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  • City lift Premier League trophy as Huddersfield gain precious point
  • It took three weeks for Manchester City captain
    Vincent Kompany to finally get his hands on
    the Premier League trophy but, on a day of
    celebrations at the Etihad, a goalless draw may
    have left Huddersfield Town as the big winners.
    Manchester City players celebrate with
    the Premier League trophy on the pitch
    after the English Premier League football
    match between Manchester City and
    Huddersfield Town at the Etihad Stadium
    in Manchester, north west England, on
    May 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO
    A strong showing from the struggling visitors
    earned a valuable point which may be enough
    to keep them in the Premier League for a
    second season, an impressive achievement
    given their limited resources.
    They also frustrated the bid by Pep Guardiola’s
    runaway champions to set new Premier League
    records for the most goals, points and wins in
    a season — all marks which could yet be
    claimed by City in the season’s final week in
    which they play Brighton and Southampton.
    But, after a delay while uninvited supporters
    were removed from the field, Guardiola was
    finally able to see his team presented with the
    trophy which marks the third major country in
    which he has managed a team to a title
    following successes in Spain and Germany with
    Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
    “England is a special place and is so tough,”
    Guardiola told Sky Sports. “Today we saw it.
    You never know if you are going to win, but I
    had no doubt what I had to do.
    “You win or lose, you have to try and do what
    you believe. Today was proof we can do better.
    “We lost a bit of focus, but that is normal. To
    make back-to-back titles in this league will be
    tough, but we accept the challenge.”
    The celebrations for City’s third title in seven
    seasons began well before kick-off, both inside
    and outside their Etihad home ground.
    Supporters were issued with blue and white
    flags to greet the champions as they were
    given yet another guard of honour on their way
    onto the field before kick-off.
    They were also met by the survivors of City’s
    famous 1968 title-winning side, a squad led by
    club legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike
    Summerbee who were all on hand to receive an
    emotional welcome from fans who remember
    their feats half a century on.
    These title celebrations have been curiously
    drawn out.
    This time there was none of the edge-of-the-
    seat drama that so famously brought City their
    first Premier League title, when Sergio Aguero
    scored with virtually the last kick of the season
    against QPR in 2012.
    City won the league three weeks earlier without
    playing when closest rivals Manchester United
    surprisingly lost at home to West Brom.
    Since then City have enjoyed comfortable wins
    over Swansea and West Ham, but on Sunday
    there was no hint of Huddersfield showing the
    champions too much respect when the contest
    finally kicked off.
    – Wilting –
    Victory would have guaranteed Huddersfield safety and another season of top flight football. David Wagner’s men might have been on course for just such an upset result in an entertaining, if goalless, first half but Ederson denied Florent Hadergjonaj and Alex Pritchard.

    A City side that had been held goalless in just one previous league game — a draw at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve — inevitably carved out chances of their own with Jonas Lossl saving well at David Silva’s feet after five minutes and, unknowingly, stopping a fierce Kevin De Bruyne shot.
    By the interval, Huddersfield were visibly wilting in the Manchester heat and facing the prospect of a long second half of attrition.
    City started brightly, with Christopher Schindler clearing off his line from a scramble at a Leroy Sane corner, but otherwise Huddersfield defended manfully and substitute Scott Malone might even have snatched a dramatic injury- time winner for the visitors. But Guardiola’s heartfelt congratulations to his opposite number Wagner on the final whistle, demonstrated the importance of the point to the visitors who now join Everton and Manchester United as the only sides to have avoided defeat at the Etihad in the league this
    season.

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