-in-a-row: Pep’s bravehearts make Premier League history

Two glorious early goals from league player of the season Phil Foden created a party atmosphere in the sunshine at the Etihad Stadium, before a stunning bicycle kick from Mohammed Kudus before half-time brought West Ham briefly into the game

Our Bureau And Agencies Manchester Published 20.05.24, 08:37 AM
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lifts the Premier League Trophy at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lifts the Premier League Trophy at Etihad Stadium on Sunday. X/@ManCity

Manchester City won an unprecedented fourth straight English top-flight title with a 3-1 win over West Ham United on Sunday to pip rivals Arsenal on the final day of a thrilling English Premier League season as the fans turned the pitch into a sea of blue.

Two glorious early goals from league player of the season Phil Foden created a party atmosphere in the sunshine at the Etihad Stadium, before a stunning bicycle kick from Mohammed Kudus before half-time brought West Ham briefly into the game.

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But Rodri sealed the victory with a low 59th minute shot from outside the area, giving Pep Guardiola's side a phenomenal sixth title in seven years. Fans danced in their seats, belting out: "Champions again!" and "Are you watching Arsenal?"

In one of the closest title races in Premier League history, Arsenal could have taken the championship had City dropped points. But the Londoners' 2-1 win in their game against Everton was in vain, leaving them two points behind.

Manchester United finished outside the European positions in eighth place and with a negative goal difference despite beating Brighton 2-0 away.

Diogo Dalot and Rasmus Hojlund were the scorers.

Finishing in sixth or seventh place would have confirmed a place in the Europa League or Europa Conference League, respectively, for United.

However, the two teams above United — Chelsea and Newcastle — won elsewhere.

United could still get into the Europa League by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Klopp's last

In many ways, it was business as usual for Juergen Klopp.

He touched the “This is Anfield” sign in the tunnel on the way out to the pitch.

He patrolled the middle of the field with his hands behind his back during the warmups, watching his own team — and then, with that trademark glare, his opponents.

He waved to fans behind the Liverpool dugout and tapped his heart just before kick-off, before soaking in the pre-match rendition of “You'll Never Walk Alone.”

“This morning (Sunday) I woke up,” Klopp said before the final match of his transformational, nearly nine-year stint in charge of Liverpool, “and I was completely in game mode.”

This, of course, was no normal day for Klopp.

The 2-0 win over Wolverhampton at Anfield doubled as a tribute to a coach who led Liverpool to seven major trophies and forged such a connection with the city that he has been compared to Bill Shankly — the club's legendary manager from 1959-74.

No wonder he looked emotional throughout an afternoon that Liverpool fans never wanted to come.

They lined the streets outside Anfield to welcome Klopp and his players, and then produced a paper mosaic of the word “JURGEN” in the stand.

“People are calling it The Last Dance. So let's dance,” he told Sky Sports.

AP/PTI, Reuters

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