Man City beats Chelsea 1-0 before Premier League title celebrations begin
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City celebrated its Premier League title in style with a 1-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday.
Julian Alvarez's 12th-minute goal secured a 12th straight win in the league for Pep Guardiola's team as the fans toasted victory by invading the pitch after the final whistle.
It is a third successive title for City and a fifth in six seasons for a team that is dominating English soccer. And it could be just the start of a historic treble of trophies this term, with the finals of the Champions League and FA Cup still to come.
“We always believed we could do this. This group of lads are professionals and winners," defender Kyle Walker said. “Rest assured we are not finished. We have the FA Cup against our bitter rivals (Manchester United) and then the Champions League.
“We will celebrate tonight and then move on to try and create history."
Arsenal's 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday meant City was confirmed champion even before its final home match of the campaign.
It meant Guardiola could afford to name Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, John Stones and Ederson on the bench. But even in their absence, City still secured the win with World Cup winner Alvarez scoring the decisive goal.
The Argentina international has been overshadowed by the record-breaking exploits of Haaland, but he showed his quality with a clinical finish after controlling the pass of Cole Palmer.
City never looked like hitting the heights of recent routs of Liverpool, Arsenal and Real Madrid — but didn’t need to after Alvarez’s goal put it on course for victory early on.
Chelsea had a host of chances through Raheem Sterling, in particular, and Conor Gallagher could have evened the score when hitting the post with a first-half header.
Kalvin Phillips also hit the woodwork for City after the break and Alvarez saw a second goal ruled out by VAR after Riyad Mahrez handled in the buildup.
Haaland and De Bruyne came on in the second half, but could not add to City's lead.
Not that the fans complained on a day that was always going to be about the post-match party and they couldn’t wait to mob their heroes as the final whistle blew.
Supporters immediately flooded onto the field after the final whistle, carrying celebratory banners and letting off canisters of blue smoke.
City's players were later recorded singing “We are the Champions” in the locker room before coming out for the trophy presentation to explosions of ticker tape.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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