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Pep Guardiola – mastermind behind Man City’s rise to Premier League prominence

Pep Guardiola has officially won his third Premier League title with Manchester City in four years.

Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City at Old Trafford on Tuesday only confirmed what was coming. City are the new supreme force in English football.

Guardiola has delivered the third league crown since taking over the reins in 2016, even though many questioned his methods midway through the season.

Each of Pep’s triumphant domestic campaigns has its own charms, so let’s take a quick look at each.

#1 2017/18 – Premier League Legacy

Following trophy-laden stints at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Guardiola took charge of City in summer 2016 but endured a trophyless maiden season in England.

However, Guardiola’s second campaign at the Etihad went straight down to the Premier League history books and will most definitely stand the test of time. 

The Spaniard led the Cityzens to an unprecedented dominance of England’s top-flight football in 2017/18 as City won the title with a record-breaking 100 league points.

A truly inspirational season for Man City included an array of magical moments, such as a 6-0 away triumph at Watford and a 7-2 thumping of Stoke City at home.

City finished the season with the competition all-time high 106 goals scored and an intimidating +79 goal difference, another tournament record.

#2 2018/19 – Photo Finish

It was probably the most exciting title run-in in modern Premier League history as the epic contest went down to the wire, with the winner decided on the final matchday of the season.

Man City defeated Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to the finishing line on the slightest of margins, snatching away the crown with a single-point lead on the Merseyside heavyweights.

Guardiola’s men were again close to smashing a 100-goal barrier but stopped at 95, which was still more than the relegated sides managed altogether.

Vincent Kompany’s memorable last-gasp winner against Leicester City in the penultimate fixture moved City a point ahead of Liverpool heading into the final weekend of the season.

The Belgian’s thunderbolt at the Etihad highlights a pulsating run-in and comes as further confirmation of City’s mental fortitude under the 50-year-old tactician.

#3 2020/21 – Epic Comeback

This year’s title may not be as overwhelming as the one in 2017/18 nor as nearly as dramatic as the one in 2018/19 but certainly has a unique flavour.

Following a dismal 1-1 home draw with West Brom on December 15, Man City were written off as legitimate title candidates, with various signs of lethargy and lack of enthusiasm bringing Guardiola under severe pressure.

Despite all the scrutiny thrown at him, the Spanish visionary is never one to shy away. Instead of allowing the pressure to eat him alive, Guardiola worked his socks off to prove all skeptics wrong.

With Sergio Aguero sidelined for most of the season, Pep had to find out the way to park more bodies into the box and win matches without an out-and-out striker. And he did in emphatic fashion.

Since a keenly-contested 1-0 win at Southampton on December 19, City reeled off win after win, making it look easy.

Fast forward five months, the Cityzens hold a comprehensive ten-point lead on second-placed Man United, having dethroned Liverpool with three games to spare.

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