Dele Alli is ‘spotted KISSING Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s daughter Maria’

Dele Alli has reportedly been spotted kissing Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s daughter Maria after being ‘dumped’ by his model girlfriend Ruby Mae in February. 

In new pictures obtained by The Sun, it has been claimed that the Tottenham and England footballer, 25, looked ‘smitten’ with the student, 20, at a rooftop bar in London last Sunday.

It comes after it was claimed that Dele was left ‘gutted’ over his split from his model girlfriend of five years and has been looking for love on celebrity dating app Raya.

New romance? Dele Alli has reportedly been spotted kissing Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s daughter Maria after being ‘dumped’ by his model girlfriend Ruby Mae in February

The newspaper claims that the two met last month and that they ‘didn’t care who saw them’ as they kissed in front of a DJ booth at Cloud 9 bar. 

An ‘onlooker’ told The Sun: ‘Dele and Maria didn’t seem to have a care in the world. They didn’t mind who saw them as they smooched in front of the DJ booth.

‘It was packed with hundreds of revellers watching on. All the tables had been booked and were completely full. Strangers were wandering past and Dele and Maria didn’t blink an eye.’

They added that the duo looked ‘so cute’ and could have passed for ‘honeymooners’. 

'Smitten': In new pictures obtained by The Sun, it's claimed that the Tottenham footballer, 25, looked 'smitten' with the student, 20, (pictured) at a rooftop bar in London last Sunday

‘Smitten’: In new pictures obtained by The Sun, it’s claimed that the Tottenham footballer, 25, looked ‘smitten’ with the student, 20, (pictured) at a rooftop bar in London last Sunday 

Split: It comes after it was claimed that Dele was left 'gutted' over his split from his model girlfriend of five years Ruby Mae and has been looking for love on celebrity dating app Raya

Split: It comes after it was claimed that Dele was left ‘gutted’ over his split from his model girlfriend of five years Ruby Mae and has been looking for love on celebrity dating app Raya

While a different source said: ‘Dele looked smitten and finally over being dumped by his long-term lover Ruby Mae. Dele and Maria are young, free and single. Who knows where it will go from here?’

However, Maria is said to have told friends that she is ‘just friends’ with Dele despite their reported kiss.

MailOnline has contacted both Dele Alli and Pep Guardiola’s representatives for comment.    

Pep Guardiola’s daughter Maria is believed to be a student in London and she boasts thousands of followers on her social media.

Family: Guardiola, whose team Man City just won the Premier League, has three children - Maria, 20, Marius, 18, and Valentina, 13, with his wife Cristina Serra, they married in 2014

Family: Guardiola, whose team Man City just won the Premier League, has three children – Maria, 20, Marius, 18, and Valentina, 13, with his wife Cristina Serra, they married in 2014  

Guardiola, whose team Man City just won the Premier League, has three children – Maria, 20, Marius, 18, and Valentina, 13, with his wife Cristina Serra, they married in 2014.

In March, it was claimed that Dele was looking for love on celebrity dating app, Raya, after being ‘dumped’ by his model girlfriend Ruby. 

The Tottenham and England star was said to be ‘gutted’ after his girlfriend of five-years, 25, decided to end things, prompting his decision to join the exclusive platform used by the likes of Cara Delevingne and Ben Affleck. 

Speaking of his love life, a pal said to The Sun: ‘Dele’s still gutted about the break-up with Ruby but knows he’s got to look to the future.

‘His pride was dented but now he is open about starting a relationship with the right person.’

MailOnline contacted Dele’s representatives for comment at the time. 

In February, Dele and his model girlfriend split up after the pair kept getting into blazing rows, insiders claimed.  

Ruby – who has modelled for top-brands Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana – was reportedly left ‘incensed’ over his behaviour and is understood to have ‘packed up her things’ and moved out of their £2million mansion.   

A source said to the publication: ‘Their relationship has been turbulent, but it now feels very much like the end.’

