The slow, painful capitulation of the title came to an end yesterday. What has been inevitable for months finally became reality as all vestiges of hope were extinguished by Manchester United’s victory over Aston Villa. The win, along with Manchester City’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, made it mathematically impossible for the Sky Blues to mount what had become an increasingly improbable comeback.
City can now at least focus fully on winning the FA Cup and finishing the season with some confidence-boosting wins over inferior opposition. The fixture list looks easy on paper and they should be able to win all their remaining matches, but there are always a few freak results thrown up during the close of a season.
They are only five points clear of Arsenal (with a game in hand) and six points ahead of Chelsea, so there is still some pressure on them to pick up points in their final five league games, but the only fixture that really matters is the FA Cup final against Wigan.
Here are my predictions for the final six matches.