close
.
.

MPs push govt to suspend gasoline prices’ increase

No side in the history of English top flight has ever won four successive titles

MANCHESTER: Manchester City won an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title on Sunday as Phil Foden’s double inspired a 3-1 victory over West Ham. No side in the history of the English top flight had ever won four successive titles, but City have become accustomed to rewriting the record books under Pep Guardiola. The Catalan coach has masterminded six Premier League wins in the past seven seasons.

In four of those years, City have also surpassed 90 points. They were pushed this season to deny Arsenal a first title since 2003/04. The Gunners celebrated a 0-0 draw at the Etihad last month that kept them one point in front of City with nine games to play.

But the champions were relentless in the run-in, winning their final nine league games, scoring 33 goals. Guardiola conceded City had felt the pressure in a nervy 2-0 win at Tottenham in midweek that kept the destiny of the title in their own hands.

In the same scenario two years ago, they needed a remarkable late fightback from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 on the final day. There was far less drama as West Ham melted under the baking Manchester sun in David Moyes’ final game in charge of the Hammers.

Foden was recently crowned the football writers’ player of the year for his best-ever goalscoring season and ended any suspense after just 79 seconds. The England international arrowed a blistering drive into the top corner to ensure there was no nervous wait for the title party to get started.

Foden doubled City’s lead inside 20 minutes with another cool left-footed finish from Jeremy Doku’s cross for his 27th goal of the season. City should have been out of sight before half-time as Alphonse Areola denied Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland failed to turn in from point-blank range. Out of nowhere, there was a twist in the tale of the first half when, from a West Ham corner, Mohammed Kudus’ outrageous overhead kick flew high past Stefan Ortega.

Haaland claimed his second Golden Boot in as many seasons in the Premier League despite a day to forget in front of goal. The Norwegian missed a huge chance to restore the home side’s two-goal cushion when he spooned over another inviting Doku cross.

City swiftly restored order at the start of the second period and fittingly it was Rodri, himself a player of the year contender, who delivered the knockout blow to Arsenal’s title hopes. The Spaniard has not been on the losing side for club or country since March 2023.

City’s only three Premier League defeats came in the three games the 27-year-old was suspended. This time Areola should have done better as the Frenchman failed to turn Rodri’s tame effort round the post. City could cruise to the finish line and extend a remarkable 35-game unbeaten streak in all competitions from open play.

The only blip on that run was a penalty shootout defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals that denied Guardiola’s men the chance of back-to-back trebles. They can make it double next weekend when Manchester United have the unenviable task of stopping their local rivals in the FA Cup final.

By achieving a degree of league dominance never seen before, City have made their case to be considered the greatest side English football has produced. There was an anti-climactic end as City players had to tell fans to get off the pitch before the full-time whistle. Thousands of supporters poured onto the field at the end despite pleas from the club to stay off the playing surface. — AFP

By Ahmad Albarjas With the increase in technological advancements and societal growth, Gen Z is expected to pave the way for the younger generation, Gen Alpha. However, the literacy rate among children in Kuwait tells another story. The fact that 51...
Dr Nirmin Al-Houti It has been more than 20 years, and creativity still emanates from the Artistic Creativity Center, which was opened on August 27th, 2022. This mini-cultural center has become the nucleus of an artistic cultural establishment that ...