London, May 12 (IANS) For the second time in their history Manchester City lifted the Premier League title, in one of the tightest finishes of the English football season. But for Liverpool it was a case of being so near, yet so far.
The final day scenes Sunday at the Etihad Stadium were not as dramatic as in 2012 when an injury time winner by Sergio Aguero snatched the title from City’s bitter rivals Manchester United, giving them their first Premier League trophy.
This time, however, there were no last gasp heroics – a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham won the title for City by two points over Liverpool. Chelsea finished third, four points adrift of City, while Arsenal claimed in last Champions League spot.
It was Liverpool who stumbled in the final few games of the season that brought City back in the title race.
Had it not been for the loss against Chelsea or the dramatic collapse against Crystal Palace, the Merseyside club would have bagged their first Premier League trophy.
Chelsea too had a golden chance to reclaim the title after Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge but they spooned their chances with a poor finish to the season.
For Manchester United, it was probably their worst Premier League season. The Red Devils, who sacked manager David Moyes and playing under interim player-manager Ryan Giggs, finished seventh and will not feature in European football next season.
Cardiff City, Fulham and Norwich City were relegated to the English second division with defeats on the final day.
The calm and composure of the last day when most of the big clubs won their matches was hardly the yardstick to judge a topsy-turvy season.
It was one of the most thrilling Premier League seasons during which the lead changed hands 25 times.
Arsenal spent 128 days at the top of the table, more than any other side and double that of Chelsea who led for 64 days.
Liverpool spent 59 days at the summit while City stayed on top for just 15 days before being crowned champions.