News24.com | 5 key moments that gained Man City the Premier League
Riyad Mahrez for Manchester City (AFP)
Manchester City are Premier League champions for the fifth time in 10 seasons -- underlining their living as the dominant facet in English football.
A third league title of Pep Guardiola's reign became as soon as something however a foregone conclusion in the early months of a season love no other, performed out nearly entirely in empty stadiums ensuing from the coronavirus pandemic.
City stumbled in the early weeks of the marketing campaign however found out their groove in mid-December to toddle obvious of the chasing pack and wrap up the title with three video games to spare.
AFP Sport appears to be like to be at five defining moments that swung the title bustle City's device:
After a 5-2 thrashing by Leicester in their first dwelling league game of the season, it became as soon as laborious to assume City would scuttle on to boast by a long way the very best defensive file in the Premier League.
However, internal 48 hours of the Foxes running amok on the Etihad, Ruben Dias arrived for to cease Guardiola's defensive woes.
The Portugal centre-serve no longer easiest introduced his include combine of bodily strength and poise on the ball, however introduced out the very best in a revitalised John Stones as they formed a uncover partnership.
Within the 10 Premier League video games they started together between December and February, City conceded fair correct two inconsequential needs in taking a most 30 facets to settle adjust of the title bustle.
"I didn't love what I saw," stated Guardiola after City dropped facets for the seventh time in their opening 12 Premier League video games in a 1-1 device at dwelling to West Brom. "I felt that is no longer the group I'm in a position to recognise myself."
The Catalan went serve to the planning stage alongside with his workers, while captain Fernandinho known as a crisis meeting among the squad.
"We had to come serve serve to our game, transfer the ball sooner, build extra passes, finish in attach, bustle much less with the ball, build it together. Lets gentle no longer have a explicit participant to select video games, now we must build it together," Guardiola later added.
A 21-game winning bustle adopted to no longer easiest plan a huge lead in the title bustle, however serve City no longer off beam for a treble.
City's final game of 2020 at Everton became as soon as postponed fair correct hours earlier than kick-off due to the a coronavirus outbreak among the squad that shut down the club's practising ground.
Lower than a week later, Guardiola's men travelled to Chelsea with fair correct 15 senior gamers readily accessible due to the plod cases.
Despite the adversity, City produced to that point their easiest efficiency of the season, sweeping the Blues aside with three needs in the foremost 34 minutes.
Victory at Anfield became as soon as one in all the few Premier League feats that had no longer been completed by City since their Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.
Liverpool's title defence became as soon as already crumbling -- after a 68-game unbeaten at dwelling in the league stretching serve nearly four years, Brighton and Burnley each gained at Anfield sooner than City's scuttle to.
City didn't fair correct cease an 18-year await a league victory at Liverpool however did so emphatically with a 4-1 pick due to the a mix of sumptuous attacking play and two massive errors from Reds' goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
Liverpool's capitulation left Manchester United as the very best other contenders to quit City, however Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men felt the stress as quickly as they turned into title contenders.
A 2-1 pick at Fulham on January 20 took the Purple Devils top of the desk, though City had a game in hand to overturn a two-point deficit.
In United's next league match, rock-backside Sheffield United gained at Feeble Trafford, kicking off a bustle of two wins in eight video games that ended any realistic hope Solskjaer's facet had of ending an eight-year wait to select the title.