The final day of the Premier League season did not throw up any major surprises and it finished as it had started. Tottenham Hotspur remained in a Europa League spot, Norwich were relegated and the major issue was sorted as Manchester City won the league.
A remarkable turnaround in recent weeks saw Liverpool drop 5 points in a defeat to Chelsea and a draw with Crystal Palace. And as City won their last five games they managed to grab the initiative and went into the final day at the top of the league.
Due to their far superior goal difference, City knew that a point would win them the league despite being just two points ahead of Liverpool. And even with fans at Anfield pinning all of their hopes on an unlikely West Ham victory, it was no surprise when City wrapped up the season with a routine win against the Hammers.
Goals either side of half-time from Samir Nasri and skipper Vincent Kompany ensured a 2-0 win for the Citizens and the Premier League trophy was awarded in Manchester for the fourth season running, with City and United each winning two of the last four titles.
It meant that Liverpool finished second despite racking up 101 league goals this season, their final two coming in a 2-1 win at home to Newcastle.
But the celebrations will go on for a while and City richly deserve their success this season, with the club also winning the League Cup. Manager Manuel Pellegrini will be bursting with pride having won the double with City in his first season at the club.
And, although there was no stoppage time drama like two years ago when Sergio Agüero scored that goal against QPR, the elation was the same.
At full time thousands of City fans spilled out into the Etihad pitch and mobbed their heroes including Joe Hart, Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta. And it is Touré that deserves the largest amount of credit. He scored 20 goals this season from midfield, and was the main man as City strived to keep the standard up even when Agüero was injured and Alvaro Negredo’s goals had dried up.
And with Toure, Agüero, Negredo and Edin Dzeko all scoring over 20 goals in a season that saw City score over 150, it has to be said that this was a victory for the purists, as City won the league in style.
With regards to their challengers, Liverpool have achieved something that nobody expected in coming second. And if it wasn’t for their late slip ups, they would have been celebrating their first title in 24 years. Chelsea and Jose Mourinho can only look back at this season as a failure, as they have finished the season trophy-less and in third place, punished for defeats at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace among other poor results.
And Arsenal can only consider this season anywhere near a success if they manage to beat Hull at Wembley in the FA Cup final. Having led the league for so long, they dropped off after injuries to Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey. But with Ramsey back and in form – he scored a brilliant goal against relegated Norwich – they will hope to be celebrating their first piece of silverware in nine years.
City, though, can celebrate their second Premier League title and will be looking to take a step forward next season by successfully defending it. And with neighbors United finishing seventh and not qualifying for Europe, this could well be the start of a true power shift in Manchester.