Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Manuel and City's Slickers Serve Up the Premier Title

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Manuel and City's Slickers Serve Up the Premier Title

Article excerpt

JOE Hart paid tribute to manager Manuel Pellegrini as Manchester City clinched their second Barclays Premier League title with a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham.

City realistically only needed to avoid defeat to take the crown, but got the win thanks to goals from Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany to pip Liverpool by two points.

It means Pellegrini can celebrate a league and Capital One Cup double in his first season in charge.

"He's a winner, he wants us to win," England goalkeeper Hart said of his manager.

"He is a measured man and he believes in what he does."

City timed their run to perfection, winning their last five games as Liverpool stumbled with the finishing line in sight.

"We came strong at the end, we won the games we needed to," Hart added.

"We are all winners, strong personalities."

City's goals came in a 10-minute spell which straddled the half-time interval at the Etihad Stadium, rendering nearest rivals Liverpool's 2-1 win against Newcastle academic.

With ex-Liverpool players Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing in their side, as well as Reds fan Kevin Nolan, West Ham had the personnel to provide one last dramatic twist at the end of a compelling season.

But with City having a twopoint advantage, an upset was always going to be a long shot and there was never any hint that the nerve-jangling finalday drama of their title win two years ago would be repeated.

It was raining heavily at kickoff but the atmosphere was raucous and City approached the game with the confidence of a side that were comfortable and in control of their destiny.

City's top scorer Sergio Aguero was back in their side after injury but not at his sharpest, although his brilliance was not needed as West Ham rarely posed much of a threat.

The hosts appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty early on after Mark Noble deflected a Pablo Zabaleta cross onto his hand. …

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