Manchester City

I saw what Pep Guardiola did that made me think he’ll stay at Man City and make it five in a row

Manchester City defeated West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad to win the Premier League for the fourth time in a row.

I saw what Pep Guardiola did that made me think he'll stay at Man City and make it five in a row

Pep Guardiola gives some detailed instructions to Kyle Walker after City’s second goal

Manchester City became the first team in the history of England’s premier league to win the title four times in a row when they defeated West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad.

After 78 seconds, Phil Foden calmed down, and 16 minutes later, he scored again to put City ahead, but Mohammed Kudus’s spectacular effort put the occasion in jeopardy.

Just before the hour, Rodri’s goal from the edge of the area gave City a two-goal lead again, and they were able to coast home from there to win their sixth title in seven seasons under Pep Guardiola.

Following the final whistle, the now-familiar Etihad pitch invasion began, but here are a few highlights from the afternoon you might have missed.

Walker’s message from Guardiola
This title race was finally ended at the Etihad by Foden’s second goal. That was the instant City realized they had won the league, but in the technical area, the joy was short-lived as Guardiola’s focus returned to how to make this team better.

Guardiola called Kyle Walker across and even took a few steps onto the field to get to his captain sooner than he had a few minutes earlier, even though every outfield player had gone to celebrate with Foden or Jeremy Doku.

After realizing quickly, the Catalan turned around and pulled Walker over to him. An animated conversation ensued, with Guardiola giving Walker advice on how to raise City’s performance and pointing out his mistakes. For twenty minutes, it felt almost perfect, but apparently not in the mind of the crazy genius who puts everything together.

After the match, Guardiola made a shocking revelation when he said he was “closer to leaving than staying” and that he had doubts about his motivation. Make this team favorites to win five straight in 2025, though, because they still have that much fervor and ambition.

The release of Etihad
After 79 seconds, Foden’s magnificent opener generated the loudest cheer I’ve heard at the Etihad in a very long time. It seemed to overpower the cheers that accompanied Kevin De Bruyne’s equalizer against Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

It served as a reminder that tension can still rise in the stands even on days when a lot of people are just there for the formalities. City is accustomed to creating difficulties, having trailed in three of their previous four championship games.

However, the stadium erupted as Foden’s left-footed drive found the back of the net, and all of the outfield players gathered in the distant corner to celebrate the goal. It was the epitome of a nerve-wracking experience and a stark reminder of how much these players and supporters still want to be in charge of their home league.

At the time, it seemed like the beginning of a typical afternoon, but the tension reappeared for twenty minutes following Mohammed Kudus’ goal. Before Rodri’s objective finally opened the pressure valve, things had grown tense.

Reviews of VARs are already available.
With just over 20 minutes remaining, a brief VAR review denied City a penalty, but Guardiola made the strongest argument possible regarding the handball claim against Aaron Creswell.

Guardiola had watched the video in the dugout and went to the edge of his technical area to argue the case to fourth official Sam Allison even though no one on the field had claimed a handball. The closest person to referee John Brooks, Bernardo, was then yelled at by him, telling him to inform the official.

Although VAR swiftly cleared the incident, they were still investigating it by this point. Guardiola originally slapped his hands to his face in frustration when Tomas Soucek appeared to have scored a late goal for West Ham. However, after seeing the replay, he realized what had happened and marched back out, slapping his hand instead.

It’s possible that VAR will evolve into a challenge-oriented system as part of an improvement plan, and if that happens, Guardiola is obviously already adept at staying on top of all the possibilities.

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