Published: 10:07, May 21, 2023 | Updated: 17:52, May 21, 2023
Manchester City wins Premier League title as Arsenal lose
By Reuters

Manchester City's Erling Haaland (right) and his teammates celebrate their third goal during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Manchester City and Real Madrid at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England, May 17, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

LONDON - Manchester City was confirmed as Premier League champions for the fifth time in six seasons on Saturday without even having to kick a ball after second-placed Arsenal's challenge ended in defeat away at Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal, who enjoyed an eight-point lead over City as recently as mid-March, needed at least a point to stay mathematically in the hunt, but went down 1-0.

City, who hosts Chelsea on Sunday after which the club will be presented with the trophy, has 85 points with three games to play, while Arsenal is on 81 with one game left

City, who hosts Chelsea on Sunday after which the club will be presented with the trophy, has 85 points with three games to play, while Arsenal is on 81 with one game left.

It is City's seventh Premier League title since the club was bought by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008 and it is now just two wins away from completing a treble only previously achieved by Manchester United in 1999.

City faces Manchester United in the FA Cup final on June 3 and a week later take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final — starting big favorites in both games.

Manager Pep Guardiola has now won a total of 12 trophies since being hired by City in 2016.

While Arsenal has threatened to knock City off its perch this season, it all proved an illusion in the end as Guardiola's side again proved relentless in the run-in.

Players of Arsenal walk off the pitch after the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal at City ground in Nottingham, England, May 20, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

Since losing to Tottenham Hotspur on Feb 5 the club has taken 40 points from the next 42 on offer and has 11 successive league games, beating Arsenal comprehensively home and away.

If City wins its last three games the club will reach 94 points, not as many as the totals they achieved in 2017-18 and 2018-19, Guardiola's first two league titles.

But the way they has finished the season suggests the gap between the club and the rest is widening.

City has now joined an elite group of clubs to win three successive English top-flight titles, with Huddersfield Town, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United the only others.

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The club's website featured animated tickertape flittering down the screen with a live video showing an enormous banner being unfurled down the side of the Etihad Stadium stating "Three in a Row".

Club captain Ilkay Gundogan described the latest title as something "very special".

"The Premier League is without doubt the most demanding and competitive league in the world so that tells you everything about what an achievement this is," he said.

"This squad is so talented and so special and to have been captain this season has been an enormous privilege.

"To have won this trophy three times in a row and five times in six years is incredible. That quality and consistency helps sum up what Manchester City stand for and ensures the club will continue to strive for success going forward."

While City has once again underlined its dominance in England, there remains a cloud on their sky blue horizon.

READ MORE: Man City climbs four points clear of Arsenal in title race

City was charged with more than 100 alleged breaches of the Premier League's financial regulations from 2009 to 2018 and could face severe punishments if found guilty.

The club said at the time they welcomed the review and insist they have "irrefutable evidence" to support their position.

Arsenal will have to be content with the runners-up spot and a return to the Champions League after a five-year absence.

But manager Mikel Arteta will have much to ponder as he analyses how the Gunners buckled under City's relentless pressure. Defeat at Forest means Arsenal has won only two of its last eight matches in the league.