PIX: Manchester City win Premier League title as Arsenal lose
This is City’s seventh Premier League title since they were bought by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008. They are now just two wins away from completing a treble only previously achieve by Manchester United in 1999.
IMAGE: The dejected Arsenal players walk off the field after losing to Nottingham Forest at The City Ground in Nottingham on Saturday. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Manchester City were confirmed as English Premier League champions for the fifth time in six seasons on Saturday without even having to kick a ball after second-placed Arsenal’s challenge ended in defeat away at Nottingham Forest.
Arsenal, who enjoyed an eight-point lead over City as recently as mid-March, needed at least a point to stay mathematically in the hunt, but went down 1-0.
City, who host Chelsea on Sunday, have 85 points with three games to play, while Arsenal are on 81 with one game left.
It is City’s seventh Premier League title since they were bought by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008 and they are now just two wins away from completing a treble only previously achieve by Manchester United in 1999.
City face Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 and a week later take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final — starting big favourites in both games.
IMAGE: Taiwo Awoniyi scores Nottingham Forest’s goal past Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
While Arsenal have threatened to knock City off their perch this season, it all proved an illusion in the end as Pep Guardiola’s side again proved relentless in the run-in.
Since losing to Tottenham Hotspur on Feb. 5 they have taken 40 points from the next 42 on offer and have won their last 11 matches. They have also comprehensively beaten Arsenal home and away.
If City win their last three games they will reach 94 points, not as many as the totals they achieved in 2017-18 and 2018-19, Guardiola’s first two league titles.
But the way they have finished the season suggests the gap between them and the rest is widening.
Arsenal will have to be content with the runners-up spot and a return to the Champions League after a five-year absence.
But manager Mikel Arteta will have much to ponder as he analyses how the Gunners buckled under City’s relentless pressure. Defeat at Forest means Arsenal have won only two of their last eight matches in the league.
Forest’s victory, courtesy of a first-half goal by Taiwo Awoniyi, lifted them to 37 points and means they will enjoy successive top-flight seasons for the first time in 27 years.
With Forest safe it is only the fourth time in the Premier League that all three promoted clubs survived.
IMAGE: Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the equaliser for Liverpool’s with Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota against Aston Villa at Anfield, Liverpool. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
But the relegation battle beneath them will go down to the wire with two of Everton, Leeds United and Leicester City to join already-relegated Southampton.
Everton needed an equaliser by Yerry Mina in the ninth-minute of stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers — a point that could prove vital in their bid to extend their unbroken 69-year stay in the top flight.
Wolves had led through Hwang Hee-chan goal at Molineux.
Everton are 17th with 33 points, two points above the relegation zone with one game left against Bournemouth next weekend, but Leeds (31 points) and Leicester (30) both still have two games left.
Leeds visit West Ham United on Sunday with Leicester at Newcastle on Monday. Leeds then end at home to Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday and Leicester host West Ham.
At the other end of the table Roberto Firmino scored an emotional late equaliser in his last home game for Liverpool to salvage a 1-1 draw for his side against Aston Villa that just about kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive.
Liverpool had won seven games in succession to make a late dash for Champions League qualification but defeat by Villa would have guaranteed that Newcastle United and Manchester United would finish in the top four.
Villa led at Anfield thanks to Jacob Ramsey’s headed goal in the 27th minute, five minutes after Ollie Watkins missed a penalty for the visitors.
Liverpool’s top-four hopes looked over with Manchester United winning at Bournemouth, but Brazilian Firmino, making his Anfield farewell after eight trophy-laden seasons, struck an equaliser in the 89th minute after coming off the bench.
IMAGE: Casemiro celebrates scoring Manchester United’s goal with Bruno Fernandes. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters
Even the point leaves their chances wafer thin, though, as fourth-placed Manchester United and third-placed Newcastle have 69 points with two games left while Liverpool have 66 with one remaining.
Casemiro’s superb acrobatic volley was enough for Manchester United to win 1-0 and one more point from their last two games will guarantee them Champions League football.
Newcastle can seal their return to Europe’s elite competition after a two-decade absence if they take a point against relegation-threatened Leicester on Monday.
Firmino’s late goal left Villa in seventh place with 58 points, below Brighton & Hove Albion on goal difference although Brighton have three games still to play.
Victory for Brighton at home against relegated Southampton on Sunday will seal European football for the first time in the south coast club’s history.
Spurs slipped down to eighth with 57 points as they surrendered an early lead given to them by Harry Kane’s superb free kick to lose 3-1 at home to ninth-placed Brentford for whom Bryan Mbeumo scored twice in the second half.
Fulham drew 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace.