Pep Guardiola said it was “mega special” to have won the Premier League title with Manchester City in such difficult circumstances this season.
After seeing Liverpool crowned champions last season, Guardiola got his hands back on the trophy after leading City to top spot this time around. City finished 12 points clear of their nearest challengers, rivals Manchester United, and capped the season off with a 5-0 win over Everton.
The champions finally got to lift the trophy after the game and did so in front of 10,000 of their own fans.
It has been a difficult season for all clubs, with most games played behind closed doors. Guardiola admitted that the challenges that presented made winning the league more special.
He told Sky Sports: “It’s completely different without people. We are so lucky to have people when we lift the trophy. It’s not full but it’s something. It’s so much better.
“Every title is nice. This one is different because of the pandemic and the problems that we have all had. That makes it mega special.”
City had to be patient to establish themselves as the best team in the league again this season. They didn’t occupy top spot at all in the first half of the season but held it for the entirety of the second half of the season.
Guardiola pointed to their form across a four-month period as the timeframe that made them champions.
He said of how they won the title: “Win games, game after game. I think when we won at Stamford Bridge we realised that suffering in the last month, the performance we played there with just 14 players we realised we are still here, we can still do this. We are still here.
“I think December until March we won all the games in all competitions. This is when we became champions.”
Before that strong run of form, Guardiola committed his future to the club by signing a contract until 2023. He is hopeful that the squad have realised how much stability there should be at City.
He explained: “The reality is the players know we will have stability. Maybe we showed that next season we are the same people we will be working together. They realised this manager will stay another year, we keep running, keep fighting.”
Guardiola hails ‘special’ Aguero
The 5-0 win was a fitting end to Sergio Aguero’s time as a City player in the Premier League. The departing striker came on with 25 minutes left and scored the last two goals.
Guardiola admitted that the all-time top scorer will be impossible to replace and was glad his last appearance at the Etihad Stadium was a good one.
He said: “We love him so much. He is a special person for all of us. We cannot replace him.
“There are many players who have helped us here. He showed his quality in those 30 minutes.”
Aguero’s City career isn’t over just yet, though, as they still have one more game to play this season. The Champions League final against Chelsea awaits.
Guardiola, who won the trophy with Barcelona twice, is looking forward to a special occasion.
He said: “It’s a dream come true for this club. Other people have been there, but we haven’t. It’s our first time and we are going to give everything and we want to win it.
“It’s not enough just being there. We want to win it, it’s on the lads.”
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