Manchester, April 16: Manchester City clinched the English Premier League (EPL) football title with five rounds of games left as second-placed Manchester United fell 16 points behind following their 0-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion here on Sunday.
After 33 rounds of matches, Pep Guardiola-coached Man City have 87 points, while Man United have 71 points. If Jose Mourinho-coached Man United can win all of their remaining matches, they can reach maximum 86 points in total. Third-placed Liverpool have 70 points from 34 games.
After Man City defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 on Saturday, Man United needed a win over West Brom to keep the slim title hopes alive. But at Old Traffrord Stadium at home, Man United failed to muster an equaliser to Jay Rodriguez’s 73rd-minute strike.
United’s defeat crowned City as EPL champions for the third time, their fifth title in England’s first division league and the first under Spanish coach Pep Guardiola, reports Efe.
City clinched the first division league title in 1936-1937 and 1967-1968, while they have won the competition in its current form twice — in 2011-2012 and 2013-2014.
“Record-smashing, goal-scoring, swashbuckling and awe-inspiring – Guardiola has overseen a scintillating campaign, setting new standards of brilliance in English football,” Man City said in their website.
Celebrating the success, Man City’s Argentine central defender Nicolas Otamendi wrote on Twitter: “2017/2018 @premierleague CHAMPIONS !!! Great job guys. Our effort, hard work and dedication paid off. Thank you to all the fans for your unconditional support !! This league title is for you too! Our Time. Our City. #CmonCity.”
Right-back Kyle Walker, who joined Man City last summer, said: “We did it! An amazing journey to get here!! All the lads have done so well and it feels great to be a part of this really special group of players! Thank you for your support all season! #sharkteam @mancity.”
The defeat put United’s second spot position in danger, as their advantage over third-placed Liverpool was reduced to just one point.
Despite the win, West Brom remained in the 20th spot of the EPL table with 24 points. The win on Sunday was West Brom’s first in the EPL since January 13. IANS