Dele and Ruby were together since early 2016. She was by his side at the Euros that summer and the 2018 World Cup in Russia before they split for a short time early in 2019.

Break up: In February, Dele and his model girlfriend split up after the pair kept getting into blazing rows, insiders claimed (pictured in happier times)

Break up: In February, Dele and his model girlfriend split up after the pair kept getting into blazing rows, insiders claimed (pictured in happier times)  

They were back together by the summer that year with the football ace reportedly flying her out to Madrid for the Champions League final between Tottenham and Liverpool at the start of June. 

Dele and Ruby’s split came less than a year after the pair were robbed at knife-point by thieves who forced their way in to their Barnet, north London, home in the early hours of the morning. 

In May 2020, Dele and Ruby were reportedly playing pool together when he was punched in the face by knife-wielding thugs. 

The couple had been isolating with Dele’s brother Harry Hickford, his partner and a long-term friend when the robbers broke in and demanded the footballer hand over his valuables. 

Met Police officers said that thousands in jewellery and watches were stolen in the raid. 

The Telegraph also reported that the footballer has an overnight security guard, who was apparently ‘not aware’ of the two intruders. 

Happier times: Dele and Ruby were together since early 2016. She was by his side at the Euros that summer and the 2018 World Cup in Russia before they split for a short time early in 2019 (pictured in 2018)

Happier times: Dele and Ruby were together since early 2016. She was by his side at the Euros that summer and the 2018 World Cup in Russia before they split for a short time early in 2019 (pictured in 2018)  

Scott Carson makes rare Premier League appearance during Manchester City win at Newcastle

Scott Carson enjoyed a guard of honour on his return to Premier League football after a DECADE away from the top flight… the Manchester City veteran thought his Premier League playing days were OVER and had a mixed night in win at Newcastle

  • Scott Carson made his first Premier League appearance in 10 years on Friday 
  • The 35-year-old was between the sticks in Man City’s 4-3 win over Newcastle 
  • Carson failed to make a save in the first half but conceded two goals to the hosts
  • His bad fortune continued when he saved a penalty but a rebound was put away 
  • Carson thought his playing days were over but has enjoyed a final flourish 

Scott Carson’s last Premier League appearance was 10 years ago. Come half-time here, it remained a decade since his last save.

By that point, the 35-year-old had conceded twice, not quite the return he would have hoped for when informed by Pep Guardiola on Thursday of his belated Manchester City debut, two years after joining on loan from Derby County.

The game was just over an hour old when he did make one fine stop, defying his age to get down low to keep out Joe Willock’s penalty. But it captured Carson’s luck on the night when the rebound landed nicely for the taker to convert.

Scott Carson made his first Premier League appearance in 10 years for Man City on Friday

Earlier, he had enjoyed a guard of honour from Newcastle’s players, a sight which caused much mirth on social media given his absence from the top-flight.

But the former England goalkeeper looked like he’d been in cold storage for the past two seasons when, on 25 minutes, his first meaningful task was to pick the ball from the net after he was beaten by Emil Krafth’s header.

Likewise 10 minutes later when Jonjo Shelvey’s free-kick smacked the crossbar. Carson dived but he was not saving it.

So he might have been wishing he’d been kept in reserve when his half ended with the award of Newcastle’s first penalty, duly blasted home by Joelinton.

The 35-year-old has been kept in reserve for two years but was called oupn by Pep Guardiola

The 35-year-old has been kept in reserve for two years but was called oupn by Pep Guardiola

Carson did not make a save in the first half but had conceded two goals to Newcastle United

Carson did not make a save in the first half but had conceded two goals to Newcastle United

His bad fortune was compiled when he saved asecond penalty but the rebound was put away

His bad fortune was compiled when he saved asecond penalty but the rebound was put away

At least his team-mates had scored twice at the other end. But of the two efforts of note on Carson’s target, both had beaten him.

Ironically, it was at St James’ Park that Carson last appeared in the Premier League. That was for West Bromwich Albion during a 3-3 draw in May, 2011.

