A flag is unfurled at Etihad Stadium proclaiming Manchester City as champions
A flag is unfurled at Etihad Stadium proclaiming Manchester City as champions Image Credit: Reuters

Manchester City were crowned champions of England once again without kicking a ball as Leicester City defeated Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

City reclaimed the Premier League title from Liverpool with three games to spare after closest challengers United slipped up at home to Leicester.

Ending Liverpool's reign as champions gives Pep Guardiola a third Premier League title in four seasons, adding to trio of domestic titles he won at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich as coach.

And he could yet complete the season by ending his 10-year wait to win the Champions League again if City can beat Chelsea in the club's first European Cup final.

Where once United dominated English football, now City are the force with five titles in 10 seasons since first lifting the Premier League trophy in 2012.

It was the influx of Abu Dhabi investment from 2008 that transformed a City side that were playing in the third tier in England until 1999 and whose only previous English titles were in 1937 and 1968.

It was Caglar Soyuncu's header that clinched the victory for Leicester that ended United's faint hopes of catching their 'noisy' neighbours. Luke Thomas had opened the scoring for the visitors early in the first half before Mason Greenwood quickly levelled. 

City have built up an unassailable 10-point lead in the league and added a second trophy of the season to the English League Cup won last month.

Earlier, United erected steel barriers and beefed up security at their Old Trafford ground ahead of the match against Leicester City in an attempt to avoid further violent protests against their American owners.

United’s game against Liverpool last week was postponed after fans, calling for the removal of the club’s owners, the Glazer family, clashed with police and broke into the stadium, entering the field of play.

Social media posts suggested protesters were instead looking to Thursday’s rescheduled game with Liverpool for a further demonstration of their opposition to the Glazers.

Steel barriers were erected around the main entrance to the ground and there were increased numbers of private security staff and local police.

The Glazers have faced fan opposition since they took over the club in a heavily leveraged deal in 2005, but the protests were reignited last month due to the club’s involvement in the attempt to create a breakaway European Super League.