Manchester City became only the third team after Manchester United and Chelsea to win successive league titles in the Premier League era, according to The Guardian.
After dominating the league with a total of 100 points last season, the real question was if Pep Guardiola’s men would be able to maintain the hunger and consistency for a second successive league title. Too often in the past, league champions have taken their feet off the gas in the season following their victory, and similar doubts about Manchester City — phenomenal as their league record under Guardiola is — were cast at the beginning of this season.
But no one would argue that City has answered their critics in style. Liverpool, under the able leadership of manager Jurgen Klopp, emerged as serious challengers to City for much of the season, even topping the table at the turn of the year. There was a time when Klopp’s men were in a position to go seven points clear of this City team back in January, but after Liverpool failed to take their chance, Guardiola’s men didn’t give them another whiff by winning their last 14 games in succession.
City captain, Vincent Kompany, said that this Premier League win was all the sweeter because they had to fight very hard to beat Liverpool by one point, according to the Daily Mail.
“Back to back…. I think it was the hardest and most satisfying Premier League ever. Liverpool were exceptional this year – I don’t mean to rub it in they did not deserve to lose it today.
We’ve played against such a good team. We won at home at the Etihad and until now we’ve managed to stay ahead.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2019
14 wins in a row to wrap up and incredible season!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 12, 2019
Liverpool, however, also end the season with their heads held high. Klopp’s men pushed City all the way, losing only one game in the Premier League all season, but it wasn’t enough to pip this City side to the title. The German manager praised his team after winning the last game of the season at Anfield but congratulated City on their achievement.
But, more significantly, Klopp called on their rivals to emerge stronger next year, saying that he expects teams such as Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester United to “strike back” next season.
And strike back they will need to do. Unless these teams can raise their game in the coming years, it seems probable that this City team will dominate the English league over the course of the next decade, and the others will be left scampering in its shadows.