Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions for 2020-21, with Pep Guardiola’s side snatching a domestic title back that they surrendered to Liverpool last season.
The Blues have now tasted English top-flight glory on three occasions in the last four years, with big spending at the Etihad Stadium delivering the desired results.
One potential distraction has now been removed for City, which already has another Carabao Cup in the bag. Its full focus is about to be shifted to the Champions League final and pursuit of a first European Cup.
How did City become champions?
City missed the chance to get over the line on its own terms in a home date with Chelsea — its upcoming opponent in a continental showpiece — as it slipped to a 2-1 defeat against fellow Blues.
Old adversary Manchester United was, however, to bring the race for Premier League supremacy to a close as it came unstuck against fellow top-four hopefuls Leicester City, which scored a 2-1 win behind goals from Luke Thomas and Caglar Soyuncu to mathematically seal City’s triumph.
With rivals such as Liverpool enduring uncharacteristic struggles this season, City has taken full advantage to position itself back on the loftiest of perches.
They got off to an unconvincing start, with Guardiola enduring the worst opening to a season in his distinguished managerial career.
Once City hit its stride, though, there was to be no stopping it.
At one stage they emerged victorious in 21 consecutive fixtures, with that surge putting it in contention for major honors at home and abroad. In the Premier League, City picked up 25 victories from 35 games, with only five defeats suffered by the division’s highest scorers and meanest defense.
The bigger picture
Guardiola is not the type to rest on his laurels, and will already start piecing together plans for a title defense in 2021-22. Movement is expected at the Etihad Stadium over the summer, with several transfer targets — including proven strikers such as Harry Kane and Erling Haaland.
City may go down that route as club record goalscorer Sergio Aguero, who fluffed his lines with a Panenka penalty against Chelsea but has a fifth title triumph under his belt, is about to depart as a free agent.
City could also seek reinforcements in the midfield and defense, with Guardiola forever striving for continuous improvement.