Manchester City successfully defended their English Premier League crown with a 4-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion. Elsewhere, Liverpool also finished the season with a win – beating Wolves 2-0 – at Anfield. City finish the season with 98 points and Liverpool missed out agonisingly with 97 points to their name.
The Reds finished on 97 points – the highest final points total of any runner-up in English top-flight history – and with just one loss all season. Yet the big prize eluded them once again.
“Back to back – this was the hardest and most satisfying Premier League. Liverpool were exceptional this year, there didn’t deserve to be a loser. I’m so happy for myself but also for the team and for the fans. There’s an incredible desire to achieve in this group of players,” said Man City captain Vincent Kompany at the final whistle.
The wait goes on but Liverpool fans remain unbowed #LFC pic.twitter.com/5fQSNjhgUq
— Steve Douglas (@sdouglas80) 12 May 2019
Mohamed Salah, who finished in a three-way tie for the Golden Boot alongside Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and teammate Mane said, “We only lost one game all season. We gave everything. We got 97 points. We will fight next season for the title.”
For a brief period in the first half, Liverpool were top of the Premier League and were going to end their 29 year wait for the league title. At that stage, Liverpool were ahead thanks to a Sadio Mane opener while Brighton had taken shock lead at Amex Stadium with Glenn Murray leaping highest from a corner.
Over in Merseyside, Mane side footed home a cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 17th minute and coupled by the news from Brighton, Liverpool fans were buzzing.
But that happiness for Brighton and Liverpool alike was short lived. 83 seconds later, Sergio Aguero brought City level. Yet, this meant Liverpool were going to finish better than City. Argentine striker, whose last-gasp goal secured City’s first Premier League title in heart-stopping fashion seven years ago, levelled to take him to 20 league goals in five successive seasons with City.
Aymeric Laporte restored order in a week of turbulence in European football where Liverpool overturned a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona and Spurs did the same against Ajax in the Champions League.
At half time, Liverpool led 1-0 and City were 2-1 to the good. This put City in the ascendency and that aspect remained intact at the 90th minute – although the scores changed.
195 – Man City and Liverpool have combined to win 195 points in 2018-19; the most accumulated by the top two in a single English top-flight season. Superiority.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 12 May 2019
Mane added a second goal in the 81st minute, again from a cross by Alexander-Arnold, to clinch a 30th win in 38 games for Liverpool in a remarkable season for Jurgen Klopp’s side that could yet end with them becoming European champions for the sixth time.
Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan added a third an and a fourth for City to put the game well beyond doubt.
“We have to say congratulations to Liverpool and thank you because they pushed us to increase our standard,” said Man City manager Pep Guardiola who now has two league titles with City to go with the three he won in charge of both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
FULL TIME SCORES:
Burnley 1-3 Arsenal, Crystal Palace 5-3 Bournemouth, Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield, Leicester City 0-0 Chelsea, Manchester United 0-2 Cardiff, Watford 1-4 West Ham United, Brighton and Hove Albion 1-4 Manchester City, Liverpool 2-0 Wolves, Spurs 2-2 Everton, Fulham 0-4 Newcastle United.