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Manchester City roars to fourth straight Premier League crown

Kyle Walker lifts the Premier League trophy after Manchester City’s win over West Ham United at Etihad Stadium.

Kyle Walker lifts the Premier League trophy after Manchester City’s win over West Ham United at Etihad Stadium. Photo: Getty

Manchester City fans could hardly stand the wait for the final whistle. 

Not because they feared a last-minute twist and the unlikeliest of comebacks from West Ham. 

The tension during the dying moments of the Premier League season at Etihad Stadium was simply because fans couldn’t wait to get the party started after a record fourth-straight English top-flight title for Pep Guardiola’s dominant team. 

A 3-1 win on the day, with two first-half goals from Phil Foden and another from Rodri after the break, made certain of that and soon a sea of light blue shirts flooded the field. 

Winning has become a familiar feeling in these parts. And there is no sign of it getting old.

“It feels just as amazing as the first one. We worked so hard for it,” City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said. 

“It has been a tough battle with Arsenal and Liverpool this year, and you know to be here again doing something historic is amazing.”

Four titles in a row is also six in seven seasons for Guardiola, who has won 17 trophies since heading to the blue half of Manchester in 2016. 

In all, Guardiola has won 38 trophies as a coach at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City to strengthen the case for him to be considered the greatest manager of his era. 

“Everyone in football is in awe of his coaching but there is more to it than that,” outgoing West Ham manager David Moyes said. 

“Four in a row is incredible.”

Another question that will be debated long and hard is whether this City team should be considered English soccer’s greatest of all time. 

No other English team has won four titles in succession. Not during Liverpool’s dominant era in the 1970s and ’80s – and not during Manchester United’s in the ’90s and 2000s. 

“In terms of numbers, nobody has been better than us – the records, the goals, the points and four in a row,” Guardiola said.

“If I land here tomorrow and you say I will win six Premier Leagues in seven years, I would say ‘Are you crazy?’ It’s impossible. We have done something unbelievable.”

Arsenal took up the fight this season, but Mikel Arteta’s team couldn’t quite get over the line, finishing two points behind after its 2-1 win against Everton.

Elsewhere on the final day, Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham ended the season with a 3-0 win at last-place Sheffield United to ensure it will be playing Europa League football next season.

Even a 2-0 win over Brighton couldn’t prevent Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United finishing eighth – the club’s lowest in the Premier League era. 

Newcastle finished seventh, above United on goal difference, after a 4-2 win at Brentford, while Chelsea beat Bournemouth 2-1 to finish sixth, with Moises Caicedo scoring an astonishing goal from just past the halfway line.

Mauricio Pochettino has managed to salvage a troubled season by qualifying for Europe, while Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool reign ended, amid high emotion, with a 2-0 win against Wolves. 

The German is standing down after winning a full set of major trophies in more than eight years at the club. 

“When you are in it, you forget sometimes how great it is,” Klopp said.

 “You take it for granted. Now I stand here, I’m just so happy I’m a part of the club’s history. It’s wonderful.”

Luton’s relegation was confirmed after a 4-2 loss at home against Fulham, as Nottingham Forest, one place above Luton, beat second-from-bottom Burnley 2-1.

-AP

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