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Premier League | Gameweek 38
May 19, 2024 at 4pm UK
Etihad Stadium
WH

Man City
3 - 1
West Ham

Foden (2', 18'), Rodri (59')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Kudus (42')
Alvarez (75')

Four in a row: Manchester City crowned Premier League champions again with victory over West Ham United

:Headline: Four in a row: Manchester City crowned Premier League champions again with victory over West Ham United:
Manchester City are crowned Premier League champions for a record fourth season in a row after beating West Ham United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Sports Mole

Manchester City have been crowned Premier League champions for a record fourth season in a row after beating West Ham United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

The Citizens entered the final day of the 2023-24 season sitting at the top of the table and two points clear of rivals Arsenal in second, knowing that victory over the Hammers or matching the Gunners' result against Everton would clinch the title.

Pep Guardiola's men burst out of the traps and Premier League Player of the Season Phil Foden sparked a carnival atmosphere when he scored twice in the opening 18 minutes - his first a sublime long-range strike in the second minute before slotting home his second from close range.

It was backs against the walls for West Ham, but they grew into the game slightly towards the end of the first half and pulled one back courtesy of a remarkable bicycle kick from Mohammed Kudus.

Man City remained in control after the interval and their patient build-up play was eventually rewarded when Rodri - a man who loves the big occasions in a sky blue shirt - passed his shot from the edge of the area beyond the outstretched left glove of Alphonse Areola and into the bottom corner.

Nerves were jangling momentarily for the hosts when West Ham thought that they had pulled one back through Tomas Soucek three minutes from time, but VAR intervened to confirm that the Czech midfielder had handled the ball past Stefan Ortega, and Man City saw out the final few minutes en route to Premier League glory...again.

Despite the best efforts of title challengers Arsenal, who came from behind to beat Everton 2-1 on the final day and have dropped just four points in their 18 league games of 2024, Man City have been relentless in their pursuit of another Premier League crown, ending the campaign with nine wins in a row and scoring at least two goals on each occasion - a club-record run.

The Citizens remain the dominant force in English football as they have now won six of the last seven Premier League titles, all under the tutelage of manager Pep Guardiola.

Man City also have a chance to win a second successive domestic double, with an FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United to come at Wembley Stadium on May 25.

As for West Ham, they were unable to pull off an upset in David Moyes's 262nd and final match in charge of the Hammers, who end the campaign in ninth place and eight points behind the top seven.

Man City outclass West Ham en route to making history

The Citizens were understandably in buoyant mood heading into Sunday's contest as they were boasting a club-record unbeaten run of 43 games at the Etihad in all competitions, while they had not lost any of their last 16 league meetings with West Ham. History also favoured Guardiola's side, as the team sitting at the summit entering the final day has ended up lifting the trophy on each occasion.

Man City's season has been defined by the collective brilliance of Guardiola's entire squad, but one player who has stood out from the crowd is local lad Foden, who made his presence felt in the second minute when he unleashed a sublime left-footed strike from 20 yards into the top corner.

Areola was called into action to make eight first-half saves, but the Hammers shot-stopper could not prevent Foden from adding his second. The Englishman ran onto a pass rolled across from the left by Jeremy Doku before stroking a first-time finish past Areola - his 27th goal of what has been a sensational season for the academy graduate in all competitions.

Erling Haaland has also been a standout performer in his second season at the Etihad, but he was unable to add to his 27 Premier League goals despite having several attempts on goal. The Norwegian still goes away with another Golden Boot, though.

Man City eventually relied on midfield lynchpin Rodri to seal the victory, squeezing a side-footed shot from the edge of the area beyond Areola at full stretch down to his left - his ninth goal of the campaign which is a season's best goal tally for the Spaniard.

As the Poznan celebrations rocked the Etihad and echoes of Blue Moon reverberated around the stadium, Man City got the job done when it mattered to etch their names into the history books of English football yet again.

Now the focus shifts to Wembley and their bid to retain the FA Cup at the expense of a Man United side that will be regarded as huge underdogs - how times have changed!

West Ham must be ready for reset under new manager

David Moyes insisted prior to kickoff that he had no preference for who would secure the Premier League title, but the departing West Ham boss was determined to go out with a bang and claim his first-ever victory as a manager at the Etihad.

However, his Hammers side made the worst possible start after conceding twice before the 20-minute mark, despite operating with a back five. The Hammers were penned into their own half by a relentless City outfit for the majority of what turned out to be one of the most one-sided contests of the season.

West Ham may have improved on last season's 14th-placed finish by securing ninth spot this term, but almost a year on from winning the Europa Conference League, the Hammers will now be preparing for 2024-25 without European football and the dawn of a new era under the guidance of Moyes's successor - Julen Lopetegui if reports are to be believed.

Whoever replaces Moyes will inherit a squad that possesses a number of star players, most notably Kudus - who was the brightest spark for the Hammers at the Etihad - as well as Man City-linked Lucas Paqueta and Jarrod Bowen, but keeping hold of those players could prove challenging due to the absence of European football.

Only Fulham (29 years, 28 days) have an older squad on average then West Ham (28 years, 209 days) so the addition of a few young talents could be on the cards for the next Hammers boss, who must also restore a winning mentality to a team that have failed to win 20 of their 25 matches since the turn of the year.

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