Manchester City overcame a nervy start and an early setback to ease past Brighton and retain their Premier League crown, edging out a valiant Liverpool side who finished the season as runners up with a remarkable 97 points.
Billed as one of the most extraordinary title races in Premier League history, Liverpool and City both entered the final day of the season with a chance of winning the league.
With the games being played simultaneously, both Anfield and the Amex had their fair share of booming celebrations and subdued silences that had nothing to do with the action in front of them - as nervous fans spent as much time checking updates on their phones as they did watching the games before them.
Do Man City and Liverpool fans have "transistor radios" to get news from the other game or did my clock stop 20 years ago.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) May 12, 2019
Anfield celebrates Brighton scoring, Wolves fans celebrate Man City scoring.— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) May 12, 2019
In the early stages it appeared to be City who were in danger of suffering from stage fright, as they went behind to a Glen Murray header after an uncharacteristic misjudgement from Ederson. This followed news from Anfield that Sadio Mane had put Liverpool ahead, meaning the Reds were momentarily top of the league.
Glen Murray puts Brigthon 1-0 up— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) May 12, 2019
AS IT STANDS
🔴 Liverpool | +66 | 97pts
🔵 Man City | +68 | 95pts
However, this setback seemed to be the proverbial kick up the backside that the Citizens needed. They responded almost immediately, through a man who knows a thing or two about scoring big goals on the final day of the season. Sergio Aguero met David Silva's clever flick to put City back level and ease the tensions in the away end at Brighton.
This was followed by an Aymeric Laporte goal from a corner, which sent City into half time in the knowledge that a clean sheet over the next 45 minutes would ensure that the title will stay at Manchester.
AGUEROOOOOO— lucas ️⚒ (@luscawh) May 12, 2019
Meanwhile, the Kop knew that a Brighton equaliser would be enough to bring the trophy to Anfield and end their 29 year title drought.
Unfortunately for the red side of Liverpool, this was not to be. Manchester City produced a dominate and professional second half performance that soon shattered the dreams of even the most optimistic Reds' fans.
Riyad Mahrez - who had been something of a controversial selection from City manager Pep Guardiola - validated his manager's decision when he smashed City's third into the top corner. The result was left in no doubt when Ilkay Gundogan scored a delightful free-kick that elicited raucous celebrations from the City dugout and ensured that Guardiola's men would become the first side to retain a Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United a decade ago.
Liverpool would end the campaign on a 97 point tally that would have won them their most-coveted trophy in every season but the last two, after Mane's second helped them to a 2-0 victory, and himself to a share of the golden boot, alongside Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
I really thought we'd win the league after getting 97 points. But Man City got 98 points. So we haven't won the league. We've come second.— Boring James Milner (@BoringMilner) May 12, 2019
Meanwhile, back in Manchester, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men gave the blue side of the city even more reason to celebrate, as they finished their season with a dismal 2-0 loss at home to an already relegated, and severely injury-hampered Cardiff City side.
"You're just a s*** Neil Warnock" is the chant from Cardiff fans at their former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) May 12, 2019
Klopp is told that Salah, Mané & Aubameyang have shared the golden boot. 'All my players, eh?'— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) May 12, 2019
Congrats to City. Worthy champs. Shouts to Liverpool on an incredible season. Somehow, some way Chelsea & Spurs did enough. Arsenal weren’t terrible. United tried hard sometimes. Wolves were fantastic. Watford still playing for silverware. This was fun. Lets do it again sometime.— Samuel Army (@BarstoolSam) May 12, 2019
Wanna hear a joke?— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) May 12, 2019