Open top celebrations?
Manchester City are on the verge of winning their third Premier League title in four years after a stellar campaign to date. Needing just one more win from their final three games to mathematically win the league, or alternatively, their closest rivals Manchester United to lose in any of their final four games, the Citizens are well placed to begin planning for celebrations.
Despite the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom from the 17th May, the Champions-in-waiting remain cautious, unwilling to commit to grand affairs such as open-top bus tours due to the pandemic.
Instead of an open-top parade, there are suggestions that City executives will favour a celebration within the confines of the Etihad stadium, both for the sake of convenience and to keep numbers down in light of the situation.
#MCFC are reportedly contemplating hosting a celebration event at the Etihad Stadium ahead of next season rather than a traditional open-top bus tour. 🗞⬇
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 10, 2021
Taking nothing for granted
Despite these tentative plans, Manchester City are taking nothing for granted at this point, despite being within touching distance of the title. Defeat against Chelsea in a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Champions League final put the champagne on ice and, although they can still win the title before their next game if Manchester United drop points in either of their games against Leicester City or Liverpool.
Alternatively, Manchester City could win the title were they to secure victory against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Friday night. Although it would be nice to have won the title at the Etihad stadium, without the fans to join in the celebration it will likely matter little to those in sky blue.
Noisy Neighbours taking over:
It has been almost twelve years since ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson branded Manchester City “noisy neighbours”, but the relative success of the two clubs in the time since has shown that the tides have changed in Manchester. Whilst United have not won the League title since Ferguson left at the end of the 2012-13 season, this would represent Manchester City’s fourth title since Ferguson’s departure.
The season could yet get even better for Manchester City and Pep Guardiola, as they are due to contest the Champions League final with Chelsea on the 29th May. It would represent the culmination of Sheikh Mansour’s ambitions when he took over the club in 2008, and will be Guardiola’s first appearance in a Champions League final since 2011, when his Barcelona side beat Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley.
Two further trophies to add to their recent Carabao Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur would represent a fantastic season for the Citizens, and could provide reason to rethink the scale of the celebrations in Manchester, with the Champions League undoubtedly the jewel in the crown.
This article was edited by Tom Canton.
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