Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Pep Guardiola admits that this was the hardest Premier League title

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Manchester City are once again crowned the champions of England, which Pep Guardiola claims to be the hardest one. Their victory was delayed by their nearest rivals’ progress. However, Manchester United’s defeat to Leicester City last night means that the Red Devils were officially out of the race and Manchester City lifted their 5th Premier League trophy.

If you ask the previous generation’s people of a club named Manchester City, they would definitely rectify it to Manchester United. Because that was the only Manchester club known everywhere. Founded in 1887 and christened the name in 1894, Manchester City have been playing major football for many years.

After almost a century, they started declining and were relegated as low as to third-tier football. It wasn’t until 2003 that they climbed their way back to the Premier League. However, they weren’t up to the top-4 mark. They settled as a mid-table team for a while. But it all changed when the takeover took place.

In 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group purchased the club for a fee less than what it cost PSG Neymar. It was a big revolution as the takeover was followed by a series of high-profile purchases. Manchester City broke the British transfer record when they bought Robinho from Real Madrid for Β£32.5Β million.

The next season saw them continue their squad overhaul. The investments were bearing fruits as they slowly gained altitude in the League. After continuous investments for couple more years, they landed their first major trophy after 30 years when they defeated Stoke City to lift their 5th FA Cup. They also qualified for the Champions League that season by finishing 3rd. They finally got their first Premier League trophy in 2011-12, an enthralling season when they overtook Manchester United on goal difference.

Manchester City dominated the last decade

After their first League title, they struggled to maintain that form. The next year Manchester United regained the title from them. When they lost the FA Cup final to the relegated Wigan Athletic, they sacked Roberto Mancini. Manuel Pellegrini was appointed later. Although they regained it from United the next year, the next couple of years was disappointing which resulted in his sacking too.

The club then appointed one of the greatest managers of all time, Pep Guardiola in 2016. Since then, it was complete domination from Manchester City. In Pep’s first year itself, the club broke an insane record. They became the first English club to reach the 100 points mark as they went on to win their third title.

The next one was even insane as Pep completely overturned the team. They did win the League, however, they made sure no one else gets one. They swept the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Community Shield making them the first English side to do so. Despite winning them all, they are yet to lay hands on the most prestigious trophy, the Champions League. The next year they had to settle only with the Carabao Cup as Liverpool won the Premier League and Arsenal took the FA Cup.

‘This has been the hardest Premier League title’ – Pep Guardiola

Manchester City were on the route of title failure at one point. However, something snapped and all of a sudden Pep featured a Barcelona-type team. The side went on to win 21 straight games that put them back on track in all competitions. This streak not only stabilized them but also granted a huge gap from their closest competition.

They could have won the Premier League last week, but the loss to a rejuvenated Chelsea side halted it. United’s loss to Liverpool could have done the job but that fixture got postponed. And after a week of waiting, they were finally able to claim their 5th title in 9 years when Leicester City defeated Manchester United on Tuesday.

Along with this title, they have also won the Carabao Cup which they did by defeating Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the semi-final by Chelsea. However, this season, they might finally be able to win the continental treble. For the first time in the club’s history, they have reached the Champions League final. But if they are to win it, they must somehow overcome their bad form against Chelsea as they are their final obstacle.

“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other. This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.” – Pep Guardiola.

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