Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium to win the Premier League on the final day of the season, despite Liverpool coming from behind to beat Newcastle.
City needed a victory to ensure the title, although their goal difference meant a draw would likely have been enough. But they went all-out for victory, dominating West Ham and sealing victory through Samir Nasri’s excellent goal and skipper Vincent Kompany's close-range finish.
Brendan Rodgers’ side, meanwhile, came from behind to beat Newcastle, but it meant nothing as City easily closed out victory, leading to emotional scenes as fans streamed on to the pitch in Manchester.
City were good value for the title, although were aided by Liverpool’s spectacular late-season capitulation following what seemed to be a landmark 3-2 victory against Manuel Pellegrini’s side last month.
The Reds' disastrous 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace will be seen as they key result for both teams, although City must be commended for keeping their nerve when others - including Chelsea - floundered.
9’ – PENALTY APPEAL: A Zabaleta cross hits Noble’s foot and spins up on to his hand; the referee correctly waves away the appeals as it was completely accidental.
13’ – PENALTY APPEAL: Another shout for a City spot kick as Diame challenges Zabaleta. Again Martin Atkinson keeps his hands by his side.
20’ – DRAMA AT ANFIELD: Luis Suarez has a spectacular quick free-kick disallowed, Newcastle go down the other end and Martin Skrtel scores an own-goal.
24’ – SAVE! Adrian with a super stop to deny Kolarov, whose left-foot strike was from all of 30 yards!
39’ – GOAL! (Manchester City 1-0 West Ham): And it’s a beauty to put the hosts in the driving seat for the title. Nasri gets hold of the ball 25 yards out, shifts it wide with one touch, and smashes a swerving drive past Adrian with the next. Cracking strike.
49’ – GOAL! (Manchester City 2-0 West Ham): Game, set and match City. It’s fitting that captain Kompany should get on the scoresheet, bundling it home after a corner.
67’ – HORROR MISS! Aguero somehow fluffs his lines when presented with an open goal by yet another wicked low ball from Zabaleta.
90+3’ – EMOTIONAL SCENES! Liverpool came back to beat nine-man Newcastle 2-1, but it matters not as City have won the title, leading to a full-scale pitch invasion, grown men weeping and several thousand selfies.
City have won more points at home than any other Premier League team this season (52).
West Ham have won just one point in their eight Premier League games against the current top four sides this season (D1 L7).
It is Chilean boss Pellegrini’s first domestic league title since he arrived in Europe with Villarreal in 2004.
Did City win the league or did Liverpool lose it? A bit of both, really. City have been the most consistent team all season, and kept their nerve even after suffering that blow at Anfield. Liverpool – both the team and the fans – let it get to their heads, while City stayed cool. Ultimately the best team won it, although City’s European travails mean they cannot rest on their laurels and must bring in some defensive steel.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Samir Nasri (Manchester City): The Frenchman has improved greatly under Pellegrini, and he showed great maturity, skill and flair today. Scored a fantastic goal to set the ball rolling, and was intelligent and hard-working both on and off the ball.
Manchester City: Hart 7, Zabaleta 8, Kompany 7, Demichelis 7, Kolarov 7, Garcia 7, Toure 6, Nasri 8, Silva 7, Aguero 7, Dzeko 6; Subs: Milner 6, Fernandinho NA, Negredo NA
West Ham: Adrian 6, Reid 6, McCartney 6, Nolan 6, Tomkins 6, Carroll 6, Taylor 6, Noble 5, O'Brien 6, Diame 5, Downing 6; Subs: Jarvis 5, C.Cole NA, J.Cole NA