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English Premiership

How the drama unfolded on Premier League final day

Manchester City celebrate retaining the Premier League title © AFP / Glyn KIRK

LONDON, United Kingdom, May 12Manchester City became the first team to retain the Premier League title for 10 years on Sunday, but only after the final round of matches.

At one point, when City trailed Brighton and Liverpool led Wolves, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds held a two-point lead at the top.

But quickfire goals from Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laporte saw Pep Guardiola’s men turn the game at the Amex Stadium and the title race around, before cruising to a 4-1 victory in the second half.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the key moments of the last day (all times local):

3:00pm: The games at the Amex Stadium and Anfield kick off.

3:09pm: Brighton go close to taking a shock lead as Alireza Jahanbakhsh fires narrowly wide from 20 yards.

Mane fired Liverpool to the top of the table early on © AFP / Paul ELLIS

3:17pm: The top of the Premier League table changes hands on the final day of the season for only the second time ever, as Sadio Mane slots Liverpool into a 17th-minute lead from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross.

There was real hope for Liverpool when Murray gave Brighton a shock lead © AFP / Glyn KIRK

3:26pm: Glenn Murray climbs highest at the front post to power home Pascal Gross’ corner and put Brighton ahead.

3:28pm: Brighton and Liverpool’s hopes take a massive dent within 83 seconds as Aguero drills a low shot into the net to equalise for Man City.

3:30pm: City almost flip the game totally on its head, but Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan keeps out Bernardo Silva’s header.

Quickfire goals from Aguero and Laporte give title race final twist © AFP / Glyn KIRK

3:37pm: Guardiola’s side do retake the title-race advantage as Laporte is given the freedom of the Brighton box to nod past goalkeeper Ryan.

3:44pm: Wolves almost put another dagger into Liverpool, but Matt Doherty’s rasping strike bounces off the top of the bar.

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3:47pm: Lewis Dunk’s free-kick with the final play of the first half at Brighton sees City goalkeeper Ederson have to scramble the ball over his crossbar.

— Half-time on Merseyside marks the break for both games, with City, as before kick-off, leading the table by one point.

4:17pm: After slow starts to the second halves in both matches, Raul Jimenez ends a period of Wolves pressure by firing over the crossbar, while Raheem Sterling miskicks a low shot on the south coast for City.

4:19pm: Divock Origi goes close to a second for Liverpool, but his shot is deflected wide.

Mahrez gives City breathing space with 63rd-minute drive © AFP / Glyn KIRK

4:20pm: Mahrez cuts inside and ends the marathon title chase once and for all with a powerful right-footed strike into the top corner.

4:26pm: Liverpool start struggling to hang on to their three points, with goalkeeper Alisson standing tall to deny Diogo Jota.

4:29pm: City continue to put sorry Brighton to the sword, with Ilkay Gundogan curling a fine free-kick into the net.

Mane’s second of the day ensured he shared the Golden Boot with Salah and Aubameyang © AFP / Paul ELLIS

4:38pm: Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold swings over a cross for Mane to head in his second, despite being in an offside position. But the only real significance is to draw the Senegalese level with teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the race for the Golden Boot.

4:49pm: Final whistle blows at the Amex Stadium and Manchester City clinch a second straight title after 14 consecutive victories.

— Liverpool left on 97 points after a 2-0 success over Wolves at Anfield, one shy of City despite winning nine games in a row.

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