Since then he has ventured via Bursaspor in Turkey, Wigan and onto Derby, even picking up his fourth and final England cap along the way.

Carson thought his Premier League days were over but has enjoyed a final flourish with City

Carson thought his Premier League days were over but has enjoyed a final flourish with City

But never would he have imagined emerging again as part of the Premier League champions.

‘I thought my Premier League days were over, but I’ve never given up,’ he said before kick-off.

Thankfully for Carson, his City team-mates did not give up either and, within four minutes of Willock’s goal to make it 3-2 to Newcastle, City led 4-3.

It was worth noting that Carson was the only Champions League winner on the pitch here. Although it will be back to the shadows when City take on Chelsea in Portugal later this month. 

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Newcastle vs Manchester City – Premier League: Live score, lineups and updates

Newcastle vs Manchester City LIVE: Pep Guardiola’s men in first action since being confirmed as Premier League Champions as Magpies look to spoil the party

  • Newly-crowned Champions Manchester City face Newcastle on Friday 8pm GMT
  • Newcastle XI: Dubravka, Murphy, Krafth, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey (c), Willock, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton 
  • Man City XI: Carson, Walker, Garcia, Ake, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Bernardo, Torres, Sterling (c), Jesus 
  • It is City’s first action since fifth Premier League title was secured this week
  • Magpies will hope to spoil the party and surpass the 40-point mark themselves
  • Latest Premier League news, including fixtures and results
  • Premier League table – as it stands 

The newly-crowned Premier League Champions will be in action for the first time since their title was confirmed when Manchester City travel to face Newcastle.

After an exceptional season which has seen them spend much of the season comfortably at the top, Pep Guardiola’s third title as City manager was finally confirmed on Tuesday when Manchester United were beaten.

They will hope to celebrate the title win with their 26th victory of the season at St James Park, but the Magpies stand in their way who will be hoping to surpass the 40-point mark tonight.

Follow Sportsmail’s CIAN CHEESBROUGH for live EPL coverage of Newcastle vs Manchester City, including scoreline, lineups and build-up.  

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Pep Guardiola has ‘Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Lautaro Martinez and Andre Silva on his radar’

Pep Guardiola has a ‘four-man striker shortlist this summer, with Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Lautaro Martinez and Andre Silva on Manchester City boss’ radar’ to replace Sergio Aguero

  • Pep Guardiola is to be backed financially in this summer’s transfer window
  • The Manchester City boss has his eyes on Erling Haaland or Harry Kane up top
  • Lautaro Martinez and Andre Silva are also strikers on Guardiola’s shortlist 
  • Guardiola’s biggest priority is replacing Sergio Aguero, who is leaving the club

Pep Guardiola is set to receive the support he needs from the Manchester City board to bring in more top players this summer and has a four-man shortlist for a new striker. 

Despite having the strongest squad in the Premier League, being crowned champions earlier this week and having a first Champions League final against Chelsea on 29 May, Guardiola is ready to bolster his options even further. 

City have made no secret that their top priority is finding a replacement for Sergio Aguero. The 32-year-old will leave the club at the end of the season, and a successor of equal stature is required.

Pep Guardiola has a four-man shortlist for a new Manchester City striker in the transfer window

Erling Haaland (pictured) and Harry Kane have been strongly linked to Manchester City

Kane (pictured) has hinted that he may leave Tottenham this summer

Erling Haaland (left) and Harry Kane (right) have been strongly linked to Manchester City

Guardiola has been strongly linked with Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland, and England captain Harry Kane, who is increasingly thought to be considering leaving Tottenham this summer. 

Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez and Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva are also on Guardiola’s shortlist, according to The Times

The 25-year-old Silva has made a huge impression at Frankfurt this season, scoring 25 goals in 30 Bundesliga games and helping them to fifth in the league. 

Meanwhile Martinez, 23, has been a key part of Antonio Conte’s Serie A-winning squad, with 16 goals and eight assists in 36 league games.

