A new setback for Arsenal, this time against Nottingham Forest (1-0) has resolved the Premier League. Despite the fact that Manchester City has three games left to play (Chelsea this Sunday, Brighton on Wednesday and Brentford next weekend), they are already champions and thus achieve their ninth title as winner of the English League. Seven of them are the consequence of the fact that in 2008 City Football Group, an investment company from Abu Dhabi, invested 250 million euros to acquire the club and take it to the royalty of European football. In 2012 he raised the Premier under the direction of Roberto Mancini and it was there that he first incorporated Ferran Soriano as chief executive. Almost immediately Txiki Begiristain arrived at the sports management. Pep Guardiola was always in the eyes of both and the memory of a team that took Barcelona to the pinnacle of world football. Manuel Pellegrini led the team that won the Premier in 2014, but after two consecutive fiascoes he gave way in July 2016 to the Catalan coach. Since then, City has dominated the English League, with five wins in seven seasons. Along the way, an expense of 1,240 million euros is contemplated, less in any case than what was invested in that time by Chelsea, Barcelona or Juventus and almost at the level of what was exposed by Manchester United, a domestic rival that, on the other hand, has entered more 300 million less for the transfer of players. However, Manchester City is litigating with the Premier League, which has filed charges against the entity for committing 115 breaches of financial regulations.
Of that City that Guardiola inherited seven years ago, barely a piece remains, Kevin de Bruyne. That summer Stones and Gündogan were added to start putting together a team that has not stopped evolving to move from the well-known game of position to the ability to seek superiorities that make it more vertical. The last challenge, that of integrating Erling Haaland into the collective operation, has been resolved with 36 goals in 33 games by the Norwegian star, and new resources to break defenses through the long pass and the second play. Guardiola is no longer the leader of the false nine and along the way he has tempered his usual fondness for lining up dribblers on the wings to open up the field with midfielders. The growing weight of Grealish to the detriment of Mahrez exemplifies this trend.
City wins and creates a trend. He has taught the world that full-backs can assume inside positions when it comes to building a game because Guardiola understands that this is how he wins passing lanes and opens spaces by dragging the opponent’s wingers. At the base of the club this type of player is already cooked. Rico Lewis, just 18 years old and with a decade of experience in the City academy, has already shown himself in that role this season. In recent games that superiority with the ball in the midfield has been sought with a central defender, Stones.
“It is probably the best team in the history of the Premier,” Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach who sat on the bench for the gunners after spending a little over three seasons with Guardiola at City. Since then they have crossed paths 10 times and Arteta only won in a Cup match. This season he has driven the greatest challenge for the champion, who has only been the leader in eight days. Arsenal was the rest of the championship and even at its halfway point they had an income of seven points. He lacked repris in a final with just two wins in the last eight days.
The fifth Premier in six years places Manchester City on the path of the great dominators of English football, Liverpool that between 1975 and 1984 won seven of the nine championships that were played or Manchester United that did the same between 1992 and 2000 The dominance is also explained through the score, because in the last six exercises City has averaged (even without finishing the current one) 90.5 points per season, eight above Liverpool. Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea are in a range between 68 and 66 points on average, more than 20 behind the great dominator of the championship. There is no glimpse that they can get closer than through a deep and judicious renewal that, for example, in the case of the gunners They are already beginning to achieve.
The challenge now for City is the treble to become the tenth European club to win the League, Cup and European Cup or Champions League in the same campaign. Before, Celtic (1967), Ajax (1972), PSV Eindhoven (1988), Manchester United (1999), Barcelona (2009 and 2015), Inter (2010) and Bayern (2013 and 2020) barely managed it. If the Premier League champion beats Manchester United in the Cup final and Inter in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola will be the first coach in history to add two of those triplets.
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