Manchester City have won a third Premier League title in four years after closest challengers Manchester United were beaten by Leicester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side are now 10 points ahead of second-placed United, who have just three games remaining.
It is the seventh time City have finished top of the English football pyramid and the fifth in nine years.
“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” said Guardiola.
“This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way we won. I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players.
“They are so special. To come through this season, with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable. It is relentless.
“Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.
“I have been in Spain, I have been in Germany and I can say this is the toughest league, I would say by far. So it means a lot to everyone.”
It is City’s second trophy in a little over two weeks after they beat Tottenham to claim the Carabao Cup and they are also in their first Champions League final after beating Paris St-Germain in midweek.
Guardiola continues to redefine what success for a manager looks like. He has now won eight domestic trophies since arriving in Manchester in 2016 and changed how style of play in the Premier League.
How City won the title
Guardiola’s side finished 18 points behind Liverpool last season, and after losing another key player from recent success in David Silva, Guardiola needed to act.
But City did not have the most auspicious start to the season, slumping to a 5-2 defeat in their opening home game to Leicester City.
Just a day later, Guardiola moved to fix the problem, and the signing of Ruben Dias changed the course of the season.
Just like the signing of Virgil van Dijk transformed Liverpool’s defense, Dias brought the composure, leadership and stability to City’s back-line that had been lacking since Vincent Kompany left and his partnership with the reborn John Stones established City as the league’s best defensive team.
Even so, when Tottenham beat City on 21 November to go top of a seemingly unpredictable division, City were 11th and eight points off the pace, and it looked as though this might not be their year again.
But though doubts arose and questions were asked about the Spaniard’s future, City quickly shut them up.
They went on to win 22 of their next 27 matches, including a 15-game winning run and a record-equalling 11 successive away league victories.
At Anfield in February, where they had not won in the league since 2003, City bullied and dominated the defending champions, with Phil Foden brilliant in a crushing 4-1 victory.
Stones and Dias’ partnership at the back was key, conceding just three goals in the 15 games after that Spurs defeat, while Ilkay Gundogan has been the star at the opposite end of the pitch, his 12 goals so far leading City’s goalscorers.
The chasing pack did not have enough to rein them in and the title returns to the blue half of Manchester.