After a roller-coaster campaign that at times left one questioning whether Manchester City had the nerve to pull off the feat, the blue half of Manchester finally came out of the 2013-14 season as deserving Premier League champions.
Manuel Pellegrini's first campaign in English football couldn't have gone too much better domestically, and although Liverpool's challenge for top honours was mighty, their locomotive simply ran out of steam in the end.
Now comes the period of reflection, where we celebrate the most prolific figures of the most open Premier League title chase yet, as well as some key statistics from across the term.
|Position||Club||Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals Scored||Goals Against||Goal Diff.||Points|
|13||West Ham United||38||11||7||20||40||51||-11||40|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||38||7||15||16||43||59||-16||36|
Turning his fortunes around dramatically in the space of 32 games, Luis Suarez has gone from the lows of his suspension at the beginning of the season to the highs of Premier League Golden Boot winner, per the official Premier League Twitter account:
Luis Suarez wins the Barclays Golden Boot. 2013/14 top goalscorers: 1 Suarez - 31 2 Sturridge - 21 3 Y Toure - 20 4 Aguero, Rooney - 17— Premier League (@premierleague) May 11, 2014
The Uruguayan's top-scoring exploits were the biggest driving force behind the Reds' ultimately futile title push, but as WhoScored.com and OptaJoe show, there's more to Suarez's play than simply scoring goals:
Rickie Lambert: Only Luis Suarez (22) has created more clear-cut chances in the PL this season than Lambert (13) #SaintsFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 12, 2014
9 - The joint-highest Goal/Assist combinations in the 2013/14 were Suarez/Sturridge and Suarez/Sterling. Pairs.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 12, 2014
He didn't do it alone, either, and club stalwart Steven Gerrard recaptured some of his best career form at the age of 33 to help push Liverpool throughout their campaign, providing another service that might have seen him win Player of the Year honours:
Steven Gerrard: Picked up more assists (13) than any other player in the Premier League this season #LFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 12, 2014
It speaks volumes of Brendan Rodgers' attack that Daniel Sturridge should finish second-highest in the scoring charts, but it still was not enough to bring the Merseysiders their title. In fact, it only indicates further that Liverpool's biggest issue was consistent defending on par with the quality of their attack.
Yaya Toure leapt forth from his midfield confines to contribute a similarly talismanic presence in the Manchester City squad, breaking the illustrious 20-goal mark that so few strikers manage to overcome in sensational fashion.
However, there is a darker tone to the manner in which City raked in their latest title, with the Mail Online pointing out a worrying lack of homegrown talent in their squad:
If only goals scored by Englishmen counted, Manchester City would have been...relegated http://t.co/wRSjTN0s7G— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) May 12, 2014
Pellegrini, nor the majority of the Etihad Stadium support, will let that aspect of the triumph affect them for now, though, choosing instead to just enjoy this moment of victory for what it is.
The 2013-14 season saw numerous new faces break into view, but it was also one for ageing stars like Frank Lampard, a part of Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for this summer's World Cup, who experienced a drop in action under Jose Mourinho:
Frank Lampard has played fewer mins in the Premier League in 2014 than any other player in England's squad (512mins). pic.twitter.com/SGdP8XIe4y— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 12, 2014
The Chelsea man didn't have as vintage a season as fellow veteran Gerrard, going trophy-less with Mourinho back at the Stamford Bridge helm in what will go down as a disappointing campaign for the Blues.
ESPN FC shows just what a blow in standards this term has been for the Portuguese, too, far unlike anything he's ever experienced before:
Stat of the Day: This is the 1st time in 11 seasons (between Porto, Chelsea, Inter, RM) that Jose Mourinho has failed to finish in the top 2— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 12, 2014
And in the end, it was the west Londoners' lack of a solid striking presence that may have proved to be their undoing, as Sky Sports News shows when comparing Chelsea with their top-of-the-table peers:
With the book now shut on 2013-14, it won't be long until we're preparing for the 2014-15 season, which again promises to lead us down a road with many a twist and turn.
But for now, Manchester City and the rest of us can revel in a campaign that lived up to expectations and then some, vindicating some of those views that the English top flight may indeed be the most entertaining division in the world.