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Manchester City crowning glory


The jubilant Manchester City squad pose for pictures with the trophy after clinching the English Premier League title Sunday. Photo – AFP

London: Manchester City effectively needed only a point to claim the championship ahead of Liverpool, but goals in each half from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany meant that they completed their mission with room to spare, Sunday. Victory took City's goals tally to 102 — one short of Chelsea's Premier League record from 2009-10 — and made Chilean Manuel Pellegrini the first non-European manager to win an English top-flight title.

Liverpool, who led the table with three games to play, finished two points below City in second place after coming from behind to win 2-1 at home to Newcastle United, who had Shola Ameobi and Paul Dummett sent off.  David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Aleksandar Kolarov all threatened for City before Nasri put them ahead in the 39th minute, gathering a pass from Yaya Toure and arrowing a 22-yard drive into the bottom-left corner.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll deflected a shot from Silva onto the post in first-half stoppage time, before Kompany doubled City's lead early in the second half by stabbing home from a corner.

The home fans celebrated with their customary 'Poznan' dance — bouncing up and down with their backs to the game — and then flooded onto the pitch in delight at the final whistle. 

Liverpool went into their last game of the campaign with a slim hope of winning a first league title since 1990, but they fell behind in the 20th minute when Martin Skrtel sliced Yoan Gouffran's cross into his own net.

However, carbon-copy goals by Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge, both of whom volleyed in Steven Gerrard free-kicks, turned the game around in the space of two minutes in the second half.

Agger's goal was Liverpool's 100th in the league and made this the first English top-flight season in which two teams have reached that milestone since 1960-61.

United miss out
Tottenham Hotspur secured the last available Europa League berth by crushing Aston Villa 3-0 through a Paulinho strike, a Nathan Baker own goal and an Emmanuel Adebayor penalty, all of which arrived before half-time.

Spurs' victory means that Manchester United will not play in Europe next season for the first time since 1989-90.  United drew 1-1 at Southampton in Ryan Giggs's final game as interim manager, which saw last season's champions finish 22 points below cross-town rivals City in seventh place after a miserable campaign.

United captain Nemanja Vidic, playing his last game for the club, was left with a bloodied nose by Ricky Lambert as the Southampton striker put the hosts in front in the 28th minute. Juan Mata equalised for United with a sumptuous free-kick early in the second half.

Norwich City's relegation was confirmed after they lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal. Hull City finished the campaign by losing 2-0 at home to fifth-place Everton.

Chelsea, meanwhile, came from behind to win 2-1 at relegated Cardiff. Elsewhere, Swansea City spoilt Sunderland's survival party with a 3-1 win at the Stadium of Light, while Stoke City won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion and Fulham drew 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace.

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