Manchester City retained their Premier League title over Liverpool

Manchester City retained their Premier League title and finally ended Liverpool's magnificent challenge after surviving a scare to come from behind and outclass Brighton at the Amex.

Pep Guardiola's side started the day knowing victory would ensure they would be the first team to retain the crown since Manchester United 10 years ago – but any slip-up could let in their relentless pursuers Liverpool, who were hosting Wolves at Anfield.

And when Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls the lead with a glancing header from a corner after 27 minutes, anxiety rose in Sussex and hopes rose at Anfield that Liverpool might win their first title in 29 years.

Manchester City's response was instant, emphatic and ruthless as they swept Brighton aside to end the campaign with a record 14 successive league victories, making it 32 in all, which equals the record they set last season.

Sergio Aguero pounced in the area to equalize inside 83 seconds and Aymeric Laporte arrived unmarked on the end of a corner to put City ahead before half-time.

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Brighton had no way back and City completed the formalities in spectacular style as Riyad Mahrez fired high past, Mat Ryan, just after the hour and Ilkay Gundogan's spectacular 72nd-minute free-kick sparked wild celebrations.

City may not have repeated the 100 points that won the title last season but this was arguably an even sweeter success given the season-long battle with Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola is only the third manager after Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho to win back-to-back Premier League titles job done.

It was a fitting decoration that the final two goals of City's season were thunderous efforts from Mahrez and Gundogan, demonstrating the quality that is spread so liberally through this squad.

Brighton, to their credit, did not simply stand aside and allow the party to take place: Chris Hughton's side was organized and resilient but once they leveled matters up, City was irresistible.

And even the home fans accepted the inevitable by the final whistle, rising to first give a standing ovation to City captain Vincent Kompany when he was substituted and then to Guardiola and his team once referee Michael Oliver had sounded the final whistle that confirmed they were Premier League champions for the fourth time and for the sixth time in total.

City's achievement, completed with that astonishing 14-game win towards the winning post, is underscored by the fact they saw off a Liverpool side that lost just once this season – to City – and amassed 97 points.

The best team always ends as Premier League champions – and no matter how superbly Liverpool have performed, they came up against a truly outstanding team that was just one point better.

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