Manchester City have won the Premier League for the fourth time in five seasons following a dramatic comeback to win 3-2 against Aston Villa.
Here, the PA news agency looks at five games crucial to their success.
September 25: Chelsea, won 1-0, Stamford Bridge
City’s season did not get off to a great start as they lost at Tottenham and further questions were asked – particularly with reference to their failure to sign a centre-forward in the summer – after a goalless draw with Southampton. They answered a lot of critics as they edged a tight clash against a previously unbeaten Chelsea courtesy of a second-half Gabriel Jesus goal.
January 15: Chelsea, won 1-0, Etihad Stadium
Pep Guardiola’s side topped the table heading into the new year but needed to dig deep through a tricky run of fixtures made tougher by a raft of Covid-19 infections. They were unconvincing as they came from behind to beat Arsenal on New Year’s Day with a late Rodri winner and Chelsea again proved a tough nut to crack. This time Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to make the difference, settling another tense encounter with a superb individual goal.
April 10: Liverpool, drew 2-2, Etihad Stadium
Perhaps the most crucial game in the title race as City held off a charging Liverpool. The Reds had whittled down City’s lead at the top from 14 points to one and this was their chance to nudge ahead. It was one they could not take as a pulsating encounter ended all square. City twice led through De Bruyne and Jesus with Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane replying for the visitors. The battle remained tight but the result meant the outcome was now solely in City’s hands.
May 8: Newcastle, won 5-0, Etihad Stadium
If there was a time City might have been fragile in the run-in it was immediately after their shattering loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. Yet four days later they bounced back in stunning style by thrashing Newcastle. Raheem Sterling struck twice and Rodri, Aymeric Laporte and Foden also got on the scoresheet in a convincing display stamped with champions’ quality.
May 22: Aston Villa, won 3-2, Etihad Stadium
Needing to win to be assured of holding off Liverpool on the final day, City were in danger of blowing it as Matty Cash and former Reds star Philippe Coutinho struck at the Etihad Stadium. A Reds win at Wolves would have been enough for Jurgen Klopp’s men to overtake City, but Guardiola’s side produced a stunning late fightback with Ilkay Gundogan coming off the bench to score twice either side of a superb Rodri strike in a remarkable five-minute spell to spark delirious scenes.
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