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Sports

Manchester City pip Liverpool to the Premier League title

media Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola (right) celebrates the retention of the English Premier League title with skipper Vincent Kompany. Reuters/Carl Recine

In any other league Liverpool, with 97 points following a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, would have been celebrating as runaway champions. But this is England. And that tally ain't good enough. Manchester City clocked up 98 points after 38 games to retain the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola's men beat Brighton 4-1 on Sunday to become the first side since Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United team in 2009 to collect back-to-back championships.

"Winning is so addictive," said Guardiola, who has won eight league titles in 10 seasons as a coach in Spain, Germany and England.

Manchester City have already claimed the League Cup and on 18 May can win an unprecedented domestic treble. City take on Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Guardiola added: "After the Cup final, we'll prepare well, take the right decisions for next season to come back stronger because Liverpool will maintain their standard and the other ones will be better."

Also-rans

Chelsea finished third following their 0-0 draw at Leicester City - a vindication of the decision to appoint the former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri. Tottenham Hotspur, who will face Liverpool in the Champions League final on 1 June, ended the campaign in fourth. Arsenal and Manchester United finished fifth and sixth repsectively.

"I think Manchester United must come back," said Guardiola. "Chelsea with one more year with Sarri will be better. Tottenham we have seen get to the final of the Champions League and Arsenal will be up there as well.

"We accept the challenge and I promise we will come back and I have the feeling we will be stronger next season."

Manchester City reached 100 points at the end of the 2017/2018 season. But the surge for that landmark was largely a ceremonial ego trip as they had won the title with half a dozen games remaining.

Hitting 98 in 2019 was necessary because of Liverpool's relentlessness.

Surge

The Merseysiders lost only once - to Manchester City on 3 January. A victory then at the Emirates would have put Jurgen Klopp's men 10 points ahead.

But instead, with the lead reduced to four points, City, following a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on 29 January, unleashed a run of 14 consecutive wins to complete their triumph.

"Liverpool is in the best moment for a long time and it will not end because another team has one more point," said Klopp.

"I am not worried that this is as good as it can be. This team is not the finished article. We made a big step. But I really think there is more to come. We will go again."

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