Man City beats Chelsea 1-0 before Premier League title celebrations begin
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City celebrated its Premier League title in style with a 1-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday.
Julian Alvarez's 12th-minute goal secured a 12th straight win in the league for Pep Guardiola's team as the fans toasted victory by invading the pitch after the final whistle.
It is a third straight title for City and a fifth in six seasons for a team that is dominating English soccer. And it could be just the start of a historic treble of trophies this term, with the finals of the Champions League and FA Cup still to come.
Arsenal's 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday meant City was confirmed champion even before its final home match of the campaign.
It meant Guardiola could afford to name Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, John Stones and Ederson on the bench. But even in their absence, City still secured the win with World Cup winner Alvarez scoring the decisive goal.
Fans immediately flooded onto the field after the final whistle, carrying celebratory banners and letting off canisters of blue smoke.
City never looked like hitting the heights of recent routs of Liverpool, Arsenal and Real Madrid - but didn't need to.
Alvarez's goal put it on course for victory early on, and even if Chelsea had a host of chances through Raheem Sterling, in particular, victory rarely looked doubt.
Conor Gallagher could have evened the score when hitting the post with a first-half header, while Kalvin Phillips also hit the woodwork for City after the break.
The day was always going to be about the post-match party and the fans couldn't wait to mob their heroes as the final whistle blew.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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James Robson, The Associated Press