Gift-wrapped: Man City champions as United crash on Guardiola golf day


London (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City were crowned Premier League champions on Sunday after Manchester United crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat against West Brom as coach Pep Guardiola added a first English title to his three apiece at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

City had moved within touching distance of the title with a 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday.

They clinched the silverware 24 hours later thanks to West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez’s 73rd minute header at Old Trafford although Guardiola may have missed the crucial moment after opting for a round of golf with his son instead.

City captain Vincent Kompany led the celebrations, tweeting: “Champions! What a great feeling! So happy to be able to share another trophy with our amazing fans!”

United had denied City the chance to wrap up the title last weekend when they came from two goals down to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

But Jose Mourinho’s men still ended up handing the trophy to City with a lacklustre display against bottom of the table Albion, who had won only three times in the league this season before this weekend.

“Manchester City, we won it for you” chanted West Brom fans at full-time as United supporters began jeering in frustration at their side gift-wrapping the title for City.

Guardiola is the first Spaniard to win the English title.

He and Mourinho are old rivals from their time in Spain when the United boss managed Real Madrid.

Mourinho was hardly effusive in his praise when asked about City’s success, but did concede they deserved to be champions.

“I have won titles. City were the best team, sooner or later they would get the points, so no dramas when the best team wins the league,” Mourinho said.

“I saw lots of people in the moon because we won against City. You could see the difference in the attitude to players compared to last week. We deserve to be punished.”

City are 16 points clear of second placed United, who can only take a maximum of 15 points from their remaining five games.

Winning the title with five matches to go makes City the joint earliest champions in the Premier League era — matching the achievement of the 2000-01 Manchester United team.  

“We did it! An amazing journey to get here. All the lads have done so well and it feels great to be part of this really special group of players,” City defender Kyle Walker said.

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