Manchester City wins its fourth consecutive Premier League title, taking the championship from Arsenal

(CNN) — Seventy-nine seconds. That’s how long Arsenal had hope.

In the end, the drama and tension of the final day of the Premier League season lasted just over a minute, as a stunning early goal from Phil Foden put Manchester City on course for a comfortable 3-1 win over West Ham that secured a historic fourth direct title for the club.

Going into the championship with a two-point lead, City knew that only a win would guarantee them retaining the title ahead of Arsenal, while the Gunners needed to win and hope that Pep Guardiola’s team would draw or lose.

Foden’s goal meant that what was happening 200 miles south in north London mattered little, although Arsenal took the fight to the end with a 2-1 win at home to Everton to finish two dying points behind City.

“We’re in the history books, no team has ever done it,” Foden, who was also recently crowned Premier League Player of the Season, told Sky Sports.

Takehiro Tomiyasu scored Arsenal’s equalizer against Everton. (Catherine Ivill/AMA/Getty Images)

“You can see what it means to the fans, to us. This Premier League title was a bit more [especial] because no team had achieved it before, now we are the first team to achieve it. I’m speechless. I am broken”.

“We played on this stage a couple of times before and I think that helped with the nerves, I felt like we were confident today. We played our football and it paid off.”

Foden, who is just 23, has won a remarkable six Premier League titles. It’s a feeling you certainly don’t take for granted.

“I’m never bored,” he added. “I want to have this feeling every time. When you win something there is no better feeling. I just want to keep winning as much as I can.”

The City walk under the sun

Foden’s first goal, a left-footed shot into the top corner of the goal, calmed any early nerves, if there were any, in a raucous Etihad Stadium. The remaining 88 minutes and 49 seconds were little more than an early trophy celebration as City fans and players basked in the Manchester sunshine.

The Englishman, a boy born and raised in Manchester City, was living the dream: he scored the goal that clinched the league title for his hometown club, and things only got better from there.

Phil Foden scored two goals in the first half for Manchester City. (David Thompson/AP)

Just 15 minutes later, Jeremy Doku’s precise cross somehow made its way through three West Ham players and found Foden, who coolly deflected the ball into the back of the net.

West Ham midfielder Mohammed Kudus, who has enjoyed a superb first season in the Premier League, briefly made things interesting after a scandalous bicycle kick halved City’s lead just before half-time.

Back in north London, Everton took a surprising lead five minutes before half-time, but Arsenal hit back almost immediately to ensure the teams left the field with a draw.

However, any concerns City had about West Ham spoiling the party were put to rest just over 10 minutes into the second half when Rodri’s low shot from the edge of the area twisted under the West goalkeeper’s hand. Ham, Alphonse Areola, and entered the net.

Now there were no doubts. The Premier League trophy stayed in Manchester.

Pep Guardiola celebrates Manchester City’s second goal. (Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters)

The game had already started well and City passed the ball for the rest of the game with a calm and control that belied the enormity of the occasion, viewing the final 35 minutes as if it were a training session.

As the match entered its final stages, Manchester City fans began celebrating with “the Poznań”, linking arms and jumping with their backs onto the pitch.

Back in London, Arsenal finally got the winning goal against Everton in the 89th minute thanks to Kai Havertz, but it was the merest of consolations.

Blue Moon, City’s club anthem, echoed through the Etihad as the referee blew the final whistle to a deafening roar from the home fans. Hundreds of fans ran onto the field to celebrate, filling the air with blue smoke released by flares.

Guardiola has built one of the best teams in Premier League history, if not the best.

Manchester City have gone where no team in English football has gone before, and it will probably take a monumental effort from Arsenal, or perhaps Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp, to dethrone this giant next season.

 
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