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2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Glenn Murray (27')
  • Sergio Agüero (28')
  • Aymeric Laporte (38')
  • Riyad Mahrez (63')
  • Ilkay Gündogan (72')

Manchester City survive early scare to beat Liverpool to Premier League title on final day

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Gundogan's free kick tightens Man City's grip on the title (1:15)

English Premier League: Ilkay Gundogan (72') Brighton & Hove Albion 1-4 Manchester City (1:15)

Manchester City retained the Premier League after surviving a scare on the final day of the season to eventually see off Brighton and beat Liverpool to the title.

For 21 minutes, Liverpool were champions on the final day as they led Wolves with Manchester City falling behind at the Amex, but Pep Guardiola's men found their stride to finish on 98 points -- one ahead of their nearest challengers. Liverpool's 97 points is the highest total amassed by a runner-up in English top flight history.

"Back to back, it was the hardest and most satisfying ever. Liverpool were exceptional this year. I don't mean to rub it in -- they didn't deserve to lose," Vincent Kompany said.

"But we played against such a good team all season and until now we were able to stay in front."

"It means a lot. We have to say congratulations to Liverpool as well. They helped us to push on. It's been an incredible season for us," Guardiola said.

"I think last season, Ciy raised the standard higher. To win the title, we needed 14 wins in a row and couldn't drop points. So, it's incredible to do it after 100 points (last season). Liverpool helped us.

"It was the toughest title win in all my career so far."

Glenn Murray gave Brighton a shock lead on 26 minutes, his clever flick from a corner sending Liverpool fans at Anfield into delirium, but City soon responded.

First, Sergio Aguero struck through Mat Ryan's legs after a fine touch from David Silva two minutes after City fell behind and then Aymeric Laporte headed unmarked from a corner on 38 minutes to make it 2-1.

Riyad Mahrez, making a rare start, finished excellently just after the hour mark and Ilkay Gundogan's majestic free kick put City further in control as their fans celebrated another success.

City were comfortable in the second half as the goals flowed, killing off any lingering Liverpool hope and making it the first time a team has retained the league since Manchester United in 2009.

With the title destiny in their hands before kick-off, City started tentatively with Brighton bright and posing problems on the counter attack.

Bernardo Silva had a good chance to settle the nerves early on but he was blocked in the area as he burst through on goal.

City were sloppy in patches and fell behind when Murray got ahead of his marker to beat Ederson and put Brighton 1-0 up. It sparked joyous scenes at Anfield as Liverpool were top as it stood, but City hit back.

Aguero got City back on level terms with a fine finish past Ryan and then Laporte's header put Guardiola's men in front before the break.

Mahrez then jinked his way through and finished with a brilliant right-footed shot into the top corner to make it 3-1 to the visitors. Lewis Dunk was turned inside out by Mahrez, whose effort was met with exuberant celebrations on the City bench.

Gundogan put the finishing touches on a fine win and another Premier League title when he hit a sublime free kick 18 minutes from time as City finally saw off a spirited title challenge from Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, who beat Wolves 2-0.

"I am delighted. This is why I came to the club -- to win trophies. The mentality is the best here -- no matter what game it is, it's all about winning," Raheem Sterling said.

"Players challenge each other. Nobody is comfortable here. It's been a lovely season, I'm happy to have a decent season."

Kompany added: "I had no interest in what Liverpool were doing all season. If anyone wanted to try and figure out permutations or see what they were doing I would have lost my head and lost my mind.

"We didn't come this far having to worry about someone else. We played Brighton and we knew we could beat them playing our way and that's what we needed. I'm so happy that we could go behind and come back with the big players who make the difference in big games."