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UPDATE 2-Soccer-Man City confirmed as Premier League champions

Tue, 11th May 2021 20:37

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MANCHESTER, England, May 11 (Reuters) - Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions for the third time in four seasons after second-placed rivals Manchester United lost 2-1 at home to Leicester City on Tuesday.

United's defeat means City are 10 points clear with both sides having three games left to play.

City's coronation had been delayed after Pep Guardiola's side suffered a 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea on Saturday, although in truth they have looked uncatchable for several months.

It is Guardiola's third Premier League title for City in his five seasons in charge and eighth domestic honour for the club.

"This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other," said Guardiola, referring to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has seen matches played in empty stadiums.

"This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players.

"To come through this season, with all the restrictions and difficulties we've faced -- and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless."

Despite City's romp to the title they endured a tough start to the season after picking up 12 points from their first eight games -- their worst start since 2008-09.

Since then they have been head and shoulders above their rivals and since hitting the top have looked unstoppable.

After losing at Tottenham Hotspur in November, slipping to 11th in the table, they have won 22 of their next 27 matches, including a 15-game winning run and a record-equalling 11 successive away league wins.

Guardiola's side, second-best to Liverpool last season, also won a fourth successive League Cup and can claim a treble by beating Chelsea in this month's Champions League final.

Manchester United had delayed City's title celebrations further by beating Aston Villa away on Sunday but Leicester gave them a helping hand on Tuesday.

On the other side of Manchester a huge "Champions" banner was draped outside City's Etihad Stadium.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said City were deserved champions. "Congratulations to Pep and his team," he said.

"They are a wonderful team." (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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