Manchester City were whisked back north on three planes on Sunday night to share their triumph with thousands of supporters at the Etihad Stadium.
They flew out of Biggin Hill, renowned for its role in the Battle of Britain, which felt apt given this titanic tussle with Liverpool. City lifted the trophy with fans at just gone 10pm, with celebrations continuing in the stadium’s premiere hospitality suite, the Tunnel Club, long after.
‘This was by far the hardest and most draining,’ Vincent Kompany said. ‘The first one (2012) happened in the last minute but this was constantly knowing you have to win and perform. We defeated one of the all-time great teams in England.’
Vincent Kompany lifts up the Premier League trophy as Manchester City celebrated retaining their crown on Sunday night
The Manchester City squad celebrated their title triumph with thousands of their supporters at the Etihad Stadium
The team got the chance to share their success with their fans just hours after beating Brighton to retain the title
Pep Guardiola was equally reflective, claiming retaining this title was the toughest assignment of his illustrious career.’ It was the most difficult one,’ he said. ‘The most difficult one because of the quality of Liverpool. We made 100 points last season and had to make 98 this season.’
Guardiola and his players claimed they were not aware of Liverpool’s score against Wolves, although Brighton’s home crowd made sure it was voiced.
The jubilation inside City’s dressing room was just as loud. Renditions of “Allez, Allez, Allez” were pumped out by the players, so too “Campeones”. The tens of champagne bottles did not go to waste either. Noel Gallagher joined them, still with sunglasses on, after spending the afternoon in the away end.
Thousands of City fans gathered outside the Etihad to await the arrival of the side following their journey back from Brighton
A party atmosphere formed as the team made their way on stage and streamers and fireworks filled the night sky
‘I knew we could win back-to-back titles straight away,’ Kompany said. ‘The first meeting of the season it was all about how we tried to get back to back. Pep’s done it before and I felt we could do it from the first moment. I felt the desire. The manager starts everything. He sets the standards.’
Raheem Sterling was also effusive in his praise of Guardiola. ‘The manager is about mentality and it’s about winning no matter what,’ the forward said.
‘How we can win every game, it’s a credit to him and how he sets us up. I’m just happy to be under his wing. This is exactly what I came here for to win these trophies and I’m happy to get a second medal.
‘It’s about having multiple players in every position and having them challenge. No one is comfortable and everyone gets their chance. Riyad (Mahrez) gets his chance here and I knew he would score.’
Guardiola laughed when asked about the lack of weaknesses in this team, suggesting there is much to be done at set pieces. ‘I am the tallest guy – in the set pieces it is go to the church to pray,’ he said. ‘It is a drama. We did it well in Burnley, we didn’t concede one and that is the target.’
Bernardo Silva, who could take the club’s player of the year award, insisted they did not believe this level of consistency was possible when the season started.
Vincent Kompany and Noel Gallagher celebrate with members of staff at Manchester City in the dressing room
Gallagher sits with City’s home grown Phil Foden and the title while the former Oasis member also embraced John Stones
Fernandinho has a photo taken with Gallagher as they celebrate a second straight Premier League title after beating Brighton
Gallagher, Kompany and Bernardo Silva hold the Premier League together as they celebrate City’s title win
‘After last season we didn’t think we could get close to the points that we did last season,’ Silva said. ‘That was great, we still have the FA Cup and that’s very important we want the Treble. No one has done that and we want to do it.
‘After the Newcastle game where we lost away we thought it was very difficult, but then 14 wins in a row is incredible.
‘Our season has been amazing. We are still frustrated with the Champions League but that’s normal. Two titles so far and hopefully we get three.
‘It’s a very physical football in England, all teams play direct football with very strong players and set pieces. It’s always very difficult to defend like and we are so happy with our last two seasons.’
Manchester City’s players and backroom staff celebrate on the Amex Stadium pitch after sealing the Premier League title
Pep Guardiola is thrown into the air after his side beat Brighton 4-1 to finish one point ahead of title rivals Liverpool
City’s Argentine contingent, Sergio Aguero and Nicolas Otamendi, hold the Premier League trophy following the victory
The travelling City contingent in the stands at the Amex needed no invitation to bask in their victory over Brighton
England internationals John Stones and Kyle Walker show off their Premier League winners’ medals after the final whistle
Guardiola kisses the Premier League trophy, flanked by Brian Kidd, Mikel Arteta and other members of his backroom staff