Manchester City clinched the Premier League title on Saturday as Arsenal’s shock 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest ended any lingering sporting possibility of the north London side usurping Pep Guardiola’s side in the title race.
Arsenal are now four points behind City in the table and can only catch up with Guardiola’s men with a maximum of three points remaining in the season.
It’s a result that seemed increasingly inevitable for weeks as City’s 23-game unbeaten run coincided and affected Arsenal’s slow surrender from their position at the top of the table, which they held for 248 days of the season, the most in English football. The record of the team that failed to win the title, according to the statistics of the Opta website.
Although they still held an eight-point lead just last month, Arsenal’s hopes of a first title since the 2003/04 season were steadily dashed after a run of three improbable draws and a 4-1 defeat at Manchester City in April, doubled by A 3-0 defeat against Brighton last week and now this loss against Nottingham, a team fighting for survival in the Premier League.
Thus, the idea of City winning the Premier League, their fifth title in six years, having time to creep in and establish themselves, is almost a colossal feat matched by only one team in the entire league’s history – Alex Ferguson’s Manchester. United between 1995/1996 and 2000/2001.
City still have the chance to become only the second team in English football to win the treble and claim two more trophies this season – they will play Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 and Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10.
“Winning this trophy three times in a row and five times in six years is unbelievable,” Sky Sports quoted Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan as saying. “This quality and consistency helps sum up what Manchester City stand for and ensures that the club will continue to strive for future success.”
While City fans celebrated their title, Nottingham Forest fans inside the stadium rejoiced, dancing, singing, cheering and waving scarves, as victory ensured their team’s survival in the league.
The huge risks for both teams were evident throughout, Forest took the lead in the 19th minute, after a pass on the rebound from Martin Odegaard, and Taiwo Owoni fired home.
But with Arsenal still under pressure and in control of possession, he could not open up the Forest defence.
Forest concede just 18%, the lowest on record since 2003/04 for a team winning a Premier League game according to Arsenal’s official website, but the hosts still looked the more threatening side, missing nearly two chances to extend their lead in the Premier League. Second half – first when Morgan Gibbs-White pulled his effort wide and again when Gibbs-White found Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal’s last game of the season was against Wolverhampton on May 28, while Manchester City still have three games left to play as Premier League champions.
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