Good morning to everyone whose favorite club are the Champions of England, Manchester City hosted old friends Chelsea FC on Sunday as they lifted the Premier League trophy for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Across town, the women suffered a late loss against rivals Manchester United in the WSL. Sky Blue News is here with seven headlines to get your week started right.
Manchester City clinch their third consecutive Premier League title - Adam Marrett - Man City Square
Manchester City’s third successive title was clinched after Arsenal went down 1 nil to Nottingham Forest at the City Ground in Saturday’s late kick-off. A result that sealed Arsenal’s fate for this season and showed that Mikel Arteta’s men had finally run out of puff trying to keep pace with this rampant Manchester City outfit, and caps off a dismal run of form for Arsenal at the pointy end of the season.
This Premier League title was clinched off the back of 11 consecutive wins in the Premier League (that also runs with a 23-match unbeaten run in all competitions), a winning run in the Premier League starting with a 4-1 win away at Bournemouth. From that result Manchester City clicked into gear and the tactical shifts Guardiola had implemented earlier in the season had gelled and this squad kicked into gear.
For periods before this current streak beginning it looked like City wouldn’t gel in time to make a run at Arsenal at the time. But this squad is made of something different, and their winning mentality and experience rose to the fore. Also at the start of April MCFC sat 8 points behind Arsenal, and from there the relentless nature of this Manchester City kicked into gear and finally ground Arsenal’s title pursuit into the ground.
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.
City captain Ilkay Gundogan lifted the Premier League crown for the third time in a row and the fifth occasion in six seasons following our 1-0 victory over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
It was the 12th victory of an incredible Premier League winning streak that saw us take the title with three games to spare in a hectic schedule that also saw us seal a place in Champions League and FA Cup finals.
Ahead of showpiece dates with Manchester United and Inter next month, we still have - GoalPremier League games with Brighton and Brentford to play.
But the boss says the players have had a tough time and that they will have time to prepare for the finals.
“I have been so demanding in this period,” Guardiola said. “We lift the trophy so to think of going to Brighton is so exhausting. We know how difficult they are.
“The players have to celebrate otherwise it makes no sense. We will arrive with time to rest mentally for the two finals against United and Inter.
‘The best clubs are always starving’ - Pep Guardiola says Man City must win Champions League to be considered a great team - Ritabrata Banerjee - Goal
WHAT HAPPENED? Manchester City have been in red-hot form and could end up winning the ‘treble’ this season, which would make them only the second English club after Manchester United to achieve the feat. They have already won the Premier League for a third season in a row and have reached the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League.
But despite all the success, Pep Guardiola maintained that to be considered among the European elite, they need to win the Champions League this season.
WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to The Times, Guardiola said, “The team is really good but I’m in agreement with the media and people saying we have to win in Europe to be considered as the same type to those [great] teams. Those teams, they’ve won not just once but many times in Europe. The joy [of reaching the Champions League final] is so nice, it’s amazing being here again and again.
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City aren't a truly great team... yet ⏳— GOAL News (@GoalNews) May 21, 2023
Phil Foden offers glimpse of how Man City might approach next title defence - Joe Bray - Manchester Evening News
Foden has started two games in midfield until this point, once against Sevilla in a Champions League dead-rubber, and another in the FA Cup demolition over Chelsea at the Etihad, where he got a goal and assist. It was Chelsea again who had to cope with Foden being the creative spark from midfield - and while it was another dead rubber of sorts, he played with a point to prove.
Having found himself out of the first-choice starting XI that put City into two finals and crowned Premier League champions, Foden was, in one sense, playing for a place at Wembley and in Istanbul. But he won’t start either game in midfield, so in another sense he was auditioning again for a long-term role in the centre.
gone from insisting he needs more tactical development to giving him the game-time to learn on the job.
Foden’s run across Palmer for City’s only goal allowed space for Julian Alvarez to take and convert, while he was popping up in the box to try and convert if the opportunity arose. His glorious lob was another highlight in an encouraging performance.
Sunday’s coronation was possibly the last time captain Ilkay Gundogan and influential playmaker Bernardo Silva feature at the Etihad for City. Gundogan is out of contract, with no decision yet made on his future, while Bernardo’s long-term stance that he would like to leave will surely dominate the summer’s transfer rumour mill.
If Jude Bellingham is Madrid-bound, and there are few alternative, world-class midfielders on the market to replace one (or both) of Gundogan and Bernardo, Foden may get more than three midfield starts next season.
Gary Neville: ‘It will be a miracle if Manchester City don’t win the treble’ - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole
Man United are the only English club to ever win the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the same season, completing the remarkable feat in the 1998-99 campaign under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Neville was part of that successful treble-winning squad and he feels that the Red Devils’ noisy neighbours are in a strong position to win the same three trophies this term, stating that it would be a “massive disappointment” if they fell short at this late stage.
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Man City’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Neville said: “I think for the City now not to win the treble with Manchester United and Inter Milan in front of them will be a massive disappointment.
“They’re strong favourites in both games, they’re in great form. They’ve got everything going right for them. It’d be a miracle if you don’t win the treble in my eyes.
“That’s not me putting pressure on them, but you look at Manchester City they just destroyed Real Madrid with multiple Champions League winners in their team the other night [at the Etihad]. So I don’t think they’re going to fear Inter Milan they’re not going to fear Manchester United.
“Anything can happen in the final we know that. But if Manchester City play at that level, then those two teams are in big trouble. I don’t know what the odds are for them to be treble winners, but they’ll be odds on favourites.”
Gary Neville believes it will be a "miracle" if Premier League champions Manchester City fail to win the treble this season.— Sports Mole (@SportsMole) May 21, 2023
Full story https://t.co/zGdFp6mivD
And finally... Are Manchester City the greatest Premier League side ever?
Relentless Manchester City lays claim to being Premier League’s greatest team with stunning era of dominance - Matias Grez - CNN Sports
What will be most concerning to City’s Premier League rivals is that Pep Guardiola and his players show no signs of relenting.
Even the team’s veterans look far from losing their powers anytime soon; Kevin De Bruyne is just 31 and as brilliant as ever, İlkay Gündoğan – whose future remains up in the air – Riyad Mahrez and Walker are only 32 and remain as crucial as ever to Guardiola’s plans.
Remarkably, despite all the talk about City’s strength in depth, no team has used fewer players in the Premier League this season than City’s 23.
Then there is Guardiola himself, who after previously never spending more than four seasons at a club, citing burnout, is about to finish his seventh season in charge at the Etihad and looks and sounds as motivated as ever to continue, signing a contract extension until 2025 as recently as November.
Indeed, defender Rúben Dias recently called Guardiola the “main piece” of this City team.
“Obviously, the team is important and, in the end, it is the players that play on the pitch, but he is definitely the head of everything and we play the game through his eyes,” the Portuguese international told ManCity.com.
“He has won everything and he wants to continue to win. That hunger starts all over again every season – that’s his biggest quality.”
Pep Guardiola's team demolished rivals to win a third successive Premier League title. But it wasn't all plain sailing.https://t.co/fHZgSZfmZJ— CNN Football (@CNNFC) May 21, 2023
There you have it. Stay with Bitter and Blue as CIty continue to hunt down the treble. Next up, the FA Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley on 3 June. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.