Sky Blues win fifth EPL title in six seasons after second-placed Arsenal lose 0-1 to Nottingham
Manchester City fans arrive ahead of the English Premier League match against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester yesterday. PICS/AFP, Getty Images
Manchester City won the Premier League for the fifth time in six seasons on Saturday, taking a first step to a possible golden treble of trophies as second-placed Arsenal lost 0-1 at Nottingham Forest. The Gunners’ challenge finally evaporated after a second consecutive defeat left Mikel Arteta’s side four points adrift of City with one game left for them to play.
Awonyi nets winner
Taiwo Awonyi’s first-half goal also ensured Forest avoided relegation in their first season back in the top flight for 23 years. City’s third successive English title has turned Sunday’s league game at home to Chelsea into a celebration match.
Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard (left) and teammate wear a dejected look after Nottingham Forest register a 1-0 win over Gunners on Saturday
Pep Guardiola’s men will now look to complete a treble when they face local rivals Manchester United and Italian giants Inter Milan in next month’s FA Cup and Champions League finals respectively. City have become the dominant force in the English game since an Abu Dhabi-backed takeover transformed their fortunes in 2008.
But admiration for the quality of their football under manager Guardiola has also been accompanied by questions over their financing, with City facing a mammoth 115 charges for breaking Premier League rules.
Nevertheless, City captain Ilkay Gundogan insisted his side had been pushed hard this season. “The Premier League is without doubt the most demanding and competitive league in the world so that tells you everything about what an achievement this is,” he said.
But for Arsenal manager Arteta, a former assistant to Guardiola, there were thoughts of what might have been for the longtime leaders. “First of all, congratulations to Manchester City for winning the championship, but it is a sad day for us,” Arteta told Sky Sports. “Now we have to face the reality, today we gave a goal waway and we were not good enough to break them down.”
‘Everything we wished for’
By contrast, Forest manager Steve Cooper told the BBC: “We limited them [Arsenal] to very little, incredible desire and we got over the line. It was everything we wished for from today. It is what the players and the supporters particularly deserve.”
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