Ro­driguez’s goal is ti­tle-clincher for City

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

MANCH­ESTER CITY are Premier League cham­pi­ons af­ter Jay Ro­driguez se­cured rock-bot­tom West Brom a win at Manch­ester United that was as re­mark­able as it had looked un­likely.

A week af­ter preventing their neighbours from clinch­ing the ti­tle in ex­tra­or­di­nary fash­ion, Old Traf­ford wit­nessed a sim­i­larly im­prob­a­ble re­sult as the man­ager­less and rud­der­less Bag­gies pulled off the shock of the sea­son.

Fans who have been starved of cheer left cel­e­brat­ing a win to cher­ish as Ro­driguez headed home for West Brom, with United’s 1-0 de­feat see­ing City seal the ti­tle with­out kick­ing a ball.

Pep Guardi­ola’s decision to forego the match looked jus­ti­fied con­sid­er­ing West Brom’s dread­ful form, although Jake Liver­more’s early at­tempt was a warn­ing shot that un­der­cooked United failed to heed.

Jose Mour­inho’s men should have had a first-half penalty af­ter Craig Daw­son caught An­der Her­rera, but com­pla­cency seeped in and the Bag­gies showed fight un- der care­taker man­ager Dar­ren Moore that has been sorely lack­ing this sea­son.

Ul­ti­mately, Ro­driguez was the hero for West Brom – and City.

Just days af­ter the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced a charge of racially abus­ing Brighton’s Gae­tan Bong had been found “not proven”, the for­ward net­ted to se­cure a vic­tory that sent shock­waves around the league.

“Manch­ester City, we won it for you” chanted the West Brom fans at the end of a match that still leaves West Brom nine points from safety.

City had steam­rollered Tot­ten­ham 3-1 at Wem­b­ley on Satur­day.

Gabriel Je­sus stroked home with aplomb to put City in front af­ter a free-flow­ing start be­fore the vis­i­tors dou­bled their lead from a con­tro­ver­sial penalty.

Hugo Lloris’s chal­lenge on Ra­heem Ster­ling ap­peared to come out­side the box, but Ilkay Gun­do­gan con­verted the chance.

Chris­tian Erik­sen re­duced the ar­rears, but Ster­ling added City’s third in the sec­ond half.

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