Pep Guardiola’s second season in charge at Manchester City has seen his side blow all other teams away for most of the season.
Last weekend saw a potentially historic Manchester derby between first and second place in the league – a win which would have seen City win the title in record time.
Despite sprinting out of the blocks and getting themselves 2-0 in front, a sublime second half performance from the reds saw them overturn their fortunes and hand City their second league defeat of the season.
Sandwiched between two important Champions League matches against Liverpool, United’s victory handed the blues a second defeat in a row – which then became three the following Tuesday night as Liverpool secured their passage to the next round of the Champions League.
The newly crowned champions have been in fantastic form this season and have treated us long-suffering fans to some scintillating football along the way.
Here we take a look at some of those and other key moments which have seen City crowned Premier League champions for the third time in seven years.
Back in September, the blues faced their first test against one of the title contenders in Liverpool. The Scousers arrived at the Etihad in good form, only to find themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 thrashing.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring before Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was sent off for a dangerous foul on Ederson.
Gabriel Jesus made Klopp’s afternoon even more miserable with a goal either side of half time.
Leroy Sane came off the bench to add two goals and inflict Klopp’s heaviest defeat of the season.
Victory at the Bridge
September saw City score 17 goals in the Premier League without conceding. The win against Liverpool was the start and was followed by a 6-0 win away at Watford and a 5-0 win at home to Palace before an important 1-0 away at Stamford Bridge.
Never an easy place to go, City visited the Bridge and got an all-important 1-0 victory against the defending champions.
Kevin De Bruyne enjoyed a sensational start to the season, providing several assists to his colleagues, but he was on the goal scoring end against his former employers.
The win meant City had dispatched two of the big players without conceding a goal, and would continue their dominance against Stoke a couple of weeks later putting seven past them.
Gunning down the Gunners
Arsenal were the next big six side to attempt to break City’s dominant stride: tried and failed.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Aguero and Jesus were enough to send The Gunners home empty handed.
The loss would see City reach 31 points and saw Arsenal slip to sixth in the league.
Aguero becomes City’s all-time record goal scorer
2017 would see Sergio Aguero firmly claim his place in the history books and secure his place as a club legend.
Following an impressive start to the season, the Argentinean began closing in on Eric Brook’s club goal scoring record of 177 goals in 494 appearances. Aguero would level with Brook’s record against Burnley in a 3-0 which saw the blues extend their lead over United by five points.
The man they call ‘Kun’ would have to wait a few more weeks before finally surpassing the record. He would finally get there against Napoli in the Champions League.
The record was even more impressive considering he managed to do it in only 264 appearances.
Jose – 0 Pep – 1
The next four games saw the blues dispatch some of the mid-table teams before the first Manchester derby of the season.
City went to Old Trafford, and true to form both managers stuck to their methods. Pep sent his side out to play football his way and Jose parked the bus.
The tactics employed by Mourinho angered many of the Old Trafford faithful. It is not what they are used to, and it certainly is not something they will accept.
City dominated possession, enjoying 65% – not something any City fan would expect when making the trip across town to Old Trafford.
The win would set a new record, with Pep’s men becoming the first team to win 14 consecutive games in the same season. They also ended United’s 24 match unbeaten home run.
City 4 Spurs 1
City followed up the derby win with a 4-0 victory over Swansea away before playing host to another top six side in Spurs.
Prior to the game, there may have been some nerves from the City faithful. They are not used to things going so well, and Spurs have it in them to cause an upset.
If there were any such fears, they needn’t have worried.
Raheem Sterling continued his terrific transformation under Guardiola with a brace after Gundogan and De Bruyne had put the blues in front.
Invincible no more
The second league game of the new year saw talk of City going unbeaten all season like Arsenal’s Invincible’s of 2003/04 disappear.
Following the dominant performance at home to Liverpool, City continued their dreadful record away at Anfield.
Both sides walked in at half-time at one apiece, but a crazy ten minute period in the second half saw the Scousers race into a 4-1 lead.
City managed to pull two back and very nearly completed the comeback with the last kick of the game, but the damage was done and Liverpool got their revenge, handing City their first loss of the season.
Aguero dominates the Foxes
February saw the arrival of Leicester City to the Etihad. City got off to a quick start, but the Foxes were level before half-time.
With the contest looking like it was going to be a tight one, Sergio Aguero popped up with a second-half masterclass, scoring four goals to hand City a 5-1 win.
The buzz amongst the players was evident to see after the game. Cameras picked up De Bruyne nicking the match ball and signalling he got a hat-trick also – of assists that is – before handing it to Aguero as the pair left the pitch laughing.
Hat-trick against the Gunners
Following the victory earlier in the season, the blues saw themselves facing off against Arsenal for a second and third time in quick succession.
After securing The Carabao Cup at Wembley, they travelled to The Emirates for the second Premier League game.
The venue was different but the result was the same result as a stunning first-half performance saw City score three goals, half the stadium empty, and Arsene Wenger’s future put in further doubt.
Another game. Another record
In the build-up to a trip to Everton the media constantly reminded Pep of the same fixture from last season, when the Toffees inflicted Pep’s heaviest ever defeat as a manager.
City’s record on Merseyside is nothing to write home about, and a difficult game seemed a certainty.
Pep’s men, however, had other ideas as they flew out of the blocks and put three past a stunned Everton in the first-half.
Everton managed to pull one back in the second-half, but a dominant City made Sam Allerdyce’s men chase the ball. The victory saw the away side record 83% possession – the highest percent recorded by any away side since the records began.
Manchester United 0 West Brom 1
Despite some great football, securing home and away victories against Arsenal, Chelsea, and Spurs, a home victory against Liverpool and a win away at Old Trafford, recent weeks have seen Guardiola’s men prove they are human.
Three defeats on the bounce to Liverpool and United were followed up by a tough trip to Spurs, a match they managed a 3-1 win. But nobody could have predicted the outcome of the United vs West Brom game on the Sunday.
West Brom’s Ben Foster was in fine form and stopped the reds scoring several times, and as the match wore on there was the feeling that West Brom might be able to nick something. And they did, with Rodriguez heading home past De Gea in the 68th minute.
The defeat was enough to see City crowned champions, even if nobody on the blues side had seen it coming. Captain Vincent Kompany had to race from his in-laws’ house to give an interview and then headed to a pub in Hale to continue celebrations with family and fans.