Guardiola's biggest transfer priority this summer is finding a replacement for Sergio Aguero

Guardiola’s biggest transfer priority this summer is finding a replacement for Sergio Aguero

Lautaro Martinez (pictured) and Andre Silva are also on Guardiola's four-man striker shortlist

Silva has scored 25 goals in 30 Bundesliga games this season

Lautaro Martinez (left) and Andre Silva (right) are also on Guardiola’s four-man striker shortlist

Both of these options would be significantly cheaper than either Kane, whose Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is renowed for driving extremely hard bargains, or Haaland, who would command a package of £150million-plus to be prised away from Dortmund.

But the German club have a strong financial interest in selling Haaland this transfer window, as the 20-year-old’s contract contains a £65m release clause that can be activated next summer. 

Guardiola’s bargaining power would also increase should Dortmund fail to qualify for next’s season Champions League. 

Further along the squad, the Man City boss is also said to be a big fan of Jack Grealish, though Aston Villa are believed to want £80m for the playmaker, which according to The Times, is too much money for Guardiola. 

Guardiola is said to be a big fan of Aston Villa's Jack Grealish but doesn't want to spend £80m

Guardiola is said to be a big fan of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish but doesn’t want to spend £80m

Another position of perhaps greater significance is defensive midfield, with Guardiola possibly having to plan for life after 36-year-old stalwart Fernandinho. 

The Brazilian is yet to decide on a 12-month contract extension that City have offered him, and West Ham’s Declan Rice is being viewed as a potential replacement. 

Other players leaving the club include Eric Garcia, who is shaping to move to Barcelona on a free transfer, and Benjamin Mendy, who City are looking to sell after another poor season.    

Guardiola may also have to plan for life without 36-year-old defensive midfielder Fernandinho

Guardiola may also have to plan for life without 36-year-old defensive midfielder Fernandinho

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Pep Guardiola sends warning to Manchester City’s rivals that ‘winning is so addictive’

Pep Guardiola sends warning to rivals that ‘winning is so addictive’ as Man City manager says their success drives him on ‘to improve and win again’

  • Manchester City have won their third Premier League title in four seasons
  • City also won the League Cup this term and are in the Champions League final
  • Pep Guardiola says City’s success at the Etihad is what inspires him to continue 

Pep Guardiola declared his addiction to winning is what motivates him after Manchester City clinched a third Premier League crown in four years.

The City manager also revealed details of how chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak convinced him to sign a new contract during a meeting in the Maldives in November.

‘I saw that he trusted me,’ Guardiola said. ‘I saw in his eyes, the way we were during dinner.

Pep Guardiola (centre right) says he is addicted to win and that inspires him to more success

‘Winning is so addictive. You do better, you laugh more, your relationships become better. Why should you stop when there are still things to do? Why should we not try to improve and win again when we still can?’

Guardiola defended City in the face of criticism from their detractors.

‘Unfortunately, some people say the history of this club did not start until 10 years ago,’ he added. 

‘It started at Maine Road, 40,000 taking the bus to support the team in the Second Division.’

Guardiola has guided Manchester City to a Premier League and League Cup double this term

Guardiola has guided Manchester City to a Premier League and League Cup double this term

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Pep Guardiola reveals Manchester City’s boozy title celebrations on Tuesday

‘The best moment was when the pizzas arrived… I was not in the best condition!’: Pep Guardiola reveals Manchester City’s boozy title celebrations – and thanks chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for backing him after trophyless first season

  • Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were confirmed as Premier League champions
  • City indulged in some celebrations late on Tuesday at the City Football Academy
  • Guardiola insisted the best moment was when 10-15 pizzas arrived late on 
  • Spaniard also thanked the City board for backing him despite disappointments 

Pep Guardiola has revealed the full extent Manchester City’s title celebrations on Tuesday night, insisting the best moment was when ’10-15 pizzas arrived!’.

Leicester’s win at Manchester United on Tuesday night confirmed City as Premier League champions for the third time in four years. 

