Pep Guardiola came to Manchester to make history. The Catalan football coach is considered one of the world's best, if not the best, and has just led his Manchester City team to victory in the Premier League for the second consecutive time, with 98 points. And he's certainly pleased about it.
Duel to the death with Liverpool
It went all the way to the wire: Man City had to win against Brighton on the last day of the league. And despite an early Brighton goal, they did so with ease (1-4). A single point had separated the Mancunians from Liverpool for the last few weeks and that was the way they arrived at the Brighton match, so that the Citizens were obliged to ensure the three points in case of victory by the Merseyside team.
In fact, the duel between City and Liverpool has been the story for much of the season and Jürgen Klopp's side, despite a historic domestic points haul, were not able to bring the title to Anfield. Guardiola's win is even more significant considering that at the end of December his team had slipped to seven points behind Klopp's.
A spectacular fight-back then ensued for his Sky Blues, who found their turning point on January 3rd, 2019 - the day that City defeated Liverpool 2-1. At that point they seemed to strike a psychological blow, as the Reds fell to a series of draws.
So, back-to-back titles for Manchester City. However, despite being one of the sides to beat in recent years, their trophy cabinet remains rather empty. This Premier marks their sixth league victory in the club's history. And there's still one objective pending: Europe.
English football once again leads the way
The Champions League continues to resist the City assault and this year they fell in the quarterfinals against Tottenham, which has gone on to the final. In fact, Pep's team is the only one of the top five teams in the English classification which has not claimed a place in a European final this year.
Liverpool and Tottenham will fight for Ol' Big Ears - the Champions League trophy - in a final to be played in Madrid; while Chelsea and Arsenal will go all the way to Azerbaijan to play a London derby for the Europa League. Never before have all four finalists in the two major European club competitions come from the same national league. English football is certainly doing something right.
A domestic triple is still on
Another of the challenges this season for Guardiola was was that no team had won the Premier twice on the hop in the last decade. The last time it happened was in the seasons 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 when Manchester United won consecutive leagues.
And indeed, this Sunday's victory, doesn't finish the season for Guardiola's team. After winning the League Cup in February, Manchester City can achieve a domestic triple on May 18th if they beat Watford in the FA Cup final.
The coach from the Catalan town of Santpedor has led his side to a near-perfect domestic season, playing with a clear dominance and great regularity. In the whole of his CV as a coach at the highest level - with Barça, Bayern and City - Guardiola has won 9 out of 11 league titles, a remarkable statistic.