Manchester: Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri expects the club to go from strength to strength after reclaiming the English Premier League crown. City completed their second title success in three seasons with a 2-0 victory over West Ham on Sunday.
Manchester City players celebrate after winning the EPL title on Sunday. PIC/Getty Images
City failed to build on their 2012 league win as expected, finishing runners-up to rivals Manchester United, but Nasri has do doubt a glittering future lies ahead.
The Frenchman, who opened the scoring against the Hammers with a superb long-range strike, said: “If we keep the same squad and add one or two good players, I don’t see why we can’t repeat this kind of thing. I have been here three years and won four trophies. Every year since I came we have finished first or second, so over those three years we have been the best team in England — no doubt about it.
“It is important that next year we confirm that.”
City’s title destiny slipped out of their hands as they lost at Liverpool and were held to a draw by Sunderland last month. They regrouped and won their last five games, taking advantage of a Liverpool slip-up in the process, in a strong finish.
‘We deserve it’
Nasri said: “We scored 102 goals in the league, over 150 goals (156) in all competitions.
“It is attractive football, offensive football, and I think the manager and the players deserve this trophy.”
Nasri himself played a prominent role, with numerous influential performances throughout the campaign.
The 26-year-old felt he had greater involvement than in the last title win, marking a fine return to form after a frustrating 2012/13 campaign.
He said: “The title this year has a different taste to what happened two years ago — I played a part then, but not like this year. I did great because I had a great manager behind me, who trusted me and I tried to give it back to him on the pitch.”
Key games in this season’s title race
Sept 22, Man City 4-1 Man United
Few expected Man United to put up such a poor title defence. But City raced into a 4-0 lead inside 50 minutes and United’s season never got going after the result.
Dec 29, Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool
Liverpool made a strong start to the season and claimed top spot by Christmas. Their challenge looked to have been dealt a killer blow, however, as they were controversially beaten in back-to-back games by City and Chelsea.
Feb 8, Liverpool 5-1 Arsenal
Arsenal’s challenge began to peter out after a spectacular hammering at Anfield. They travelled to Merseyside as league leaders, but left stunned after conceding four times in the opening 20 minutes. Chelsea took advantage to take top spot.
March 15, Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea
By March, the title looked like a fight between Chelsea and City. The Londoners held the upper hand with a nine-point lead over City. A late goal saw them beaten at Villa Park and an equally damaging loss at Crystal Palace followed.
April 13, Liverpool 3-2 City
Liverpool’s charge reached fever pitch as they beat City in one of the games of the season for their 10th successive win.
April 19, Chelsea 1-2 Sunderland
Liverpool gained more breathing space as Chelsea stuttered again with a shock defeat to Sunderland.
April 27, Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
The title was almost within touching distance for Liverpool when they hosted Chelsea. A draw would even have kept them in control, but they could not grind down the Blues of Mourinho.
May 3, Everton 2-3 City
The Toffees threatened to do a huge favour for their Liverpool as Ross Barkley scored a stunning opener, but City recovered to win.
May 5, Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool
With two games each to play, City and Liverpool were level on points. City had the superior goal difference, but Liverpool, the next to play, squandered the chance to apply pressure when they surrendered a 3-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of their penultimate game.
5 Young stars of the season
After the EPL season ended on Sunday, PA Sport looks at the five young players who have broken through to emerge as stars of the 2013-14 season:
Ross Barkley, Everton
English football has long been waiting for a successor to the legendary Paul Gascoigne — but without the self-destructive elements of course — and Everton’s 20-year-old midfielder looks as close as they come.
Hugely gifted, great at carrying the ball forward and the scorer of some sensational goals, the future looks hugely exciting for him.
Raheem Sterling, Liverpool
Liverpool’s 19-year-old had had his first-team chances before this season but too often flattered to deceive.
The change came in December when he showed his versatility as both a winger and a key part of an attacking triangle involving Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez. By February, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers was calling him “the best young player in Europe right now”.
Luke Shaw, Southampton
The Southampton full-back only turned 18 just before the start of the season but made light of his youth as a key part of Saints’ exciting pack of young English players. He made the left-back spot his own to such an extent he was picked in that position for the PFA team of the year — and found himself at the centre of a transfer frenzy ahead of the summer window opening.
Adnan Januzaj, Man United
David Moyes’ first significant contribution to Manchester United was to give the 19-year-old Belgium-born winger his chance to shine, and he swiftly established himself as one to watch.
Conversely, it may have been a tricky season — given United’s struggles — for Januzaj to make his name but he did so in spite of the turmoil at Old Trafford.
Gerrard Deulofeu, Everton
On-loan at Everton from Spanish giants Barcelona — and it showed. The youngster never seemed daunted, however strong the opposition and frightened the life out of defenders with his direct running.
The 20-year-old’s success may prove to Everton’s ultimate disadvantage as he has been making noises about wanting to return to his home club.
EPL Team of 2013-14
>> GoalKeeper: Julian Speroni (Crystal Palace)
>> Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), John Terry (Chelsea), Luke Shaw (Southampton)
>> Midfielders: Adam Lallana (Southampton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Yaya Toure (Man City), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
>> Forwards: Luis Suarez (Liverpool), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)