Manchester City lift Premier League trophy

Triumphant: Manchester City celebrate with the Premier League trophy on Sunday. Reuters

It took three weeks for Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany to finally get his hands on the Premier League trophy but, on a day of celebrations at the Etihad, a goalless draw may prove to have left Huddersfield Town as the big winners.

A strong showing from the struggling visitors earned a valuable point which may be enough to keep them in the Premier League next season, an impressive achievement given their limited budget.

They also kept at bay the bid by Pep Guardiola's runaway champions to set new Premier League records for the most goals, points and wins in a season -- all marks which could yet be claimed by City in the season's final week in which they play Brighton and Southampton.

But, after a delay, while uninvited supporters were removed from the field, Guardiola was finally able to see his team presented with the trophy, the third major country in which he has managed a team to a title following successes in Spain and Germany with Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

The celebrations for City's third title in seven seasons began well before kick-off, both inside and outside their Etihad home ground.

Supporters were issued with blue and white flags, creating a colourful vista to greet the champions as they were given yet another guard of honour on their way onto the field before kick-off.

They were also met by the survivors of City's famous 1968 Championship-winning side, a squad led so memorably by club legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee who were all on hand to receive an emotional welcome from fans who remember their legacy half a century on.

Having won the league three weeks earlier, when closest rivals Manchester United surprisingly lost at home to West Brom, these title celebrations have been curiously drawn out.

But, in contrast to comfortable City wins against Swansea and West Ham, there was no hint of Huddersfield showing the champions too much respect when the contest finally got underway at the Etihad. A victory would have guaranteed Huddersfield safety and another season of top-flight football.

David Wagner's men might have been on course for just such an upset result in an entertaining if goalless, first half but Ederson denied Florent Hadergjonaj and Alex Pritchard.

By the interval, Huddersfield were visibly wilting in the Manchester heat and facing the prospect of a long second half of attrition.

City started brightly, with Christopher Schindler clearing off his line from a scramble at a Leroy Sane corner, but otherwise, Huddersfield defended manfully and substitute Scott Malone might even have snatched a dramatic injury-time winner for the visitors.

But the response from Huddersfield's players, and Guardiola's heartfelt congratulations to his opposite number Wagner on the final whistle demonstrated the importance of the point to the visitors.

Southampton safe

On Saturday, Southampton moved out of the relegation places with a 1-1 draw against Everton but were denied victory by an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time.

The Saints now have 33 points, ahead of Swansea City, whom they visit on Tuesday, on goal difference.

 

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Manchester City lift Premier League trophy

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