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Five Things Learned: Manchester City 3-1 West Ham (Premier League)



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Phil Foden grabbed a first half brace to seal Manchester City’s record-setting fourth consecutive Premier League title in a 3-1 win against West Ham on Sunday.

Rodri added the insurance goal early in the second half to put the game to bed as Pep Guardiola’s side complete a quest that has never been achieved in the 136-year history of the Football League.

City wasted little time as they took the lead less than 90 seconds into the match when Phil Foden rifled in a shot from outside the box. It was a world class goal that killed off any chance of last day nerves.

But the newly-crowned Premier League Player of the Season wasn’t done yet, grabbing the second in the 18th minute having got on the end of a perfectly placed ball from Jeremy Doku. It was a first-time-effort from the 23-year-old, calmly passing the ball into the back of the net.

However, the perfect day was briefly put on hold when Mohammed Kudus scored a bicycle kick off of a corner. It came after a few wasted chances by Manchester City and caused tensions to rise throughout the stadium.

While the nerves continued into the second half, Rodri once again delivered a vital goal in a key match when the Spaniard scored his trademark goal from the edge of the box. Bernardo Silva grabbed his second assist as the Sky Blues extended their lead to two once again.

West Ham nearly caused another scare when Tomas Soucek scored in the closing minutes, but a Video Assistant Referee review confirmed that the Czech international midfielder batted the ball in with his arm.

Here are Five Things Learned from Manchester City’s win over West Ham United, on a day when yet more history was made by manager Pep Guardiola and his squad in his eight year of leadership at the Etihad Stadium.

This is now Phil Foden’s team

It’s funny to look back at the discourse of five or six months ago and wonder if Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne could co-exist in midfield.

Fast forward to the end of the season and not only can they co-exist, but Foden has taken over as the more impactful player of the two in Manchester City’s system.

It took less than 90 seconds to stamp his mark on the game on Sunday, and less than 20 minutes to do it again. At just 23-years-old, the Stockport-born midfielder is living up to every lofty expectation put on him before even entering the prime of his career.

The new kids are alright

Another season, another patch of young signings that did not immediately hit the ground running and caused an absolute stir amongst the Manchester City fan base.

However, by the end of the season, Josko Gvardiol has arguably been City’s best defender for weeks and Jeremy Doku looks right at home, offering a very different dimension to the attacking line.

With what is looking to be another shake-up transfer window in the coming months, let’s all try to remember this for next season.

City fans do in fact care about all of this winning

The final whistle hadn’t even blown and Manchester City fans had already starting invading the pitch. It look the entire squad to run over to the byline to plead with fans to wait just a few more moments for the final whistle to blow.

After the final whistle blew it was a full blown mad dash from all four angles of the pitch as thousands of fans made their way down to celebrate and sing.

After weeks of talk around “manufactured intrigue” and fans not caring, it was a needed reminder of how much of the discourse around the sport is manufactured itself.

Guardiola hinting at extending again

Following the Real Madrid loss, it was beginning to look like Pep Guardiola’s time at Manchester City was coming to an end.

Rumours began to swirl of him and Txiki Begiristain leaving simultaneously, and successor talks had already started. However, after West Ham, Pep did admit to being slightly tired but reiterated the same point: If the players show the same desire, then I will stay.

With Phil Foden coming into his own, as well as new signings like Josko Gvardiol and Jeremy Doku breaking through, it’s hard to imagine that desire dissipating anytime soon. 

The push for a fifth is on

No team had ever won four English top-flight titles in a row, until Manchester City.

That goalpost now moves to five league titles in a row. With Liverpool about to begin a transition, it leaves Arsenal as the only definite title challengers for next season. After failing to keep the lead for two seasons running, it might just be third times the charm for the London club.

Mikel Arteta has obviously improved his squad year-over-year, but more enforcements are likely to come into Manchester as well and there’s no reason to expect a different outcome.