Manchester City clinched the EPL trophy after a 4-1 win away at Brighton on the final matchday
It was truly down to the wire from the get go. A single point’s difference between the first two teams is enough to convey the tension and excitement in these last few weeks. Thus with all the games done and dusted, it reads Liverpool at 97 and Manchester City at 98 on the Table. Here are some talking points about the game that decided it all:
#1 ‘As It Stands’:
These words were coming out of the mouth of the commentators quite often. A phrase that perfectly conveyed the chilling atmosphere. No one was certain who would emerge victorious in the league. This was heightened when Liverpool scored the first goal in their own game. Then when Brighton scored the first goal, Man City looked to be in dire straits. But thanks to Sergio Aguero and Laporte they were able to take the lead and amplify their influence over the game. But this shifting of the potential victor lent credence to when the commentators say the words ‘as it stands’ in adjacence with the scoreline.
#2 Nerve-wracking 1st goal:
Manchester City were slight favourites to win the game and the league because they were one point ahead and there was no loss in sight. But looking at how the last 1-0 match almost turned out to be a draw, it was far from a foregone conclusion. That was proven true with the first goal of the game. To everyone’s surprise, it was Brighton who started out with the first goal at the 27-minute mark. A fantastic running header from Glenn Murray off a corner kick pummelled the back of the net along with hearts of every Citizen. The scoreline read 1-0 to Brighton and everyone was on the edge. Thankfully for Manchester City patrons, the disaster was averted to an extent by Aguero’s goal in the next minute. Laporte eventually brought in the lead but for that one minute, hearts definitely skipped a beat.
#3 Liverpool’s early bird rattles Man City’s feathers:
Both Liverpool and Man City’s matches were taking place simultaneously providing that extra sense of finality and tension. Man City and Brighton were locked in a 0-0 stalemate for the first 27 minutes of the game. Meanwhile, Mane’ already gave Liverpool the lead in the 17th minute. As it stood, Liverpool were at 97 and Man City at 96. Man City’s potential points tally was reduced to 95 in the 27th minute courtesy of Murray’s header. Sweat has never trickled so profusely and nails have never been bitten so rapidly. While thanks to Aguero and Laporte, the damage was controlled and subdued, no one will forget those first 27 minutes where it looked like the league would bleed Liverpool red.
#4 Laporte turns the tide:
Man City were locked at 1-1 in the first half hour of the game. Liverpool was yet to concede and a goal up. If things went on this way, Anfield would erupt with exhilaration in an hour while the folks at Manchester would weep in agony. No one wants to be on the losing end of a race so close they can practically wrap their arms around the prize. But as we reached the 38-minute mark, Man City showed why they were at the top of the league, to begin with, regardless of how small the points difference was. It was the man who made it to the PFA TOTS, Aymeric Laporte who gave the Blues their lead with a brilliant towering and charging header. It was this goal that rekindled the fire in Manchester City’s belly and their dominance for the rest of the game.
#5 FOUR Premier League Titles in 8 years:
After the goal from Laporte, there were two other brilliant goals from Mahrez and Laporte that put to nail in the coffin. Both are sure to be contenders for goal of the week, with Mahrez’s top corner strike from behind the penalty box already getting people riled up and talking. With this, Man City have won the title 4 times in the last 8 years. A gargantuan uptick from where they were before the 2010s. A team that used to place themselves at the halfway point of the table( ‘08 and ‘09) are now among the very best the game has to offer. Sure, you could point to wise spending and a general influx of money but it truly is a one of a kind thing to see such a meteoric rise. Players like Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David and Bernardo Silva and the skipper, Vincent Kompany are sure to make the history books. A club that rose with the strength of an eagle in the past 10 years has made the game such a joy to watch. A worthy victor indeed.