Manchester City 3-1 West Ham: Cityzens crowned champions again

Manchester City survived a scare at the end of the first half to lift their fourth consecutive Premier League title, with a 3-1 win over West Ham at Etihad Stadium rendering Arsenal’s result in the concurrent game irrelevant.

Phil Foden needed not even two minutes to open the scoring in Manchester and cue bedlam in the stands, doubling his personal tally less than twenty minutes later to put the Cityzens on course for victory.

Mohammed Kudus arrived on scene with the 1223rd goal of the Premier League season just before the interval to put a spanner in the works of City’s early celebrations, though Rodri restored that two goal cushion before the hour-mark to allow the home fans to breathe once more.

As it happened

Manchester City’s task was simple. They had their fate in their own hands – pick up three points and Arsenal’s result against Everton would be completely irrelevant.

Phil Foden knew what he had to do, and took less than two minutes to fire the Cityzens into an early lead with a stunning effort from the edge of the box that fizzed past Alphonse Areola and into the top-left corner.

West Ham, in David Moyes’ final game in charge, were not going to lie down and accept defeat though. A teasing Vladimir Coufal cross came to nothing just before the quarter-hour mark, with Kyle Walker hoofing away the danger.

The action would swiftly return to the other end of the pitch, with Foden the star once again as he doubled his personal tally after recently being named as the league’s Player of the Season. Jérémy Doku’s fine work on the left set up the Englishman; a pinpoint delivery into the box allowed Foden to slot home past Areola once more.

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Erling Haaland looked destined to get in on the goalscoring action soon after, but a smother from Areola saw the Norwegian’s effort bobble wide of the post – and replays showed the forward was marginally offside anyway.

But it was on the stroke of half-time that City’s title charge looked set to fall apart, with a moment of Mohammed Kudus magic giving Arsenal hope. The Ghanaian rose spectacularly, his bicycle kick proving far too strong for Stefan Ortega to deny.

When City need a goal though, they can rely on a certain Spaniard in midfield – and today was no different. As the hour mark edged nearer, Bernardo Silva played in Rodri on the edge of the box. His admittedly tame shot nestled beautifully in the bottom-right corner, restoring a two-goal margin to give Guardiola’s men some breathing space.

While it looked as though there may have been late drama when Tomas Soucek appeared to claw a goal back for West Ham in the 88th minute, the Czech midfielder’s celebrations were cut short after a VAR check identified a blatant handball offence.

Once again, Manchester City reign supreme in the Premier League. Four times in a row have Pep Guardiola’s men laid hands on this illustrious trophy – but the season is not yet done, and the Cityzens will now chase another Emirates FA Cup when they face Manchester United at Wembley next Saturday.

The lineups

MCI: Ortega; Gvardiol, Akanji, Dias, Walker; Rodri; Doku, Foden, De Bruyne, Silva; Haaland

WHU: Areola; Cresswell, Mavropanos, Zouma; Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Soucek, Coufal; Paquetá, Antonio, Kudus

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