Manchester [UK], May 22 (ANI): Manchester City defeated Chelsea 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium in their Premier League clash on Sunday, celebrating their fifth title win in six seasons in style.
Julian Alvarez netted a goal early in the game (12th minute) for City and had another ruled out for a handball by Riyad Mahrez in the build-up. Frank Lampard's struggling team had Conor Gallagher hit the post, but one goal was sufficient for City to pull ahead of the pack by seven points.
Even though Pep Guardiola made nine changes to the team that thrashed Real Madrid on Wednesday night, City was still the club that played the smoother football. Chelsea will undoubtedly place in the bottom half of the Premier League standings at this point.
With the stadium drenched in sunlight, there was a festive atmosphere well before kickoff as the home fans revelled in the confirmation of their third consecutive title win following Arsenal's loss to Nottingham Forest on the road the previous evening.
Wesley Fofana's careless pass gave City the ball, and Cole Palmer's accurate pass found Alvarez for the game-changing goal. The Argentine defeated Kepa Arrizabalaga with a fantastic finish to kick off the celebration inside the stadium.
Soon after, Palmer had an opportunity of his own, and Phil Foden also missed the target; his looping attempt drifted just wide after being set up by a superb Kalvin Phillips ball. In what had been his long-awaited first Premier League start for the team, the midfielder exuded confidence.
The fact that Chelsea's backup players outperformed City's starters must have been infuriating, but they did have their moments. Stefan Ortega saved a shot from Raheem Sterling after the player had advanced unimpeded, and Gallagher's header hit the post.
As the pace dropped in the second half, Phillips hit the post at the opposite end and Raheem Sterling's attempt was pushed off the line by John Stones. Even though Alvarez believed he had scored a second goal, referee Michael Oliver needed a VAR check to rule it out.
The city didn't require another. It turns out that they were simply too good in this game, as well as the entire season. The crowd invaded the pitch to celebrate. the group hoisting a trophy. One down, two to go, read the banner that was hauled onto the pitch. The treble is activated, the hunt for UEFA Champions League and FA Cup titles is still on.
Following his side's win, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was quoted as saying by Sky Sports, "We have the feeling that we have done something exceptional in terms of the Premier League. Of course, to be considered one of the greatest teams we have to win in Europe. We have to win the Champions League otherwise you will say it was not complete.""It can be unfair that you need to win the Champions League to give credit and value to what you have done but we have to accept it. It is good.""A long time ago, people did not say I had to come here and win the Champions League but after what we have done, I know it will not be complete if I do not win the Champions League, if we do not win the Champions League.""But sometimes training with this pressure is so nice. It is necessary. We talked to each other a lot, [saying] we have to do it. At the same time, if the club continues in this way, sooner or later we will do it. But we are there so we have to try," concluded Guardiola.
With two games to go, City is at the top with 28 wins, four draws, four losses and a total of 88 points.
Chelsea also have two games left. They are in the 12th position with 11 wins, 10 draws and 15 losses in this season. They have a total of 43 points. (ANI)