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  • Exclusive by Alessandro Schiavone

West Ham not the helping hand Arsenal needed as Man City win 3-1 to become English champions



By Alessandro Schiavone at Etihad Stadium


Man City 3-1 West Ham United


Goals: Foden, Foden (Man City), Kudus (West Ham), Rodri (Man City)


Manchester City are crowned champions of England for a fourth consecutive time after dispatching West Ham 3-1 in a blockbuster title decider at the Etihad.


First-half goals by the unplayable Phil Foden set the ball rolling for Pep Guardiola's side. But an outrageous overhead kick by Mohammed Kudus gave both the Hammers and Arsenal hope of a comeback.


And it wasn't until Rodri stepped up to the plate to roll home City's third before the hour-mark that Arsenal's fate was once and for all sealed.


The Hammers, on David Moyes' swansong, struggled to handle the hosts' quick combinations, pace and ingenuity.


In the end they settled for 9th and the disappointment on the fans' faces is a reflection of how far the Hammers have come under the departing Moyes.


Despite the shaky results of late the Scotsman leaves with his head held up high and will certainly not be short of suitors to return to management in the next 12 months. And only time will tell if his successor Julen Lopetegui is up for scratch.


Arsenal did their job by coming from behind to see off Everton 2-1 and will have no regrets as they did their part. As initially feared by many, the 2-0 home defeat to Aston Villa proved to be their undoing long-term.


Yet be it the experience and the ability to turn pressure into results, Man City were always odds-on favourites to clinch the sixth Premier League crown of Guardiola's decorated reign once they topped the table.


After Foden's sumptuous top-corner finish two minutes in, the writing was on the wall. By then it was a question of how many. Man City kept committing bodies forward but Alphonse Areola kept the result respectable as West Ham's defenders looked helpless and hopless.


The French keeper tipped over Jeremy Doku's strike before he again repeated the feat by denying the Belgian on the other side.


Rodri also prodded wide. But West Ham were off their game and conceded again when the red-hot Foden, on course to win the Ballon d'Or if he fires England to glory at Euro 2024, clinically buried Doku's cutback


The biggest news isn't that Man City successfully saw this out but rather Haaland firing a blank. The Norwegian juggernaut blazed over with the goal gaping and also failed to volley home from Rodri's delivery. But that is merely a footnote as Man City have turned winning this league into a formality.


Before long Rodri, City's bigwig for the big occasions, extinguished Arsenal's flame when he guided home his side's third.


As far as West Ham go, they were not worthy today of lacing Man City's boots. Unlike the Gunners who merit a huge applause for pushing City all the way.


Arteta's young squad will go again next year. And with the right additions in key areas the outcome could be very different.




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