Man City are worthy winners but talk of domination is premature
Alex Sharp takes a look back at Manchester City's dramatic but ultimately deserved Premier League title triumph
A truly pulsating Premier League campaign culminated into 110 breath-taking seconds at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
City have just about managed to buy the title, ending their 44-year wait to top the pile.
It seemed to be fate that the champions, who scored an immense 93 goals this season would win their first title since 1968. In fact, their goals-per-game ratio of 2.81 is the largest in the top flight since – you guessed it – 1968!
For a majority of the season, Roberto Mancini’s men have played with a ruthless swagger but on Sunday they had to dig extremely deep with huge volumes of tenacity and determination to snatch the title from United.
Credit must go to Mancini, when you peel away his incessant and tedious mind games, he’s a calculating force who has pieced together an exemplary football squad. True, he’s had an endless budget but he’s bought well and managed the egos.
The spine of the team is magical. Joe hart has been in sublime form with many crucial saves; Vincent Kompany has been a fine leader, with the commanding Yaya Toure terrifying defences every week.
David Silva has mesmerised, assisting 15 times, Carlos Tevez returned for a useful cameo and Sergio Aguero was a consistent trouble for defenders.
On the other hand, there is a big rebuilding project needed on the other side of Manchester at United, despite only losing out on the title on the last day and on goal difference.
Sir Alex Ferguson has a wealth of talented of youth that have impressed this season but even with 89 points it wasn’t quite enough.
Clearly the loss of captain and talisman Nemanja Vidic was crucial at the back, especially as Rio Ferdinand struggles for form and fitness these days.
The likes of Danny Wellbeck, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling point to a very positive United future – but they need reinforcements to bite back at City.
Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes will remain but can they impact a whole season? Doubtful. However, it isn’t only United who need to reinvest.
City minimally raised the bar but talk of the Citizens dominating the league for years to come is far too premature. To comeback and retain or even regain the title in a few years’ time will be a far greater challenge for Mancini.
Ferguson is certainly someone who knows the challenges ahead for Mancini. He guided United to the title in 1996 after Blackburn surprised us in 1995.
Then, in 1999, Ferguson bettered Arsene Wenger’s first double with the unprecedented treble, only to overcome Arsenal’s triumphs again in 2003.
The Italian still needs to massage some egos over the summer, replace some disgruntled departures and perhaps add some more Manchester ‘galacticos’.
It has been an enthralling and enticing title race, but next season promises to be as spectacular as all the top sides are in need of some big changes.
But for now, it is right to revel in a spectacular finale to a frantic season.