Man City match one Man Utd feat and look destined for all-time record
Make that a hat-trick for Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning a third straight Premier League title after Arsenal lost at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Not since Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United won three in a row from 2007 to 2009 has one side dominated the league in such fashion, with City stopped in their first pursuit of three straight when Liverpool won in 2020.
And now Liverpool’s sole Premier League triumph stands even more glaringly alone in this bid to stop the City machine. Arsenal led the way for the majority of this campaign but succumbed to what looked increasingly inevitable as the weeks progressed, down predominantly to City’s strength in depth and experience at this stage of the season.
For City, it’s a fifth title in six years, a seventh overall Premier League title, and while their treble dream is one-third complete, they are also 12 months away from an all-time record that looks entirely – and in this form, easily – achievable.
Premier League table
No English side has ever one four league titles in a row. Manchester United won three consecutive titles on two separate occasions in the Premier League era (the first time being 1999 to 2001), and prior to 1992 only Huddersfield Town (1924 to 1926), Arsenal (1933 to 1935) and Liverpool (1982 to 1984) won three first division titles in a row.
Huddersfield missed out on winning a fourth straight when finishing runners-up to Newcastle United in 1927, and while Liverpool’s dominance in the 1970s and 80s resulted in 11 titles between 1973 and 1990, it was a feat that narrowly evaded them, too.
The Reds finished runners-up to Everton in 1984-85, ending their hopes of four in a row, and it would be the first of four straight occasions where Liverpool came second the season after winning the title.
That’s all history, and what awaits City is further column inches in the record books. They are two games away from winning the treble and matching Manchester United’s 1999 feat, with United out to deny their city rivals the second piece of the puzzle when going head-to-head in next month’s FA Cup final.
Premier League winners list in full
- 2022-23: Manchester City
- 2021-22: Manchester City
- 2020-21: Manchester City
- 2019-20: Liverpool
- 2018-19: Manchester City
- 2017-18: Manchester City
- 2016-17: Chelsea
- 2015-16: Leicester City
- 2014-15: Chelsea
- 2013-14: Manchester City
- 2012-13: Manchester United
- 2011-12: Manchester City
- 2010-11: Manchester United
- 2009-10: Chelsea
- 2008-09: Manchester United
- 2007-08: Manchester United
- 2006-07: Manchester United
- 2005-06: Chelsea
- 2004-05: Chelsea
- 2003-04: Arsenal
- 2002-03: Manchester United
- 2001-02: Arsenal
- 2000-01: Manchester United
- 1999-2000: Manchester United
- 1998-99: Manchester United
- 1997-98: Arsenal
- 1996-97: Manchester United
- 1995-96: Manchester United
- 1994-95: Blackburn Rovers
- 1993-94: Manchester United
- 1992-93: Manchester United
Premier League title wins in total
- Manchester United: 13
- Manchester City: 7
- Chelsea: 5
- Arsenal: 3
- Liverpool: 1
- Blackburn Rovers: 1
- Leicester City: 1
European dominance is then next on the agenda for City, who are heavy favourites to beat Inter in the Champions League final on 10 June.
And treble or not, City will certainly head into next season as Premier League favourites once more as Guardiola’s side chase another slice of history.
Stopping them looks some task already, but Arsenal will hope a title challenge that eventually faltered can stand them in good stead when starting all over again in August.
Meanwhile, both Newcastle and Manchester United look set to reach the Champions League ahead of Liverpool, with all three teams’ title aspirations next year likely hinging on summer recruitment.
Liverpool are heading into a transitional phase under Jurgen Klopp after a trophyless season followed their quadruple pursuit last year. Already Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have been confirmed as departures, with midfielders the transfer priority as they look to battle on all fronts once more.
Newcastle will have the resources and almost certainly the pull of the Champions League football as they look to tempt players to the North East, while Manchester United will be looking to strengthen in several areas across the pitch.
There’s Chelsea, too, with Mauricio Pochettino set to be handed the mission of managing this overloaded squad, but even if City remained static and opted against buying a single player this summer they are still the team to beat.
Clubs are often cautioned against staying stationary when leading the way, though that is unlikely to be the case anyway, with City rumoured to be interested in Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol given Aymeric Laporte is expected to leave.
Further strengthening their squad would only make City in heavier favourites. Currently they are 4-6 with the bookmakers to win the 2023-24 title, and in this guise you wouldn’t bet against it.