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Man City celebrate title glory with win over Chelsea, Leeds in relegation peril

Man City celebrate title glory with win over Chelsea, Leeds in relegation peril

FOOTBALL: Manchester City celebrated their Premier League title triumph with a 1-0 win against Chelsea before Ilkay Gundogan lifted the trophy in front of their jubilant fans, while Leeds slipped closer to relegation yesterday (May 21).


Monday 22 May 2023, 10:57AM

Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Premier League title yesterday (May 21). Photo: AFP

Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan lifts the trophy as the team celebrate winning the Premier League title yesterday (May 21). Photo: AFP

City clinched a fifth title in six seasons on Saturday when second placed Arsenal crashed 1-0 at Nottingham Forest.

Pep Guardiola’s side marked their third successive title by winning a 12th consecutive league game as Julian Alvarez’s first-half goal extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches.

That blistering streak has left Arsenal trailing as the Gunners failed to end City’s reign despite leading the table for much of the season.

“All Premier Leagues are special. Always it’s so difficult to win it,” Guardiola said.

“We had to push Arsenal and wait if they dropped some points. They did. We were there. You never know how we are going to respond but the team was outstanding.”

The fans’ celebrations were going strong by the time the City team bus arrived at the Etihad Stadium, which was surrounded by flag-waving supporters who set off blue smoke flares as they hailed their dynastic team.

City, seven points clear of Arsenal with two games left, would cement their status as one of English football’s greatest ever teams if they can add the FA Cup and Champions League to their latest Premier League conquest.

Guardiola’s treble chasers face Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley on June 3, then take on Inter Milan in Istanbul seven days later as they look to win the Champions League for the first time.

United were the last English club to win the treble in 1999 and City would relish the chance to emulate their rivals’ feat.

“You have to win the Champions League to be considered one of the best teams but also it’s unfair to say if you don’t win it, the Premier League doesn’t make sense,” Guardiola said.

“Of course it makes sense, of course it’s important. It’s every day, every week. This club won five of the last six. It’s amazing.”

Chelsea players lined up for a pre-match guard of honour for their City counterparts, who walked out onto the pitch with their children while club anthem ‘Blue Moon’ rang around the Etihad.

Leeds in danger

With City’s players and fans in festive mood, Alvarez ensured Chelsea wouldn’t spoil the party.

The Argentine forward produced a clinical finish from Cole Palmer’s 12th minute pass.

After hundreds of supporters spilled onto the pitch at the final whistle, all that was left was the champions’ coronation.

Guardiola and his players collected their medals before Gundogan hoisted the trophy as confetti and fireworks filled the blue sky.

At the other end of the table, struggling Leeds lost 3-1 at West Ham as Rodrigo’s opener was erased by goals from Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini.

Sam Allardyce’s side remain third bottom and are two points adrift of fourth bottom Everton, with both teams having just one game left.

Even if Leeds beat Tottenham at home on the final day of the season, the Yorkshire club would still be relegated if Everton win their last game against Bournemouth at Goodison Park.

Allardyce’s team, whose goal difference is three worse than Everton’s, are likely to need the Toffees to lose to have a chance of staying up.

Leeds, who last played in the Championship in 2020, have lost twice and drawn once in three games since Allardyce replaced the sacked Javi Gracia earlier this month.

“We haven’t shown the quality when needed. So next week has to be much better to beat Tottenham. That’s all we can do,” Allardyce said.

Brighton secured European football for the first time in their history with a 3-1 win against Southampton.

Evan Ferguson netted twice in the first half and although Mohamed Elyounoussi got one back for already-relegated Southampton, Pascal Gross wrapped up Brighton’s victory.

Roberto De Zerbi’s sixth-placed side will ensure they play in the Europa League if they take a point from their last two games.

Brighton’s vastly superior goal difference to seventh placed Aston Villa should guarantee they don’t drop into the Europa Conference League.

“I think we deserve this. The club, the players and the fans, they have to organise their passports to travel in Europe next year,” De Zerbi said.

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