After winning Premier League, Man City has sights set on long-coveted treble
Manchester City’s bid for a treble of major trophies is up and running.
The first was secured on Saturday without City even playing as the team clinched a third successive English Premier League title — and a ninth top-flight crown in its 143-year history — thanks to another slip-up by second-placed Arsenal.
Arsenal losing at Nottingham Forest 1-0 capped an end-of-season meltdown for the once long-time leader and left City with an unassailable four-point lead.
City’s players will get their hands on the league trophy after their match against Chelsea on Sunday, but don’t expect the celebrations to last too long.
Pep Guardiola’s squad has its sights on becoming just the second team to capture the Premier League-FA Cup-Champions League treble, and still has two finals to play.
The FA Cup final against Manchester United is on June 3 at Wembley Stadium followed by a meeting with Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10.
City is enjoying a period of domestic dominance rarely seen in English soccer.
That’s five league titles in seven years in Guardiola’s reign and seven in a 12-season spell that began with Sergio Aguero’s storied stoppage-time goal to win the league in 2012.
“The Premier League is without doubt the most demanding and competitive league in the world,” City captain Ilkay Gundogan said, “so that tells you everything about what an achievement this is.
“That quality and consistency helps sum up what Manchester City stand for and ensures the club will continue to strive for success going forward.”
It’s the first time City has won three leagues in a row and comes while the Abu Dhabi-owned club is facing an unprecedented slew of charges from the Premier League for allegedly breaking financial rules from 2009-18 and a subsequent failure to co-operate with an investigation.
Those charges — 115 in total — cast a shadow over City’s achievements under its Abu Dhabi ownership, though it could be years before a verdict is reached by an independent disciplinary commission.
What isn’t up for debate is the quality City has produced in its now-familiar end-of-season burst of victories that piled the pressure on Arsenal, which has the unwanted distinction this season of leading the league for a record number of days (248) without eventually winning it.
While City has finished like a train by winning 11 straight games, Arsenal — owning the youngest squad in the league under inexperienced coach Mikel Arteta — has buckled with a first top-flight title since 2004 in sight and won just won of its last eight games.
“One team in six seasons has beaten Manchester City to the title,” Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale said. “But it was our own doing, individual errors in games we should have won. We were in a position to win those games.”
Forest is safe from relegation after its win.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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