Premier League 2017/18: 5 games that helped Manchester City win the title
The Premier League title is officially wrapped up, but which games really mattered to Manchester City?
It had been inevitable for most of the season, but it’s finally official. After Manchester United suffered an embarrassing defeat at home against the league’s bottom club, their neighbors Manchester City were confirmed champions of England with five games to spare.
Having lost only twice in the league so far, City managed to clinch the trophy in joint-record time, tied with the Manchester United side of 2000/01. For a team that at one point looked like imitating the Invincibles, it’s no surprise that they have managed to seal the title this soon.
City were in a class of their own this season and showed that time and again in every match. However, there are certain games every season that separate the champions-elect and put them above and ahead of the chasing pack.
We look at five such games that really gave us the sense that Manchester City were really on to something special – something that made them deserved Premier League Champions.
#5 Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester City (26 August 2017)
On paper, this fixture looked like it should have been a routine win for Manchester City, but it was anything but that. City weren’t really destroying the opposition right from Matchday 1.
In fact, it was their neighbors Manchester United who were handing heavy defeats with their 4-0 demolitions. City, on the other hand, had just managed to scrape a 1-1 draw against Everton at Etihad. It’s funny how fortunes can change over the course of the season, as United are now accused of playing boring football.
'When this game kicked off and it wasn’t really the start that City had hoped for. The home side started brightly and soon went on to take a deserved lead through Charlie Daniels’ volley in the 13th minute.
Thankfully for City, Gabriel Jesus equalised soon, but then it was still 1-1, and another draw would have meant United go four points clear of City at the top. City were having none of it. Or rather Raheem Sterling was having none of it.
A second-half injury time madness, which lasted nearly 10 minutes, saw City clinch the victory after Sterling scored the winner in the 97th minute. A spark of emotions followed as he went on to celebrate wildly with the fans in the Vitality Stadium.
Having already cautioned Sterling a few minutes later, Mike Dean would then go on to hand the City winger a second yellow card. As many as nine players were booked in the match, but this game really was the beginning of City’s climb to the top as they showed that they had the character to clinch maximum points when it seems impossible to do so.