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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany to finally get his hands on the Premier League trophy but, on a day of celebrations at the Etihad, a goalless draw may prove to have left Huddersfield Town as the big winners.
A strong showing from the struggling visitors earned a valuable point which may be enough to keep them in the Premier League next season, an impressive achievement given their limited budget.
They also kept at bay the bid by Pep Guardiola’s runaway champions to set new Premier League records for the most goals, points and wins in a season, all marks which could yet be claimed by City in the season’s final week in which they play Brighton and Southampton. But, after a delay while uninvited supporters were removed from the field, Guardiola was finally able to see his team presented with the trophy, the third major country in which he has managed a team to a title following successes in Spain and Germany with Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.
The celebrations for City’s third title in seven seasons began well before kick-off, both inside and outside their Etihad home ground.
Supporters were issued with blue and white flags, creating a colourful vista to greet the champions as they were given yet another guard of honour on their way onto the field before kick-off.
They were also met by the survivors of City’s famous 1968 Championship-wining side, a squad led so memorably by club legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee who were all on hand to receive an emotional welcome from fans who remember their legacy half a century on.
Having won the league three weeks earlier, when closest rivals Manchester United surprisingly lost at home to West Brom, these title celebrations have been curiously drawn out.
There had been none of the edge-of-the-seat drama that so famously brought City their first Premier League title, when Sergio Aguero scored with virtually the last kick of the season against QPR in 2012. -AFP