Four turning points Man City and Guardiola overcame to win Premier League title

Manchester City are kings of the Premier League once again after they secured their fifth title with an unassailable gap at the top.

Pep Guardiola and his team were made to wait for the prize, however, after losing their outing at the Etihad against Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea.

But after Manchester United lost at home to Leicester on Tuesday, the Citizens could finally celebrate their third top flight crown in four years.

They now only have to beat Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29 to complete a second treble-winning season in four years.

City's achievements have not been so easy as their title-winning margin suggests with Guardiola navigating them through four hurdles that defined this campaign.

Injuries and Covid

There was no Sergio Aguero magic for this year's Premier League title as the club's all-time leading goalscorer missed an embarrassing Panenka penalty last week.

That sums up the Argentine's luck this year as he has been hampered by knee surgery, a hamstring pull and a battle with coronavirus.

"Sergio is so important for us. He is the most important person for this club, he scored the most important goal, he was part of all the success," said Guardiola referring to the famous QPR title clincher Aguero scored in 2012.

By Christmas, four players and staff members tested positive for coronavirus including Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus, Aymeric Laporte and Ilkay Gundogan.

Guardiola's men had climbed up to sixth before the 28 December Everton fixture was postponed that led to the beginning of a special streak.

Record Run

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said City had benefited from the coronavirus-related suspension as they ran through 10 games unbeaten from the scheduled Everton fixture.

Guardiola was surprised by this comment and fired back: "He knows it's not true, come on! Nobody in the Premier League has had two weeks off!"

From December to March, the champions racked up a top-flight record of 21 consecutive wins that also included an away best of 14 straight victories until United prevailed 2-0 in the March 7 derby.

"It is one of the great things we have done in these four or five years we had together," Guardiola said on the achievement.

De Bruyne setback

During the Sky Blues' supreme run, they lost key playmaker Kevin de Bruyne to a hamstring injury that kept the Belgian out until late February.

De Bruyne, who contributed 20 assists last season, would be hard boots to fill and it gave Phil Foden a chance to step up and show his potential.

Foden told FourFourTwo: "There are several who can play in that position, such as Bernardo [Silva]. It's going to be difficult so I have to earn that place."

City fans would agree that he has earned it.

Foden scored three goals and contributed five assists in de Bruyne's absence before netting in both legs of the Champions League quarter-finals against Borussia Dortmund.

Quadruple hopes dashed

Russian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko was quite excited at the prospect of completing a quadruple of trophies in all competitions but Guardiola disagreed with him.

"Four titles never happened before and I think it's not going to happen," Guardiola replied. "The reality is this. If you ask me if I agree with Zinchenko I would say no, completely not."

The boss is always right and Guardiola's prediction was realised in the 1-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

Still he hailed the "Incredible" effort of his players to win the Carabao Cup and book their ticket in the Champions League final to stay on course for a momentous treble.

With the Premier League now secured, it's two down and one to go.

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