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5 key reasons Man City couldn’t prevent Liverpool’s romp to Premier League glory

Following two seasons of domestic dominance, Manchester City’s reign as Premier League champions is finally over after their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea saw Liverpool seal their first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are more than worthy champions, and could add insult to injury for City by smashing the record points tally of 100 which Pep Guardiola’s team set in the 2017-18 season.

While no one can deny the brilliance of this Liverpool team, the inquest at City will no doubt be beginning to try to put the finger on exactly why the Reds were able to run away with it quite so easily.

Here is a look at five reasons why it all went wrong for Guardiola and his men this season…

Failure to sign a centre-back

The loss of Aymeric Laporte early on in the season was a huge blow for Liverpool

For a team who have never been shy to splash the cash in recent years, it came as something of a surprise when City didn’t strengthen at the back last summer.

This was felt all the more keenly when Aymeric Laporte suffered a serious knee injury in the 4-0 win over Brighton at the end of August, with the Frenchman ruled out until the new year.

Fernandinho was forced to abandon his natural defensive midfield role to fill in at centre-back, but the cracks started to show immediately as City lost their first game without Laporte 3-2 to bottom-of-the-table Norwich.

Without Laporte marshalling the troops they also dropped points against Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester United and Wolves before the turn of the year, meaning the title race was effectively over with only half the season played.

With Laporte still seemingly struggling with his fitness, City surely have to target a centre-back this summer, and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is reportedly top of their wishlist.

Lack of leadership

Vincent Kompany bid farewell to City last summer

The loss of Vincent Kompany at the end of last season has been keenly felt not just from a defensive point of view, but also for his huge presence both on and off the pitch.

The Belgian colossus was instrumental in everything City achieved in the last decade, and how City could have needed him when their heads started to drop around Christmas time.

Although City have plenty of other experienced stars, none of them possess the fiery, win-at-all-costs mentality of Kompany, and even if he wasn’t to be a regular starter his impact in the dressing room surely means he would have been worth keeping around.

It would be intriguing to know if, deep down, Guardiola wishes he had done more to try to convince the club legend to stay for one more year.

Other priorities

Pep Guardiola appears determined to win the Champions League

Guardiola’s desperation to win the Champions League with City is no secret.

The Catalan manager even joked with Klopp at an FWA event in November about wanting to swap trophies with the Liverpool boss following the Reds’ success in Europe last year.

After winning the Premier League two seasons in a row perhaps it should come as no surprise that City have their eye on another prize, and if they do manage to go on and win the tournament in August Guardiola will surely have no regrets about their domestic efforts this season.

You get the sense Guardiola will not be fully satisfied with the work he has done in Manchester until he gets his hands on club football’s biggest prize, even if it means sacrificing more league titles.

Ageing stars

David Silva will be leaving at the end of the season

With key figures such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho all well into their thirties, the time may have come for a rebuild at the Etihad.

They all still clearly have the quality, and have all shown moments of brilliance during the current campaign, but they are often unable to play twice a week, and even by Pep’s standards there has been a lot of disruptive rotation throughout the season as a result.

With Silva already confirming his departure at the end of the elongated season there could be a number of other high-profile names following him out of the exit door as City ring the change, with a hugely successful era seemingly drawing to an end.

Off-field distractions

City could be banned for the Champions League for the next two seasons

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While players will always insist what goes on off the pitch doesn’t have a bearing on their performances on it, they couldn’t have failed to be affected by the European ban hovering over the club after the club after they allegedly breached Financial Fair Play regulations.

The future is uncertain, with the verdict from their appeal on the two-year ban not expected until the first half of July, and many key names will no doubt decide whether they want to stay at the club or not based on what the final decision is from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

It makes their quest for Champions League glory even more pressing this season, because it could be some time before they are back in the competition.



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Vishal Singh
Vishal is The Flick's editor. His interests include product UX designing and search marketing. He can be followed on Twitter at @Vishal7Singh.

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