They've done it again—Manchester City are the Premier League champions after defeating West Ham on Sunday, 2-0.
SportsCenter on Twitter shared the news and captured this image of the celebration:
Man City won 2 league titles in its first 132 seasons. City has now captured its 2nd league title in 3 seasons. » pic.twitter.com/AGty8lMXgv— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2014
Manuel Pellegrini's men were worthy champions, leading the Premier League in both goals scored (102, one more than Liverpool) and goal differential (65). Though clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea spent more time atop the table than City did this season, the Citizens—as Arlo White of NBC said on the broadcast of their championship-winning game—"timed their run perfectly."
Indeed they did. Let's take a look at Sunday's results:
|Manchester City||2-0||West Ham United|
|Tottenham Hotspur||3-0||Aston Villa|
|West Bromwich Albion||1-2||Stoke City|
And here are the day's top scorers:
|Dwight Gayle||Crystal Palace||2|
|Craig Bellamy||Cardiff City||1|
|Vincent Kompany||Manchester City||1|
|Samir Nasri||Manchester City||1|
|Juan Mata||Manchester United||1|
|Nathan Dyer||Swansea City||1|
|Marvin Emnes||Swansea City||1|
|Wilfried Bony||Swansea City||1|
|Stephane Sessegnon||West Brom||1|
|Gareth McAuley||Stoke City||1|
|Charlie Adam||Stoke City||1|
Finally, here is the season's final table:
|13||West Ham United||38||11||7||20||40||51||-11||40|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||38||7||15||16||43||59||-16||36|
What a season it was. Coming into the season, major clubs like Manchester United (David Moyes), Manchester City (Pellegrini) and Chelsea (Jose Mourinho) all had new managers. Huge talents were brought into the league, highlighted by Mesut Ozil joining Arsenal, while other talents departed, namely Gareth Bale going to Real Madrid.
Liverpool provided some of the most exciting moments in the league this year and came up just short in the end. Luis Suarez (31) and Daniel Sturridge (21) led the Premier League in scoring, and Steven Gerrard had another excellent season.
Chelsea were many pundits' pick in the preseason to win the title, and they certainly looked the part for much of the season. Eden Hazard (14 goals, seven assists) continues his ascent toward being one of the top players in the world.
Arsenal sat atop the table for much of this season, but injuries to key players—including Theo Walcott, who was lost for the year and will miss the World Cup—ultimately ruined their title hopes. Still, as they always do under Arsene Wenger, they will return to the Champions League next season. The club will also expect to compete for a title next season, as their 79 points this year were the most they've earned since 2007-08 (83).
Roberto Martinez's first campaign with Everton was a rousing success, as the Toffees finish fifth and qualified for the Europa League. Tottenham's season was far more rocky, but Spurs still finished sixth and will be headed back to Europe.
And then there was Manchester United, who went from winning the league title last year to finishing seventh this season. It was a horrid first campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson, and David Moyes was axed before it concluded. Not even the huge addition of Juan Mata in January from Chelsea could right the ship.
The beloved Ryan Giggs took over as manager, but his future remains uncertain, as he noted after the final game of the season, via Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe:
Finally, there will be disappointment for Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City, as all three were relegated. Sunday was a day to celebrate for some and one to lament for others.
But all in all this year was quite brilliant, and depending on how the clubs approach the summer transfer period, up to seven teams could compete for a title next season.
Liverpool have re-established themselves as a national power. Chelsea are a striker away from being very hard to beat. A healthy Arsenal side might have won the title this year. Manchester United will surely be better. Everton took huge strides this year. Tottenham need stability at manager and a true star, but they have a lot of talent in place.
And of course, City are the defending champs, and they'll be tough to dethrone. So yes, this season was fantastic.
But next year might be even better.