City win English Premier League
MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Manchester City won the Premier League for the second time in three seasons today, completing their campaign with a comfortable 2-0 victory over West Ham that lacked any of the drama of the previous title.
Unlike the stoppage-time comeback required in the 2012 title decider, goals either side of halftime by Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany provided a more serene end to what had been an exhilarating season.
“You can’t repeat what happened last time,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. “This year, we’ve really come on strong at the end when we needed to.”
Two years ago, City won the title on goal difference ahead of neighbour Manchester United after coming from behind to beat Queens Park Rangers on the final day.
Today’s victory, though, meant Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Newcastle at Anfield was meaningless as City finished two points above the Merseyside club.
As soon as the final whistle was blown, thousands of fans flooded onto the Etihad Stadium pitch, setting off blue flares. For a club that has spent so much time in the shadow of United – last year’s champion – it was just the fourth time in their 134-year history that fans could celebrate a league title.
Just 15 years ago, City were playing in the third tier of English football, but the club’s fortunes were transformed after the influx of Abu Dhabi cash following a 2008 takeover.
Making this victory all the sweeter is the fact that United, which beat City to the title by 11 points last May, ended this campaign in seventh place after imploding in the post-Alex Ferguson era.
Although City spent just 15 days at the summit during a campaign when the lead changed hands 25 times, Manuel Pellegrini’s side surged to the top when it mattered most. The 60-year-old Chilean is ending his first season in English football as a double winner, having already won the League Cup victory over Sunderland in March.