Manchester City’s players celebrated with fans after Manchester United’s surprise loss to West Brom on Sunday handed them the Premier League title.
City had moved to the brink of glory with victory at Tottenham on Saturday but the crowning moment came in unexpected circumstances as Jay Rodriguez headed the bottom side to a 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
That prompted jubilation in the blue half of Manchester and a group of players including captain Vincent Kompany, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Fabian Delph and John Stones partied in public at a bar in Hale, near Altincham.
Earlier, Kompany had been watching United’s game in the presence of TV cameras and he was quick to set his team-mates the target of retaining the title next season.
“I suppose my team-mates will roll their eyes a little bit but I kind of want to see what the reaction is now,” the Belgian, also a title-winner in 2012 and 2014, told Sky Sports. “I have never retained a title so I want to see if this team’s got it to carry on and be even more successful.”
Kompany said he shared that ambition with manager Pep Guardiola, who has now won 23 major trophies in a glittering managerial career that has included glorious spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“I think we share one thing maybe, the hunger and desire to never be satisfied,” said Kompany.
“This is not a dynasty, it is one title we’ve won. We’re still super happy but there’s is so much to do before we unlock our full potential.”
Guardiola himself had said he would not be watching the United game and instead played golf with world number 12 Tommy Fleetwood at Sandiway Golf Club in Northwich, Cheshire.
Yet, knowing the job was almost done, he gave his players a ringing endorsement after they returned to their best with a superb 3-1 win over Spurs at Wembley on Saturday.
City had lost their previous three games to slip out of the Champions League to Liverpool and miss an early opportunity to wrap up the title against United.
“It’s incredible the way we played and I am so glad to be here and be part of this club,” Guardiola said. “These guys are fantastic, awesome – they are incredible. This club is absolutely amazing in all terms.”
With the title won while City were not on the pitch, they will not get the chance to celebrate the win fully with fans until they return to action against Swansea at the Etihad Stadium next Sunday.