City crowned Premier League champions as United crashArchive
LONDON: Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday as Manchester United crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion.
City had moved within touching distance of the title with a 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday. The victory, sealed with goals by Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling, lifted them to 87 points from 33 games.
City clinched the silverware 24 hours later thanks to Albion forward Jay Rodriguez’s 73rd minute header at Old Trafford.
City captain Vincent Kompany led the celebrations, tweeting: “Champions! What a great feeling! So happy to be able to share another trophy with our amazing fans!”
United had denied City the chance to wrap up the title last weekend when they came from two goals down to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
But Jose Mourinho’s men still ended up handing the trophy to City with a lacklustre display against bottom of the table Albion, who had won only three times in the league this season before this weekend.
“Manchester City, we won it for you” chanted West Brom fans at full-time as United supporters began jeering in frustration at their side gift-wrapping the title for City.
City are 16 points clear of second placed United, who can only take a maximum of 15 points from their remaining five games.
Winning the title with five matches to go makes City the joint earliest champions in the Premier League era -- matching the achievement of the 2000-01 Manchester United team.
“Our Time. Our City. Premier League Champions 17/18,” City posted on their official Twitter account.
It is the fifth time City have been English champions and the third time in the last seven seasons.
City boss Pep Guardiola had planned a day of golf with his son Marius on Sunday, so the Spaniard might have learned of his first Premier League while on the course.
Speaking after the win over Tottenham, Guardiola admitted winning the title in England would be one of the greatest achievements of his glittering career.
He won three league titles with Barcelona and twice lifted the Champions League trophy during his Camp Nou reign.
The 47-year-old also took the German title three times with Bayern Munich, but he believes the unique strength in depth and physical demands of the Premier League makes this triumph among his very best.
He also conceded it was sweet to triumph in a country where some critics claimed his purist principles couldn’t flourish.
Guardiola and his players will have the chance to celebrate properly on Sunday when they host Swansea in their next fixture.
NEWCASTLE’S COMEBACK WIN
Meanwhile, Newcastle virtually assured their Premier League status for another season by coming from behind to beat a depleted Arsenal side 2-1 thanks to Matt Ritchie’s second-half winner.
Rafa Benitez’s team passed the 40-point mark widely viewed as a guarantee against relegation and is 13 points clear of third-to-last Southampton with five games remaining.
Ritchie swept in a right-footed finish in the 68th minute to complete Newcastle’s fightback after Alexandre Lacazette’s 14th-minute opener for Arsenal.
Ayoze Perez equalised for Newcastle in the 29th.
The loss left Arsenal in danger of dropping below seventh-place Burnley with a month left of the season. Two points separate the teams and Arsenal’s focus is now on winning the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal play Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.
SALAH HITS 40TH GOAL
On Saturday, third-placed Liverpool beat Bournemouth 3-0 at home with Mohamed Salah taking his goal tally for the season to 40 in all competitions -- making him only the third Liverpool player to achieve that mark in a single campaign.
Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were also on target as Liverpool moved three points above Tottenham.
Liverpool are 10 points above fifth-placed Chelsea who hit back from two goals down at relegation-haunted Southampton to win 3-2 and keep alive their hopes of a top-four finish.
Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2018