There were people who were quick to criticise Pep early into his time at City. They claimed that whilst his style of football might work in Spain or Germany where there was (supposedly) little competition it wouldnt work in the EPL. How wrong they were.
So, City prevailed in the end. Only one point in it. Liverpool's 97 points would have won the Premier League in all but two of it's seasons since inception in 1992. 97 points to finish second. How can anybody not feel sympathy for a Liverpool team that has been magnificent. What a shame both teams couldn't have won. It was the title race neither side deserved to lose.
Funnily enough though, a couple of weeks ago, Liverpool fans were hoping Manchester United would do them a favour by beating... or at least drawing with.... City in the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford. They hoped that an intense local rivalry would give them an edge in the title race. City won 2 -0
Instead, the decisive match in the race turned out to be Liverpool's 0-0 draw
- the last match they failed to win in the season - with Everton some weeks earlier, which deprived them of the two points which gave City the one point lead that in the end was decisive.
So, as it turned out it was an intense local rivalry that decided the Premier League. Just not the one Liverpool fans hoped for.
City are favourites to win the FA Cup on Saturday. Watford will miss Holobas after he was red carded against West Ham on Saturday. Watford have appealed but having seen the incident, any reprieve would have to be a massive act of mercy... the sort of mercy the FA are not renowned for. His absence will be quite a loss for the Hornets. City will be playing for a unique domestic treble on Saturday. The League Cup and Premier League (that they already have in the bag) and the FA Cup (red hot favourites).
Nobody has ever achieved the domestic treble before. It's a moot question whether the Community Shield counts as a trophy. If it does then City could have all four domestic titles come Saturday tea time.
London Underground rail staff are holding a one day strike on cup final day which might affect City fans, but as Wembley and Watford is only a few miles apart it won't trouble Hornets fans too much. I'm sure the sky blue end will be full by kick off time though.
The play offs are progressing well. Villa made the Championship play off final last night, pipping the Baggies on penalties. Leeds hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg against FLDCFC tonight.
In League One it's looking like a Charlton vs Sunderland final is the most likely outcome of the semis. If it happens it couldn't possibly be as nerve wracking as the 1999 final between the two teams.
I remember 'add***s parading the trophy at Greenwich Town Hall. It was quite an occasion in the old borough. Clive Mendonca's hat trick was the last one ever scored in a major match at the old Wembley. He retired (age) from football a year later. Charlton's other striker in that match, Andy Hunt also retired, but his retirement was caused by being diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). He now owns and runs a hotel in Belize, I believe. Richard Rufus, who scored Charlton's third goal in the game (his first in more than 200 appearances at the time) nearly ended up in prison for fraud. He not only swindled his church out of £6 million but also fraudulently invested £8 million of other people's money without their permission. Silly boy.
We will have four English clubs in the two European finals. Spurs vs Liverpool and Chelsea vs Arsenal. There are a few "firsts" involved here. It's the first time that all four Euro finalists have come from one country, and as a fan on another site I frequent pointed out, it's also the first time that all four European finalists have lost to Wolves in the same season.
Arsenal and Chelsea fans have already complained that they're going to have a 5000 mile round trip to Baku to watch a London derby. Sorry fellas, but the final venues are chosen long in advance. It would be nice though if the clubs could help the fans with some sort of financial assistance for their travel. It's not as if both clubs are on the bones of their arse.
And talking of money.... City may miss out on Champions League football over Financial shenanigans about sponsorship. A German newspaper revelation led to a UEFA investigation and it seems there is a case to answer. City will be summoned to UEFAhaus to explain themselves.
If they are banned from the Champions League it is unlikely to be for next season because they would immediately appeal and the penalty would be held in abeyance pending an outcome. More likely any ban would be delayed by a year in which time any appeal could be heard before the penalty came into effect.
And sooooooo what a season it has been for the big six. City stand on the threshold of a unique domestic treble. Liverpool gave them a run for their money and share the Champions League final with Spurs. Chelsea and Arsenal contest the Europa League final, and Manchester United...... errr..... OK, let's start again....
It's been a great title race btw Bayern and Dortmund with the title going down to the last day. Bayern play host to 6th place Eintracht Frankfurt, whilst Dortmund travel to 4th place Borussia Mönchengladbach. Very difficult to see Dortmund winning the title but where's there's life...
Derby finishing the half on top...41 mins in and they hadnt had a single shot on goal. In the past 5 mins they have had 4 shots on goal with one on target...and that one one target beat the keeper. At half time it's 1-1 on the day and 2-1 on aggregate (Leeds way).