UK & World News

  • 11 May 2014, 18:24

Man City Triumph: 'The Right Team Claimed Title'

The right team won the Premier League.

Arguably that is always the case - the league table never lies, and all that.

But this year Manchester City got the majority of pundits' votes when the season began 38 games ago, always seemed to have the strongest squad, and finally delivered on an afternoon that was largely - uncharacteristically for this season - free of suspense.

City looked like what they are - a much better team than West Ham.

A 2-0 win dotted the "i" in Premier League and crossed the "t" in trophy.

Adding to the sense of anti-climax, City's only title rivals Liverpool were behind for much of the afternoon before beating Newcastle 2-1.

Does Man City's win prove you can buy success?

Yes and no. Yes, City outlasted all their rivals, and outscored them as well, with a group of players who cost more than any other in English history, with 102m spent last summer alone.

But money is a help, not a guarantee.

Roberto Mancini also had the best players last season, but failed to mould them into a title-winning unit.

He was shown the door, along with free-scoring but trouble-seeking striker Mario Balotelli and others.

So credit goes to the less flamboyant Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, who made the classiest team a winning one and ensured his players kept their heads and their focus when others lost theirs.

City's finances will stay in the headlines over the coming days, through their response to UEFA's punishment for breaching the European governing body's Financial Fair Play regulations.

And, as usual, the other big winner is the Premier League itself.

Viewers tuned in across 212 broadcast territories to see the climax of a season where the lead changed 25 times.

For competitiveness, no other major league comes close.

But there are big questions to answer about the quality of English players.

And there is not much agreement about the answers, as evidenced by the fierce debate about FA Chairman Greg Dyke's proposals last week.

Roy Hodgson's England side may (or may not) find other nations too hot to handle in Brazil's World Cup cauldron next month.

But this season has proved once more that if you want a league where there really are no easy games, the land where the game was invented is still the place to come.

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