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Manchester City players celebrate with the Premier League trophy at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: It was a thrilling Premier League season with twists and turns and drama aplenty and for the fourth time in five seasons, Manchester City claimed the title.

But Pep Guardiola’s side were made to work for it by Liverpool who ran them ever so close again.

The title was decided on the final day of the season with the two clubs separated by a solitary point after 37 games played. City found themselves 2-0 down against Aston Villa and Jurgen Klopp and his Reds had a glorious chance to leapfrog them one final time. But they were a goal down to Wolves at Anfield.

Bad start 

Both sides made the worst start possible in their crunch games but City came storming back. They grabbed three goals in five historic minutes to defeat Villa 3–2 and it was enough to hold off Liverpool who also won 3-1. But for 75 minutes at the Etihad it looked like City had thrown it all away after falling behind 2–0 but then Ilkay Gundogan got one back in the 76th minute and then two minutes later Rodri equalized. Soon after that Gundogan added his second and it was the title-clincher.

It could have all been so different. City had given the Reds a huge opportunity when they drew 2-2 at West Ham last weekend and Klopp’s men beat Southampton with a heavily rotated squad. It meant last day thrills and spills would be in store and for the second time in four seasons, they finished one point short of top spot.

It ended their historic quadruple quest but the treble is still there for them if they can beat Real Madrid in the Champions League next weekend. If become European champions it will ease the hurt of missing out on the league and they deserve credit for pushing City all the way.

Both teams are miles ahead of the rest and will likely be battling each other once again at the top next season. City have already booted their squad with the addition of striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund and more arrivals will be on the way to keep City ahead of the pack.

No striker

It is remarkable that Guardiola guided his side to the title without a recognized striker. The club did not replace Sergio Agüero but still scored 99 goals. Hotshot Haaland will be a huge hit next season and City will surely break the 100 goal mark with him in the side.

For all their talents and skills, City weren’t unbeatable. They lost three games in the league – twice to Tottenham – and that will give Liverpool hope for next season. Things could have been so different had a blatant penalty been awarded to Everton in the Goodison clash where they could have scored and held City to a draw. That would have been 2 points less for City and it could have meant the title went to Anfield.

In the end, they retained their title and became champions once again and with a stronger squad for next season, they will take some stopping from defending the title again.