Manchester City Lift Premier League Trophy 

Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho holds the Premier League trophy on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 6, 2018.
PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

It took three weeks for Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany to finally get his hands on the Premier League trophy but, on a day of celebrations at the Etihad, a goalless draw may have left Huddersfield Town as the big winners.

A strong showing from the struggling visitors earned a valuable point which may be enough to keep them in the Premier League for a second season, an impressive achievement given their limited resources.

They also frustrated the bid by Pep Guardiola’s runaway champions to set new Premier League records for the most goals, points and wins in a season — all marks which could yet be claimed by City in the season’s final week in which they play Brighton and Southampton.

But, after a delay while uninvited supporters were removed from the field, Guardiola was finally able to see his team presented with the trophy which marks the third major country in which he has managed a team to a title following successes in Spain and Germany with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“England is a special place and is so tough,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Today we saw it. You never know if you are going to win, but I had no doubt what I had to do.

“You win or lose, you have to try and do what you believe. Today was proof we can do better.

“We lost a bit of focus, but that is normal. To make back-to-back titles in this league will be tough, but we accept the challenge.”

The celebrations for City’s third title in seven seasons began well before kick-off, both inside and outside their Etihad home ground.

Supporters were issued with blue and white flags to greet the champions as they were given yet another guard of honour on their way onto the field before kick-off.

They were also met by the survivors of City’s famous 1968 title-winning side, a squad led by club legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee who were all on hand to receive an emotional welcome from fans who remember their feats half a century on.

These title celebrations have been curiously drawn out.

This time there was none of the edge-of-the-seat drama that so famously brought City their first Premier League title, when Sergio Aguero scored with virtually the last kick of the season against QPR in 2012.

City won the league three weeks earlier without playing when closest rivals Manchester United surprisingly lost at home to West Brom.

Since then City have enjoyed comfortable wins over Swansea and West Ham, but on Sunday there was no hint of Huddersfield showing the champions too much respect when the contest finally kicked off.

Wilting

Victory would have guaranteed Huddersfield safety and another season of top flight football.

David Wagner’s men might have been on course for just such an upset result in an entertaining if goalless, first half but Ederson denied Florent Hadergjonaj and Alex Pritchard.

A City side that had been held goalless in just one previous league game — a draw at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve — inevitably carved out chances of their own with Jonas Lossl saving well at David Silva’s feet after five minutes and, unknowingly, stopping a fierce Kevin De Bruyne shot.

By the interval, Huddersfield were visibly wilting in the Manchester heat and facing the prospect of a long second half of attrition.

City started brightly, with Christopher Schindler clearing off his line from a scramble at a Leroy Sane corner, but otherwise, Huddersfield defended manfully and substitute Scott Malone might even have snatched a dramatic injury-time winner for the visitors.

But Guardiola’s heartfelt congratulations to his opposite number Wagner on the final whistle demonstrated the importance of the point to the visitors who now join Everton and Manchester United as the only sides to have avoided defeat at the Etihad in the league this season.

AFP

Premier League: Arsenal Finish Second As Tottenham Crash

Arsenal, Spurs, Premier LeagueA hat trick by Olivier Giroud ensured that Arsenal finished second, above London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

The Gunners defeated relegated Aston Villa 4-0 with three Giroud goals in the 5th, 79th and 80th minute capped by a Mark Bunn own goal in the 90th.

Tottenham went into the final match day of the 2015/16 season needing just a draw to finish second but Spurs who were title contenders a fortnight earlier collapsed 5-1 away to relegated Newcastle United.

The Gunners keep their bragging rights as they maintained the record of not finishing below Spurs in Premier League history.

Arsenal’s hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud said; “We were hoping to finish in top three but to finish second is very nice. We are really pleased to finish second and hopefully next year we can grab one more place.

“We wanted to start strongly, we knew it wouldn’t be easy and we thought Villa would fight, and they did well. But we were efficient up front and could have scored 3 or 4 more.”

Meanwhile, in other EPL final day matches, Champions Leicester City drew 1-1 at Chelsea as they win the title by 10 points.

Manchester City also finished in fourth place and secured Champions League football with a 1-1 draw away to Swansea.

Southampton defeated Crystal Palace 4-1 to move into fifth position but may be knocked out of it by Manchester United. Nevertheless, they have secured Europa League football for next season even if they end up in sixth.

West Ham have their ambition to play in Europe dented after losing away to Stoke City 2-1 courtesy a Mame Biram Diouf late strike.

Their fate is now solely dependent on the result of the FA Cup between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. If Man-U beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final a Europa League place filters down to seventh. If Palace win they are in the Europa League at the group stage.

Everton end the season on a high with 3-0 win against Norwich City, while West Brom and Liverpool played 1-1.

Man United’s final-day match against Bournemouth was called off on Sunday because of a suspect package found in the North West Quadrant of the ground.

Results

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester

Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa

Watford 2-2 Sunderland

Swansea 1-1 Manchester City

Everton 3-0 Norwich

West Brom 1-1 Liverpool

Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham

Southampton 4 – 1 Crystal Palace

Stoke City 2 – 1 West Ham United

 

 

Leicester City Manager, Claudio Ranieri Honoured In Italy  

Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City Leicester City Manager, Claudio Ranieri, can add a personal award to the wonderful success he has engineered in inspiring the Foxes to their first ever league title this season.

Ranieri received the 2016 Enzo Bearzot Prize for Italian Coach of the Season, as well as the Golden Palm Award, a technical award for the best Italian manager.

The Bearzot Prize is awarded by the Association of Italian Christian Workers and by the Italian Soccer Federation and was created in honour of Enzo Bearzot, who led the national team to World Cup glory in 1982.

Earlier this week Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, said that he would propose awarding a top state honour to Ranieri.

Leicester City were officially decorated as Premier League champions for the first time in their history on Saturday after a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Thousands of fans gathered at the King Power Stadium for their final home game to witness the historic event.

Leicester won the title in what has been described as one of the greatest sporting triumphs of all time, starting the season as 5000/1 outsiders.

Claudio Ranieri’s boys set a record to become the champions of England for the first time in 132 years.

The 64-year-old Italian spoke with pride after the feat. Speaking to the club website, he said, “I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week.

“Never did I think too much about where it would take us.”

Leicester City Lift Premier League Trophy

Leicester cityLeicester City have been officially decorated as Premier League champions for the first time in their history.

They received the Premier League trophy on Saturday evening after a 3-1 victory over Everton at the King Power Stadium.

Thousands of fans gathered at the King Power Stadium for their final home game to witness the historic event.

Captain Wes Morgan and manager Claudio Ranieri lifted the trophy as the team celebrated.

The Foxes emerged champions without kicking a ball after Tottenham could only manage a 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Spurs, the only title challenger left, had gone into the London derby needing an outright win to remain in the title race but a remarkable comeback from Chelsea saw them forfeiting a 2-goal lead.

Leicester City

Leicester won the title in what has been described as one of the greatest sporting triumphs of all time, starting the season as 5000/1 outsiders.

The 25kg Premier League trophy, topped by a golden crown, is decorated with blue ribbons for Leicester, and yellow ones to represent the royal house of Thailand, which is the country of club owners King Power.

It was engraved on Friday, in preparation for Saturday’s presentation.

Claudio Ranieri’s boys set a record to become the champions of England for the first time in 132 years.

The Premier League champions title parade will hold on Monday, May 16 – the day after their final match of the season at Chelsea.

Claudio Ranieri’s squad will travel on an open-top bus through the city before taking the stage at Victoria Park.