City lift third consecutive Premier League trophy

Manchester City knew that they had won the Premier League for the third consecutive season ahead of kickoff on Sunday, as Arsenal’s loss to Nottingham Forest ensured that they were uncatchable at the top of the table. Still, Pep Guardiola would want his side to pick up another three points against a struggling Chelsea outfit – as losing a game and then lifting the trophy would feel odd to say the least.

MCI: Ortega; Laporte, Akanji, Walker; Phillips; Gomez, Lewis; Foden; Palmer, Alvarez, Mahrez

CHE: Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, T Silva, Fofana; Hall, Loftus-Cheek, Fernandez, Azpilicueta; Gallagher; Sterling, Havertz

City started well, as Cole Palmer dashed past Cesar Azpilicueta before firing a cross into the area in the opening minutes. Mahrez looked to get on the end of it, but Hall’s intervention saw it fall to Phillips – though his effort was sent behind for a corner. Havertz headed the set piece away as far as Gomez, who looked to shoot from the edge of the box. His strike sailed wide of the woodwork.

The hosts took the lead after twelve minutes, with Julian Alvarez on the scoresheet. Palmer was the creator once more, darting down the flank before slotting the ball through to Alvarez – who tucked his finish under Kepa and into the back of the net. There would be a party at the Etihad regardless of the result, but the young Argentine had certainly got City firing.

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Three minutes later, Foden looked to pick out Palmer once more with a cross-field pass. The youngster sent the ball back into the box, but Alvarez wasn’t able to make it a double and Mahrez couldn’t send the rebound over the line.

City were utterly dominant, and looked sure to score another as linkup play between Lewis and Foden saw Cole Palmer played in behind the Chelsea defence. His strike deflected off Fofana though, allowing Chalobah to hook it off the line and keep the hosts’ advantage at just the one goal.

Chelsea had started to show signs of promise towards the end of the first half, with Raheem Sterling having a strike against his former club parried wide by Ortega. They started the second half similarly, as the winger opted to lay the ball off to Hall – but his low strike was saved by the City reserve ‘keeper.

Kalvin Phillips came close to opening his goalscoring tally at Manchester City as the hour mark approached, connecting with Riyad Mahrez’s free-kick to head an effort towards the bottom corner – though he could only find the base of the post!

A quick Chelsea counterattack saw Sterling and Hall link up once more. The latter’s strike was saved by Ortega, who was certainly proving his worth between the sticks as Ederson has been rested. Frank Lampard’s side looked deadly when breaking with speed, and they came close yet again five minutes later as Sterling curled an effort under Ortega – Stones was able to clear it off the line, and the offside flag was raised regardless.

City thought they’d put the game to bed in the 71st minute, as Ortega picked out Mahrez with a long ball. The Algerian danced down the flank, ultimately squaring for Alvarez who slotted home from close range. However, a VAR check showed that the winger was offside as he received the ball – and the goal was chalked off.

The action was far from over, as Haaland was played in behind the Chelsea defence just moments after replacing Mahrez. He chose to send the ball across the face of goal for Lewis, but he couldn’t connect and the ball flew wide of the post.

There were a handful of chances for either side towards the end of the game – but nothing really worth noting. Manchester City’s Premier League winning streak has been extended to twelve games, though the real focus post-match was deservedly on their third consecutive Premier League trophy. Pep Guardiola’s side are still in with a chance of completing the treble this season, as they face Manchester United in the FA Cup Final a week before heading to Istanbul to compete against Inter Milan for the UEFA Champions League.

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