With City also in the final of the Champions League and having already won the Carabao Cup too, Guardiola’s side have had a memorable season and the City boss said the team did not let the chance to celebrate go to waste. 

Guardiola and his coaching team, alongside Fernandinho (right), with a replica Premier League trophy

Pep Guardiola has revealed the full extent Manchester City’s title celebrations on Tuesday

‘When Leicester won we came here (City Football Academy) in the bubble, everyone was safe,’ Guardiola said, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against Newcastle on Friday. 

‘We trained a bit, we danced, laughed, remembered how good it was. 10-15 pizzas arrived too which was the best moment!

Then, when asked what his favourite slice of pizza was, Guardiola joked: ‘I don’t know. I was not in my perfect condition to decide which one I ate! But I think all of them was so good!

‘Here in England, the parties are always just alcohol not food. I don’t understand why. But in that moment it was perfect.

‘It was a nice moment all-together, we celebrate really good. But now we train for tomorrow and go on.’ 

City have won two trophies this season and can add a third with the Champions League

City have won two trophies this season and can add a third with the Champions League

Guardiola also paid tribute to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak for backing him after a disappointing first season, back in 2016-17, when City didn’t win a trophy and only narrowly qualified for the Champions League. 

‘When I was here in the first season I didn’t win anything, and I can’t forget the disappointment of Lyon, and the support I had from the chairman (Khaldoon Al Mubarak),’ Guardiola added. 

‘Our success is dedicated to him supporting me. Saying that we now have two weeks before a dream come true in the Champions League final.’

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Lahoz appointed Champions League final referee… the official who sent Guardiola off in 2018

Antonio Mateu Lahoz appointed as Champions League final referee… the Spanish official who sent Pep Guardiola to the stands in Liverpool defeat in 2018, before furious Man City boss described him as a ‘special guy who likes to be different’

  • Antonio Mateu Lahoz will referee the Champions League final later this month 
  • Man City face Chelsea and Lahoz has previous with City boss Pep Guardiola 
  • The Catalan confronted him during City’s quarter-final exit by Liverpool in 2018 
  • He was also unimpressed with his display the previous year against Monaco 

UEFA has appointed Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz to referee the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on May 29.

However, the news may well not go down very well at the Etihad Stadium, with Pep Guardiola having previous with the official, who has refereed City three times before and awarded three penalties against them. 

Lahoz sent the Catalan boss to the stands at half-time of City’s quarter-final second leg defeat by Liverpool in 2018, having been confronted by Guardiola who was incensed that Leroy Sane’s goal had been ruled out for offside after James Milner had touched the ball into the German’s path.  

UEFA has appointed Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz to referee the Champions League final

Pep Guardiola has previous with Lahoz, confronting him at half-time against Liverpool in 2018

Pep Guardiola has previous with Lahoz, confronting him at half-time against Liverpool in 2018

The Catalan was consequently sent to the stands as City went out at the quarter-final stage

The Catalan was consequently sent to the stands as City went out at the quarter-final stage

The Reds had won the first leg 3-0 at Anfield and goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino overturned Gabriel Jesus’ opener to seal their passage through courtesy of a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.

But Guardiola continued his war with Lahoz after the game, having held on to frustrations with the same referee regarding his failure to award a penalty in the previous year’s quarter-final exit at the hands of Monaco.

Asked why he was sent off after confronting the referee, Guardiola said: ‘I said it [Sane’s effort] was a goal. I didn’t insult him, I was polite, I was correct. But Mateu Lahoz is a special guy, he likes to be different, he likes to be special.’

In 2017, Guardiola was fuming that Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving in that game rather than awarding a penalty after the City striker was taken down by Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic.

Guardiola was furious that Leroy Sane's goal that night had been ruled out for offside

Guardiola was furious that Leroy Sane’s goal that night had been ruled out for offside

‘I know what happened in Monaco last season, at 1-1, with an incredible penalty from Sergio Aguero,’ Guardiola added.

