Manchester City secured the Premier League title on Sunday afternoon with a confident 4-1 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.
Despite the margin of victory, it was initially a nervous day for Pep Guardiola’s men as Liverpool took the lead against Wolves, with Glenn Murray also heading the hosts into an early advantage. However, just over a minute later, Sergio Aguero scored another crucial goal to equalise before Aymeric Laporte nodded home to take the Citizens top once again.
A second consecutive crown was secured after the break as further strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan took the game away from the hosts and the Premier League crown away from Liverpool and back to Manchester.
Scare for City
Guardiola’s troops did not get off the best start on the South Coast, with the hosts beginning the better. Alireza Jahanbakhsh put a powerful effort just wide. News at the AMEX Stadium that Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead begun to trickle through and it got worse for the Citizens as Murray planted a header at the near post to give the hosts a shock lead.
However, Chris Hughton’s men were not quite able to hold onto their lead as David Silva fed the ball into Aguero. The Argentine controlled and struck clinically past Mat Ryan to score a crucial equaliser for the Citizens.
Citizens roar ahead
The reigning Premier League champions soon clicked into gear though as both Bernardo Silva and Mahrez forced the Brighton stopper into clever saves. However, he could not do anything about Laporte’s effort as the Frenchman guided an excellent headed effort into the net from Mahrez’s corner to give City the advantage at the break.
The Algerian was in inspired form throughout what could have potentially been a tricky afternoon for Manchester City. He managed to give the visitors the comfort that they so craved after managing to carve out numerous opportunities. Mahrez took control off the ball, shifted it away from the Brighton defence and fired it into the net, sending the Manchester City fans into raptures.
Gundogan could have polished Brighton off with another but he could only put his effort just wide.
Gundogan curls free kick home to close out title with style
Of all the sumptuous football that Manchester City have played this season, they secured the title with arguably one of their goals of the season. Given a free-kick 25 yards from goal, the German midfielder was the man to take control and curl a stunning effort into the net to eventually get his goal.
Aguero tried to have another say in the late stages as he continued to push for the Golden Boot but despite his powerful effort being on target, Dunk was able to get his body in the way and deflect the ball away from goal. However, the celebrations were not to be dampened as on the final whistle, the Citizens justifiably relished being crowned the Premier League champions once again.
What a performance and what a season from Pep Guardiola and his team. The match at the AMEX Stadium probably summed up their campaign. Despite adversity, they were able to power through and in the end, snatch glory. The Citizens were in impressive form and deserve to be named champions of England for the fourth time and the first since Manchester United in 2009 to win back-to-back top-flight titles. They now turn their attentions to their upcoming FA Cup final clash with Watford in an effort to claim a domestic treble. Brighton meanwhile will reflect on a difficult season despite securing another campaign in the top flight.
Brighton and Hove Albion: Ryan (5); Bruno (6) (Montoya (N/A), 84′), Duffy (5), Dunk (6), Bernardo (6); Knockaert (5), Gross (6), Kayal (6), Bissouma (7); Jahanbakhsh (6) (Locadia (5), 67′), Murray (7) (Andone (5), 68′).
Manchester City: Ederson (6); Walker (6) (Danilo (N/A), 88′), Kompany (7) (Otamendi (N/A), 86′), Laporte (8), Zinchenko (6); B. Silva (7), Gundogan (8), D. Silva (7) (De Bruyne (N/A), 78′); Mahrez (8), Aguero (8), Sterling (8).
Goals: Murray (27′), Aguero (28′), Laporte (38′), Mahrez (63′), Gundogan (72′)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
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