Five moments that changed the 2023/24 Premier League title race in Man City's favour

Arsenal pushed Pep Guardiola's side all the way before Manchester City secured a historic fourth consecutive Premier League title

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Manchester City became the first men’s team in the history of English football to win four top division titles in succession.

When Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side defeated West Ham United 3-1 on Sunday, City secured their 10th crown – the last six coming in a golden seven-year span that coincided with the arrival of their charismatic manager.

The Premier League trophy was the third piece of silverware lifted by the Manchester blues this season after the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Club. By winning a fourth successive title, City eclipsed the achievements of Arsenal, Huddersfield Town, Liverpool and Manchester United achievements of thee consecutive English titles.

City could make history again this weekend. If Guardiola's side win the FA Cup final against neighbours Manchester United, City will be the first back-to-back Premier League and FA Cup winners.

These are remarkable statistics and suggest total domestic dominance, but this season’s Premier League title race was one of the most absorbing in recent years, with Arsenal taking the title race down to the final game.

Following a 0-0 draw against the Gunners on March 31, City won their remaining nine league games to pip the Gunners to the title by two points.

Here we look at five turning points in the season that helped swing things City's way.

December 6, 2023: Aston Villa 1, Man City 0

This defeat came after three successive draws that culminated in City dropping below Villa into fourth spot in the table. It wasn’t so much the defeat but the manner of it that shocked City to the core.

They were completely outplayed and off the pace with the 1-0 reverse flattering the champions. Villa won the shot count 22-2 as City failed to cope with Unai Emery’s team.

The trip back to Manchester began the soul searching and it was followed by a workmanlike 2-1 win at Luton Town. They haven’t lost in the Premier League since – an amazing 22-game run.

January 13, 2024: The return of Kevin de Bruyne

City’s talisman limped out of the opening game of the season at Burnley and straight on to the operating table. A hamstring tear kept him out of the team for nearly five months. He returned at St James Park in the New Year as City faced Newcastle United and made an instant impact.

Guardiola’s side were 2-1 down and seemingly giving up ground to their title rivals when the Belgian was introduced as a 69th minute substitute.

Within five minutes he had scored an equaliser and then in injury time produced a wonder pass to send in youngster Oscar Bobb for the winning goal. Quite a way to announce your return.

April 13, 2024: Man City 5, Luton Town 1

A seminal weekend in the title race.

City battering a Luton Town team that would go on to be relegated was no great surprise, but events elsewhere made the result one of the most pivotal of the season.

Whilst City cruised to victory at home, title challengers Liverpool lost 1-0 at Anfield to Crystal Palace with Eberechi Eze producing the only goal of the game.

Arsenal then also failed to keep pace as Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins gave Aston Villa a shock 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium. Both goals came in the last six minutes of normal time.

Those setbacks for their closest challengers propelled City to the top of the table for the first time since November.

Emergence of Josko Gvardiol at left-back

Phil Foden and Erling Haaland won individual accolades and Rodri probably should have had a cabinet full of them after not losing a game in 90 minutes for 72 matches (49 in the Premier League), but Josko Gvardiol was pivotal in the final third of the season as he settled into an unfamiliar role and a new system following his summer move from RB Leipzig.

He scored his first goal for the club on April 9, 2024 against Real Madrid, four days later he scored and assisted in the previously mentioned win over Luton and on May 11 the left back netted twice in a 3-0 win at Fulham to keep the pressure on Arsenal.

May 14, 2024: Ortega's saves

Knowing that their title hopes would all but disappear if they didn’t come away from Tottenham with a victory, City managed to snaffle all three points on a nervy night and leap-frog back over Arsenal at the top of the table.

Erling Haaland had put City in front in the 52nd minute. It was the club’s first Premier League goal away at Tottenham in five years, six months and 15 days.

German goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, on as a substitute for the injured Ederson, produced a contender for save of the season to deny Spurs captain Son Heung-min, who had raced clear of the City defence.

The importance of the stop was magnified as City doubled their lead in injury time to send them into the season finale two points clear in the title race.

Updated: May 20, 2024, 7:36 AM