‘He’s special. When everybody sees things, he likes to decide the opposite. I didn’t say any wrong word.’ 

In a separate press conference later that night, Guardiola said: ‘I know [the referee] from Spain. We spoke about that. We know him.’  

Lahoz has also awarded three spot kicks against City when he has been in charge of their games, with two coming in group games against Napoli in October 2017 and against Monaco the season before. 

Guardiola was also unimpressed with Lahoz's performance against Monaco the previous year

Guardiola was also unimpressed with Lahoz’s performance against Monaco the previous year

Recalling the incident against Monaco 12 months later, Guardiola said: ‘I remember what happened last year.

‘We were 1-1 at home against Monaco when there was a clear penalty to Aguero and a red card that a Spanish referee did not whistle for. 

‘We went from a possible 2-1 to 1-2. These types of situations are really important.’

But speaking to Spanish outlet Las Provincias in August 2019, Lahoz claimed that Guardiola has told him behind closed doors that he is a fan of how he referees.

Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving as City were defeated by the Ligue 1 side in 2017

Lahoz booked Sergio Aguero for diving as City were defeated by the Ligue 1 side in 2017

‘I have refereed Barcelona a lot and I’ve always felt respected,’ he said.

‘I’ve had conversations with Carles Puyol that are on the record, whilst Pep Guardiola has privately told me he likes how I referee, both when he was at Barcelona and with other clubs.

‘Another thing is I want the players at the likes of Getafe and Alaves to see that I treat them with the exact same respect as those of Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s not true that referees favour Real Madrid and Barcelona.’

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin meanwhile has announced no decision has been made on where this year’s final will be held after a coronavirus outbreak in Turkey forced the governing body to look for alternative venues, with Porto in the running.

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MICAH RICHARDS: Manchester City have been outstanding in winning the Premier League this year

MICAH RICHARDS: Over the Blue moon! From Pep Guardiola to Phil Foden and Ruben Dias to John Stones, Man City have been outstanding in winning the Premier League this year

  • I predicted back in September that Manchester City would become champions
  • While Liverpool dominated last season, I believe City would come back hungrier
  • Ruben Dias is the man I would pick out as the club’s outstanding player
  • While Phil Foden has been breathtaking – he’s going to improve so much more
  • Guardiola has been absolutely outstanding – he will not stop driving City forward

In the first column I wrote for Sportsmail, back on September 12, I predicted Manchester City would win the Premier League.

I made it clear that if Liverpool ran away with the title again we would have to describe them as one of the greatest sides the Premier League has ever seen. 

What they did last season was off the charts but there was one reason I believed that City would outgun them: hunger.

This year belongs to Man City – Pep Guardiola has been absolutely outstanding as manager

When you have been a champion, to see someone else celebrating with ‘your’ trophy feels like a punch in the stomach. I could see how much it had hurt City’s players when they had to give Liverpool a guard of honour at the Etihad Stadium last July.

They would have felt almost humiliated having to do that. I remember seeing Bernardo Silva reluctant to shake hands that night and the expression written all over his face was clear: we cannot let this happen again.

City might have been favourites to win the title — and they may have had the best resources at their disposal — but none of that means anything unless you have the desire to go with it. Even though they started slowly (the 5-2 defeat by Leicester was a wake-up call) behind the scenes they meant business.

As a fan, you never get tired of hearing your team being labelled as champions of England

As a fan, you never get tired of hearing your team being labelled as champions of England

There was a point in November when Tottenham had gone top of the league and people began saying that it could be Jose Mourinho’s year — especially after they had beaten City 2-0 — but I always believed that it would be foolish to write off City.

Everything changed once they began keeping clean sheets. I never lost faith that John Stones would recapture his best form and the partnership he has formed with Ruben Dias has been the bedrock on which this successful challenge was formed.

Dias is the man I would pick out as City’s outstanding player. The conversation about ‘will there ever be another Vincent Kompany?’ is over now; Dias is not ‘the next Vincent Kompany’, he’s just a sensational defender and is going to be at the heart of this team for years to come.

