Thrilling end to titanic EPL war
One of the tightest title races on record came to a tense end on Monday morning (AEST) as Manchester City pulled away from the pack to claim the English Premier League.
The dominant team faced an early scare, conceding a goal in the 27th minute to Brighton's Glenn Murray, but a magnificent effort from fan favourite Sergio Aguero barely a minute later levelled the score to 1-1.
From there it was City's to lose as they added three extra, courtesy of Aymeric Laporte (38), Riyad Mahrez (63) and Ilkay Gundogan (72)
Liverpool, who lost just one match all season, were cruelly denied the top spot. The Reds needed City to go down to leapfrog them for top spot and while Brighton's first half heroics would have lit a fire in millions of fans, the magical title wasn't to be.
Liverpool continued their hot streak to the end, shutting out the Wolves 2-0 on the final day of the season, finishing their 2018/19 with an incredible 97 points.
City's trump sees them advance to their ninth straight Champions League alongside Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Needing a 14th successive league win to be certain of prevailing in an unprecedented title duel, City fell behind to Murray's early header but Pep Guardiola's side responded in devastating fashion. Aguero levelled 83 seconds later and Aymeric Laporte's header put City ahead before the break.
With Liverpool, who began the day one point behind, leading, the Anfield club would still have hoped for something extraordinary to happen in the south coast sunshine.
But when Riyad Mahrez drove an unstoppable shot past Brighton keeper Mathew Ryan's despairing dive just past the hour, City's fans could finally get the party started.
Ilkay Gundogan's majestic free kick made it 4-1 to put the icing on another glorious day for City who are the first club to retain the Premier League title for 10 years.
- with Reuters