Manchester City reclaim mantle

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrates with the EPL trophy. Picture: REUTERS

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini celebrates with the EPL trophy. Picture: REUTERS

FOOTBALL

Manchester City secured a second Premier League title in three seasons by comfortably defeating West Ham United 2-0 at home on Sunday.

City effectively needed only a point to claim the championship ahead of Liverpool, but goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany meant that they completed their mission with room to spare.

Victory took City's goals tally to 102 - one short of Chelsea's Premier League record from 2009-10 - and made Chilean Manuel Pellegrini the first non-European manager to win an English top-flight title.

"I think that I manage a great group of players, a great institution and great fans," said Pellegrini.

"I must be calm during the game to take decisions but when you achieve the title, I think the whole year shows a lot of work we did at difficult moments in the year and I think this is the best team in the league."

Liverpool, having led the table with three games to play, finished two points below City in second place after coming from behind to win 2-1 at home to Newcastle United, who had two players sent off.

David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Aleksandar Kolarov all threatened for City before Nasri put them ahead in the 39th minute, gathering a pass from Yaya Toure and arrowing a 22-yard drive into the bottom-left corner.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll deflected a shot from Silva onto the post in first-half stoppage time, before Kompany doubled City's lead early in the second half by stabbing home from a corner.

Liverpool went into their last game of the campaign with a slim hope of winning a first league title since 1990, but they fell behind in the 20th minute when Martin Skrtel sliced Yoan Gouffran's cross into his own net.

However, goals by Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge turned the game around in the space of two minutes in the second half.

Agger's goal was Liverpool's 100th in the league and made this the first English top-flight season in which two teams have reached that milestone since 1960-61.

"It's been an incredible journey this year, so to finish with 12 wins out of 14 is an incredible achievement by the players," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Tottenham Hotspur secured the last available Europa League berth by crushing Aston Villa 3-0 through a Paulinho strike, a Nathan Baker own goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty.

Spurs' victory means that Manchester United will not play in Europe next season for the first time since 1989-90.

United drew 1-1 at Southampton in Ryan Giggs's final game as interim manager, while Norwich City's relegation was confirmed after they lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal. AFP

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