I must mention Phil Foden, too. The time was right for Pep Guardiola to let him loose and his response has been breathtaking. I love this kid and it’s frightening to think that he is going to get even better the more he matures.

Summer signing Ruben Dias is the man I would pick out as Man City’s outstanding player

Summer signing Ruben Dias is the man I would pick out as Man City’s outstanding player

Phil Foden has been breathtaking – it’s frightening to think he's going to get even better

Phil Foden has been breathtaking – it’s frightening to think he’s going to get even better

This has been a season like no other, for many reasons, but City’s players — and their manager — deserve the utmost credit for the mental strength they have shown and the ability they have displayed to have the trophy in safekeeping from as far back as the end of February.

Guardiola has been absolutely outstanding. This is a team that has lacked a striker, and I expressed my concerns about them being short in that department in December, but they have sailed past nearly every challenge with such elegance.

If the players have shown their mental strength, so too has Guardiola. Do not forget he lost his mother, tragically, during the pandemic but he has found it within himself to keep going. He is obsessed with the pursuit of achieving football perfection and he will not stop driving City forward.

It would have been fascinating to see how things panned out had Liverpool not suffered such issues with injuries. I could not speak more highly of Liverpool and how they have performed over the last three years and it’s a shame, in some respects, that it never went according to plan.

This year belongs to Man City – they've sailed past nearly every challenge with such elegance

This year belongs to Man City – they’ve sailed past nearly every challenge with such elegance

When we won the first title in 2012, ourselves and Manchester United went head-to-head with no excuses, and to beat them on goal difference in such a tight finish made it all the sweeter. You want your rivals at full strength and next season will be intriguing.

This year, however, belongs to Manchester City. There is still the promise of the Champions League final to come but, for the moment, being champions of England — again — is a label you would never get tired of hearing.

This City fan is not alone in being over a Blue moon.

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Guardiola hails toughest title after Manchester City lift third Premier League crown in four years

‘This was the hardest one… we will always remember this season’: Pep Guardiola hails toughest title of his career after Manchester City lift third Premier League crown in four years

  • Manchester City overcame a sluggish start with 15 consecutive league victories 
  • Leicester’s victory at Manchester United rubberstamped City as champions 
  • Guardiola paid tribute to a ‘special’ group of players after title triumph 
  • City have chance to make history by winning the Champions League final

Pep Guardiola has described this title win as the toughest of his career after Manchester City lifted a third Premier League crown in four years.

Leicester City’s 2-1 victory at Manchester United rubberstamped City as champions with three matches remaining.

After a sluggish start, Guardiola masterminded a run of 15 consecutive league victories to take charge of the division and never looked back.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed the Premier League title for third time

City have now won five of the last 10 league titles and victory over Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29 would cement this season as the best in the club’s history.

‘This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,’ Guardiola said. ‘This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won.

‘I am so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable.

Man City unfurled a 'Champions' banner outside the Etihad after United's defeat by Leicester

Man City unfurled a ‘Champions’ banner outside the Etihad after United’s defeat by Leicester

‘It is relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.

‘That is equally true of each and every member of our backroom staff, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our players are fully equipped to take on the unexpected challenges and new routines throughout such a turbulent year. Not forgetting, of course, all of the staff across our organisation who work to make this club the success it is.

‘Whether that’s been from the offices at the City Football Academy or working from home, the efforts of every employee in such trying circumstances have contributed to this achievement.’ 

Guardiola also paid tribute to one of the club’s finest players of all time, Colin Bell, who passed away in January. Bell won the old First Division with City in 1968, as well as both domestic trophies and the Cup Winners’ Cup during a 13-year stay at Maine Road.

City have been impressive this season and have now won the League Cup and Premier League

City have been impressive this season and have now won the League Cup and Premier League 

‘This one is really for our fans and for Colin Bell and all his family,’ the Catalan added. ‘It is so important to say a huge thank to all our fans. In our toughest moments, we couldn’t hear the crowd get behind us as usual, but we know they are with us everywhere we go and that has lifted us.

