Manchester City this season has produced some of the most amazing football the Premier League has ever seen. Combining speed, nap, power and more speed, it has blown away opponents and redefined anything thought possible in the English game.
But on Sunday afternoon, as it finished the Premier League title, the club did not do any of those things. In fact, it did not even play a game.
Instead, the final came from second place Manchester United's unexplained 1
As it happened, there were hardly any players and staff who were attentive when they became England's champion. Captain Vincent Kompany was at home and tried to watch three different games from across Europe on television. Manager Pep Guardiola played golf with his son, assuming United would win a victory.
"It's amazing how we played and I'm so happy to be here and be part of this club," said Guardiola on Saturday after knocking Tottenham 3-1.
For a club that owns the most exciting final to a season in history-Sergio Aguero's title-winning goal with the last season of the 2011-12 season – definitely the time of security was somewhat anti-climactic. Perhaps as a weak comfort to United, it meant that the city was robbed of the chance to enjoy it in front of its own fans.
But with the displaced schedule for late season and permutations that change all the time, squeezing without playing is not as rare as you might think. Derby County won the 1972 English title while its players took a trip to the beach. Leicester City sealed his one-in-one championship 2016 by watching his top rival dribbles from Jamie Vardy's assassin.
Guardiola is not even the first boss to win the championship on the golf course. Manchester United's Alex Ferguson was informed that he had secured his first Premier League title in 1993 by a stranger in the 17th green.
City could have avoided all this situation if it had simply won home against United on April 7. But the club threw away a 2-0 half-time lead and looks very exhausted, lost 3-2. The sky blue and white currents stayed in their cannons and Champagne stayed on ice.
Of course, the proletarian had to the city s title pulled on for most of the season. No one who had even looked at the positions in the last six months could have missed it. At mid-season, back in December, the city's leadership over United was already 13 points. All in all, the club will end the 10-month period with 240 days in the first place. The campaign has not cracked exactly.
But to the club, a third title in six years makes a strong statement. Once considered as an afterthought in a city dominated by United, the City transforms football history into Manchester. Since the club was bought in 2008 by a member of the royal family Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, it has spent over $ 1 billion on talent and opted for annual dispute. There is no doubt that Sheikh Mansour's takeover has changed Premier League's landscape as dramatically as the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's acquisition of Chelsea 2003.
Anyone who makes it hard to imagine a season in the near future when City is not a factor in a Premier League competition. The combination of boundless spending to the transfer market and an innovative, daring boss is a lethal.
"That's true. The club spent a lot of money to have these amazing players," said Guardiola. "Without it, it's impossible to do that."
"Manchester City is not like United or Chelsea or Arsenal," he added. "The big clubs in England, they have many trophies, a lot of history behind them. So sometimes you have to do such things to get one." We are also good. "
Guardiola has now won the league in Spain, Germany and England. But his mission for the season is not over. City can use the last five matches on the schedule to cement its status as an erasizing team. By taking 13 out of a possible 15 points, it would be the first to break the 100-point barrier. It's also only 10 goals away from matching the record of 103 set by Chelsea 2009-10. And if United were to rise again, City could break its crosstown rival for the Premier League biggest winning margin, currently 18 points.
"The amount of goals, the number of chances, the number of points", Guardiola said. "To do that in the league, in the Premier League, with the challengers we have. That's because the players are so good."
Write to Joshua Robinson at [email protected]