Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team’s fifth goal with team mates Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on March 10, 2021 in Manchester, England.
Clive Brunskill | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
Manchester City have been crowned 2020-21 Premier League champions after Manchester United’s defeat to Leicester.
Pep Guardiola’s side have had to wait to rubberstamp their latest triumph, following changes to the fixture schedule and their own slip-up.
A late defeat to Chelsea last weekend as closest rivals United won at Aston Villa kept City’s champagne on ice but they finally reclaimed the Premier League title from Liverpool before kicking a ball again as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were beaten 2-1 on Tuesday after making 10 changes to their starting line-up.
City have now won three Premier League titles and eight major trophies under Guardiola, who last year signed a new two-year contract to remain at the club until 2023.
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How City triumphed after slow start
City are the kings of England again but it was far from plain sailing during the first half of the campaign.
They won only five of their first 13 league games and were almost exclusively positioned in the bottom half of the table until December.
But that poor form ended abruptly after a 1-1 draw with West Brom at the Etihad.
A staggering 21-game win streak in all competitions ensued, including 15 successive victories in the Premier League, to build a 12-point lead atop the table – before the run ended in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in March.
Despite a slow start, City have led the way across all key metrics at both ends of the pitch.
Their domination on the ball and high press has also been unrivalled as they have completed more passes and recoveries in the attacking third than any other team.
One of the standout quirks of City’s season has been the frequent absence of a recognized striker.
Indeed, their top scorer in the Premier League is midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, followed by wingers Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling.
In fact, Guardiola has started neither Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero in 12 league games this season and reaped a higher points return than when starting one or both, on average.
Now for elusive Champions League trophy?
City remain on course for a Treble this season.
Having already secured the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 win over Tottenham and added the Premier League title to their trophy haul, Guardiola’s troops could yet cap their season with the club’s first-ever Champions League trophy after reaching the final for the first time.
City will face Chelsea in an all-English final on May 29.
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