‘I promise them we sense their love, we appreciate it and we could not have done what we have done without it. I hope we can all celebrate together one day not too far away. It has been such a hard year for so many people.

‘At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us. This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals home and away. Only by being the very best, week in week out, can you win this competition. It is a huge success.’ 

In a quirk of fate, Tuesday was the second time under Guardiola that City have had a title confirmed by a United home defeat. West Brom won at Old Trafford in 2017, a surprise result that sparked an impromptu night of revelling in Cheshire for the squad.

It's been a remarkable campaign for the club, who could yet win the Champions League too

It’s been a remarkable campaign for the club, who could yet win the Champions League too

City now have the opportunity to make further history in the coming weeks against Chelsea in the European showpiece.

‘Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to bring the Champions League home this season,’ captain Fernandinho said.

‘I am so proud and so happy with what we have achieved. The Premier League is the hardest league in world football – every single game is tough. To win it again means the world to me and the rest of the squad.

‘To captain this team is an honour and a privilege because the players have given their all throughout season, whether in training or in matches. The teamwork has been amazing.

‘Football is everything to us and we strive every single day to be as good as we can be in the hope we can bring success to Manchester City. Winning the Premier League title is the ultimate fulfilment of our ambitions. It’s what we all dreamed of as young players, so to do it is a wonderful feeling.

‘We have missed the fans so much. We wanted to do this for them. We will enjoy this moment and we hope the fans do too.’

Raheem Sterling leads the celebrations after City are confirmed as Premier League champions

Raheem Sterling leads the celebrations after City are confirmed as Premier League champions

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Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea: Alonso winner ensures there will be no title celebrations at the Etihad

Sergio pays the penalty! Aguero’s dreadful Panenka comes back to haunt Man City as they fail to clinch the title, with Chelsea coming from behind to move third after Marcos Alonso’s injury-time strike

  • Manchester City blew the chance to win the Premier League title by losing 2-1 to Chelsea in dramatic fashion 
  • Marcos Alonso scooped home a stoppage-time winner to round off a good week for Thomas Tuchel’s Blues
  • Raheem Sterling had given City the lead before Sergio Aguero missed a shocking first-half Panenka penalty
  • Hakim Ziyech haunted Manchester City once again by slamming home an equaliser just after half-time
  • Pep Guardiola’s side can still win the title this week if Manchester United fail to beat Aston Villa on Sunday  
  • Latest Premier League news, including fixtures and results 
  • Premier League table – as it stands 

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Marcos Alonso scored a stoppage-time winner to earn Chelsea a priceless 2-1 win over Manchester City to boost their top-four hopes – and deny Pep Guardiola’s side the chance to win the Premier League title.

City needed a win to seal the English top-flight prize and looked on course to do that when Raheem Sterling swept home after Andreas Christensen’s error, while Sergio Aguero missed a penalty in embarrassing fashion just before the half-time whistle.

But Thomas Tuchel’s side remained a threat in the second-half, particularly down the right-hand side. FA Cup semi-final matchwinner Hakim Ziyech slammed home from inside the box to haunt Guardiola’s City again before Alonso scooped home Timo Werner’s late cross to break City hearts.

Marcos Alonso’s winner earned Chelsea a 2-1 victory at Manchester City to deny Pep Guardiola’ side the title on Saturday

Alonso scooped home Timo Werner's late cross to earn the Blues a win in a rehearsal for the Champions League final

 Alonso scooped home Timo Werner’s late cross to earn the Blues a win in a rehearsal for the Champions League final

Guardiola's City can still win the title this weekend, but must hope Manchester United fail to beat Aston Villa on Sunday

Guardiola’s City can still win the title this weekend, but must hope Manchester United fail to beat Aston Villa on Sunday

More to follow. 

Sportsmail’s SAM BLITZ was on the blog for live coverage for City vs Chelsea, including match updates…

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