Teamwork makes the dream work

Man Metropolis make historical past with fourth straight Premier League title

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MANCHESTER, England — There was no drama on the Etihad Stadium. There was no repeat of Queens Park Rangers in 2012 or Aston Villa in 2022. As a substitute, in step with a run-in which has seen Manchester Metropolis showcase simply why relentless consistency stays their most spectacular attribute, West Ham United had been dispatched 3-1 with minimal fuss on the ultimate day as Pep Guardiola’s workforce lifted a file fourth successive Premier League title.

It did not matter that, 200 miles away in north London, Arsenal beat Everton 2-1. In fact, it hasn’t mattered a lot what Arsenal have performed because the flip of the yr. Mikel Arteta’s aspect have dropped simply 5 factors in 2024 and it nonetheless wasn’t adequate. Metropolis final misplaced a league sport in December and their file over the ultimate stretch reads: performed six, gained six, 20 objectives scored and two conceded. No surprise Arsenal discovered it so onerous to maintain up.

“By way of numbers, no one has been higher than us: the information, the objectives, the factors and 4 in a row,” stated Guardiola after the match. “If I land right here tomorrow and also you say I’ll win six Premier Leagues in seven years, I might say ‘are you loopy?’ It is inconceivable. We now have performed one thing unbelievable.”

Whereas 115 Premier League expenses for alleged breaches of monetary guidelines grasp over Metropolis, there’ll all the time be questions on how all of this has come collectively. However what’s not unsure is the genius of Guardiola and the ruthless effectivity of his gamers.

Different golf equipment have spent comparable quantities of cash on transfers and wages, however nobody else has come near successful six titles in seven years. It is domination that not even Liverpool of the Seventies and Nineteen Eighties and Manchester United of the Nineties and 2000s can match, and with Guardiola insisting he is intent of seeing out the ultimate yr of his contract, you would not wager towards Metropolis making it 5 in a row subsequent season. Taking in spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola has now gained the league title in 12 of his 15 top-flight seasons as a supervisor.

Considered one of his hallmarks is a continuing drive to do extra and after Phil Foden had put Metropolis 2-0 up inside the primary 20 minutes, he dragged Rodri over for a chat. As a celebration ambiance erupted across the Etihad, Guardiola grabbed the midfielder’s arm to vigorously go on extra directions. Rodri argued again and was finally ushered away by Bernardo Silva. It was a second which encapsulated Guardiola’s drive to succeed. Even standing on the point of historical past and the title social gathering warming up, he nonetheless wasn’t glad.

It was becoming that Foden and Rodri scored the objectives to get Metropolis over the road, undoubtedly Guardiola’s two finest gamers this season. If the treble marketing campaign was all about Erling Haaland, this one was about Foden. The 23-year-old scored his 18th and nineteenth league objectives — the primary after simply 78 seconds — and if it hadn’t been for some dedicated West Ham defending, he would have walked off with one other hat-trick. The Premier League participant of the yr is a champion for the sixth time.

“I by no means become bored with it, you need this sense each time,” stated Foden. “Once you win one thing there isn’t any higher feeling. I wish to maintain successful as a lot as I can.

“It is so onerous to place into phrases what we have performed in the present day. No workforce has ever performed it and we have put ourselves into the historical past books.

“To win the Premier League 4 occasions, no workforce has ever performed it earlier than, so to do it means we’re up there with the very best groups of all time.

Guardiola stated he knew from the primary preseason coaching session in Japan that there could be no treble hangover and he is been proved proper. When Arsenal and Liverpool each dropped factors on the identical day in April, he advised his gamers they could not go up the chance to capitalise and from that time on, they had been excellent.

“[To win] six Premier Leagues in seven years, on this nation with the fashionable soccer and the groups and the whole lot,” Guardiola mirrored post-match. “The workforce and the organisation surprises me: it’s an unimaginable membership.”

No different workforce within the historical past of English soccer has gained 4 top-flight titles in a row and Metropolis may but develop into the primary workforce to win back-to-back league and cup doubles in the event that they beat Manchester United within the FA Cup closing at Wembley subsequent Saturday (stream LIVE at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN+).

The inevitable query, after the trophy presentation desk has been dismantled and the streamers cleared from the pitch, is how far more can they win? Arsenal’s type — successful 28 video games and amassing 89 factors — has offered the phantasm of a title race, however Metropolis have been so constant that even within the essential moments there was remarkably little jeopardy.

Whereas Arsenal had been pushed to their limits, Metropolis’s fourth title in a row was achieved with out Kevin De Bruyne for 5 months and Haaland for 2. Guardiola will strengthen his squad once more over the summer season and the problem laid all the way down to the remainder of the Premier League will develop once more.

On three events, Metropolis have needed to come from behind to win a sport on the ultimate day to elevate the title. There was not one of the identical drama towards West Ham however the ending was acquainted; Guardiola and his gamers on the pitch with the trophy.