Gripping drama in a unique campaign
Pep Guardiola reflects on his "toughest" Premier League triumph.
After Manchester City were crowned champions for the third time in the last four years, Pep Guardiola hailed this as their toughest Premier League triumph so far.
With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic leading to a truncated season, there were unparalleled pressures on every club.
Whereas both of City's previous two title-winning seasons under Guardiola had seen them set off at a breath-taking pace, their start to 2020/21 was relatively slow.
Lying 11th in the table in November, they recorded 15 straight Premier League victories between December and March to take control of the title race and never looked back.
"This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other. This was the hardest one," said Guardiola after his 31st trophy as a manager was sealed with three games remaining.
"At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us.
"This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals home and away. Only by being the very best, week in week out, can you win this competition. It is a huge success."
Although 10,000 fans were back at the Etihad Stadium to see the trophy lift on the final day of the campaign, the remainder of the League season was played without Manchester City supporters in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions, and Guardiola had special words for them.
"It is so important to say a huge thank you to all our fans," he said. "In our toughest moments, we couldn't hear the crowd get behind us as usual but we know they are with us everywhere we go and that has lifted us."
Did you know?
13 Manchester City set a new record for consecutive Premier League away victories in a season.