Former England captain Alan Shearer has described Manchester City as “two games away from immortality” after they secured a third successive Premier League title. Pep Guardiola’s side have the chance to complete a historic Treble when they play Manchester United in the FA Cup final on 3 June, followed by a Champions League final against Inter Milan a week later in Istanbul. Shearer believes that if City can win both of these games, they will be talked about for years to come.
Manchester United were the last side to win five Premier League titles in six seasons, between 1996 and 2001, including the Treble of league, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999. They also won seven titles in nine seasons between 1993-2001, as well as five titles in seven seasons between 2007-2013. Before that, Liverpool in the late 1970s and early ’80s enjoyed similar spells of consecutive league titles.
Former City keeper Shay Given believes Guardiola’s current side are stronger than ever, praising the “unsung heroes” such as John Stones who can play a variety of positions. The addition of Erling Haaland, whose remarkable haul of 52 goals in 48 games has added even more cutting edge to the side, has given City a great chance of winning their first Champions League title.
City could yet win the Premier League by 13 points and start as favourites in both remaining cup finals. Former Premier League striker Glenn Murray believes they are a better team than Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 Treble winners, describing them as an “emotionless winning machine”.
However, City are still facing charges from the Premier League of more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation. The charges cover the period of 2009-2018 and City have been referred to an independent commission, which can impose punishments ranging from a fine and points deduction to expulsion from the Premier League. It is not known how long the process will take.