LONDON    -   Manchester City clinched the Premier League title with the win required to finally end Liverpool’s relentless attempt to dethrone them as champions by crushing Brighton & Hove Albion 4-1 on the south-coast on Sunday.

City ended the season with 98 points, two shy of last season’s record-breaking 100, while Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield saw them finish on 97 — by far the largest tally for a Premier League runners-up spot.

Such was Liverpool’s tenacity in the title race that it took an incredible 14th straight league victory for Pep Guardiola’s City to become the first club for a decade to retain the title.

Goals from Sergio Aguero, Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Guendogan gave City a comfortable victory in the end after a brief moment of panic in the visiting ranks when Glenn Murray’s header gave Brighton a surprise 27th minute lead.

Argentine striker Aguero, whose last-gasp goal secured City’s first Premier League title in heart-stopping fashion seven years ago, levelled 83 seconds later and Laporte’s thumping header put City ahead before the break.

With Liverpool, who began the day one point behind, leading against Wolves, the Anfield club would still have hoped for something extraordinary to happen in the south-coast sunshine.But when City winger Mahrez drove an unstoppable shot past Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan’s despairing dive just past the hour and Gundogan’s majestic free kick found the net in the 72nd minute the City fans could get the party started.

City became the first team since Manchester United in the 2007-08 season to retain the trophy, part of a ahat trick of successes for Alex Ferguson’s team. With Ferguson long retired and United in freefall, City is the force not only in Manchester but English football. City has won the Premier League four times since the influx of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth following a 2008 takeover, having only won the title twice beore that. Guardiola has now won eight league titles in his 10 seasons as a coach, stretching back to his debut campaign at Barcelona when he won a treble in 2009 and featuring successes at Bayern Munich.

Captain Vincent Kompany, whose sublime shot earned a crucial 1-0 win over Leicester City on Monday to keep his side’s fate in their own hands, said this was the most satisfying of them all.

“Back to back, it was the hardest and most satisfying ever. Liverpool were exceptional this year. I don’t mean to rub it in — they didn’t deserve to lose,” Kompany said. “But we played against such a good team all season and until now we were able to stay in front.”

Spaniard Guardiola can now became the first manager to claim the English domestic treble if City beat Watford in next week’s FA Cup final, having already scooped up the League Cup. “We’ll go and celebrate but we’re also thinking of that next game on Saturday,” Kompany said.

Results

Brighton 1-4 Man City

Burnley 1-3 Arsenal

Crystal Palace 5-3 Bournemouth

Fulham 0-4 Newcastle

Leicester 0-0 Chelsea

Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Man Utd 0-2 Cardiff

Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield

Tottenham 2-2 Everton

Watford 1-4 West Ham

Final Standings

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts

1 Manchester City 38 32 2 4 95 23 +72 98

2 Liverpool 38 30 7 1 89 22 +67 97

3 Chelsea 38 21 9 8 63 39 +24 72

4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 23 2 13 67 39 +28 71

5 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 73 51 +22 70

6 Manchester United 38 19 9 10 65 54 +11 66

7 Wolverhampton 38 16 9 13 47 46 +1 57

8 Everton 38 15 9 14 54 46 +8 54

9 Leicester City 38 15 7 16 51 48 +3 52

10 West Ham United 38 15 7 16 52 55 −3 52

11 Watford 38 14 8 16 52 59 −7 50

12 Crystal Palace 38 14 7 17 51 53 −2 49

13 Newcastle United 38 12 9 17 42 48 −6 45

14 Bournemouth 38 13 6 19 56 70 −14 45

15 Burnley 38 11 7 20 45 68 −23 40

16 Southampton 38 9 12 17 45 65 −20 39

17 Brighton 38 9 9 20 35 60 −25 36

18 Cardiff City 38 10 4 24 34 69 −35 34

19 Fulham 38 7 5 26 34 81 −47 26

20 Huddersfield Town 38 3 7 28 22 76 −54 16