Manchester City been crowned Premier League champions for the third successive season after Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal 1-0 at the City Ground. Taiwo Awoniyi’s well-taken goal in the 19th minute was enough to secure Premier League football for Forest again next season, but, in doing so, handed City the title once again.
It’s the culmination of an amazing week for the blues, who reached the Champions League Final in style on Wednesday after taking Real Madrid apart to book their place in Istanbul and a showdown with Inter Milan.
But, with a potentially tough run-in, starting with a home match against Chelsea, followed by difficult away games at Brighton and Brentford, City and the faithful will be thankful that Forest pulled off the win over the Gunners that the blues needed to secure the title.
How City Hunted Down The Gunners
When the blues beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates in early February, it looked like the turning point in the title race. Arsenal were unbeaten at home all season, yet City brushed them aside to blow the race wide open. However, City struggled to break down a well-organised Forest at the City Ground and a 1-1 draw, two weeks after a dismal defeat at Spurs, swung the title race back in Arsenal’s favour.
But the blues didn’t give up and a 4-1 win at Bournemouth kick-started their campaign again and their run of 10 straight wins, coupled with Arsenal’s bizarre loss of form in April, handed the blues another league title.
The Gunners won just five of their ten matches over the same period, and incredibly threw away a two-goal lead twice in successive games at Liverpool and West Ham. A 3-3 home draw with Southampton, where at one point, the Gunners were 3-1 down, was followed by a 4-1 hammering at City. That win closed the gap to just two points, with City having two games in hand.
Wins over Chelsea and Newcastle kept the Gunners in the race, but a heavy home defeat to Brighton left City on the brink of a third title in succession.
City Have Been Here Before
It’s not the first time that City have had to chase down the league leaders to take the title and Gunners fans shouldn’t be too disheartened. Their team have performed incredibly over the course of the season and will learn from this experience.
The relentless pressure that is the City machine eventually told and forced the Gunners into panic mode. With the blues breathing down their necks, reminding them they would take advantage of any slips has become the City way.
In 2012, United were eight points clear and had a better goal difference going into the final six matches of the season. While United lost two and drew one, City won all six of their matches, scoring 18 and conceding just four to take the title on goal difference.
Two years later, City were nine points behind Liverpool, but had two games in hand on the Mersey Reds. City closed the gap to just three points after Chelsea won 2-0 at Anfield and City had entered winning mode. City went top on 3rd May with a 3-2 win at Everton and, while Liverpool threw away a three-goal lead to draw at Crystal Palace, City hammered Aston Villa 4-0 to go into the final day two points clear. A 2-0 win over West Ham gave City their second title.
In January 2019, City lost 2-1 at Newcastle and found themselves four points behind Liverpool, having played a game extra. Liverpool’s home draw with Leicester gave the faithful some hope. Liverpool would only drop another six points until the end of the season, but that was enough to let City in.
An unstoppable run of 13 straight wins took the title race to the final day of the season and City went to Brighton needing to win to secure the title. Brighton took the lead on 27 minutes, but Sergio Aguero equalised a minute later. Aymeric Laporte put the blues in front and goals from Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan secured the title win style.
Now City have become the first team since United to win three successive Premier League titles and the pressure is on for them to try and make it four in a row next season. But for now, the blues can go into their final matches and rest a few players for their FA Cup and Champions League finals.