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  1. ITV Report

Manchester City celebrate whilst Liverpool commiserate

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Manchester City have won the Premier League for a second year in succession after a thrilling title duel with Liverpool.

When City raised the bar to a previously unimaginable height last term, another cakewalk seemed possible this time around.

Liverpool were mentioned as the most likely to push them, but with Pep Guardiola's exhilarating City side showing hardly any drop in quality, few could have expected the Reds to take the battle to the wire.

It has taken 98 points for City to emerge triumphant from one of the most remarkable title races the competition has seen. Jurgen Klopp's brilliant Liverpool team have finished runners-up with 97, an incredible figure that no champion side had even reached until City clocked up 100 last year.

In terms of standards and consistency of the top two, there has been no other season like it.

Liverpool, chasing a first league title since 1990, pushed City very hard, losing just once all season. That defeat, however, was at the hands of City on a crucial night at the Etihad Stadium in January. Victory then would have given the Merseysiders a 10-point lead at a time when City were looking vulnerable but, like the champions they are, Guardiola's men struck back.

Liverpool gave as good as they got but were beaten 2-1 in an engrossing encounter when an astonishing goalline clearance from John Stones - the ball failing to cross the line by a miniscule 1.12cm - made a huge difference.

Even after that, Liverpool still had their destiny in their own hands until a goalless draw at Everton in the first week of March handed the initiative to City.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool Credit: PA images

At that time it seemed inconceivable that neither side would drop points again, but that is what happened as both reached an incredible level of consistency amid intense pressure. So, the advantage may only have been slender - and the scheduling of fixtures meant the lead frequently changed hands - but City did not relinquish their grip.

It was more of a consolation prize for Chelsea, who endured a mixed campaign under new boss Maurizio Sarri.

Arsenal and Manchester United missed out. Replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal was a tough challenge for Unai Emery but form in the middle third of the season suggested the relationship could be successful.

The direction of United is unclear after a surge but then a slump under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, although his arrival at least alleviated the negativity of the Jose Mourinho era.