Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Albion’s Rodriguez hands City the title

‘SEE THE REACTION’:Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany immediately set his victorious teammates a new challenge — winning back-to-back titles for the first time

AFP, LONDON

West Bromwich Albion’s Jay Rodriguez, second left, scores against Manchester United in their Premier League match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Vincent Kompany celebrated Manchester City’s English Premier League title triumph with a Manchester United fan and then challenged the champions to win it again next season.

City on Sunday clinched the title without kicking a ball as their archrivals United slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.

Jay Rodriguez’s second-half header for bottom-of-the-table Albion sparked wild celebrations among City players and fans across Manchester.

City captain Kompany watched the match at the house of his Mancunian wife, Carla Higgs, who invited her United-supporting father to join the party.

The gathering was captured in a social media post and Carla’s father is seen wearing a United shirt as Kompany celebrated.

“It shows how football is lived in Manchester as we have Reds in the family and Blues, but today was a day for the Blues. It is banter. It’s been a great day,” Kompany said.

Kompany was caught on camera speaking with his City teammates Kevin de Bruyne and Kyle Walker on FaceTime to celebrate the success, with Carla’s grandmother heard asking: “Do they want to come round?”

Kompany has been at City since 2008, playing a key role in the club’s emergence as a genuine force in the English game.

The 32-year-old has featured in all three of City’s Premier League triumphs, as well as their FA Cup and League Cup victories, but Kompany has yet to help City retain the title and he admitted he would love to secure back-to-back league triumphs.

“You can’t take [winning the league] for granted, I’ve won three now, but there’s so many we’ve missed,” Kompany said. “My teammates will roll their eyes as I want to see the reaction from us next season as I’ve never been able to retain a title.”

City manager Pep Guardiola did not bother to watch the United game, opting for a round of golf with his son, Marius, instead.

However, Kompany was glued to the action, even if he found it hard to watch his team’s destiny in someone else’s hands.

“I had a feeling when I woke up this morning. I don’t like to wait and see a team lose, so it was [a] different experience today,” Kompany said.

Guardiola is the first Spaniard to manage a team to the English top-flight title.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had already led City to victory over Arsenal in the EFL Cup final.

The title completed a revival by City, who failed to win a single trophy last season and Kompany was quick to pay tribute to Guardiola for getting the best out of his players in his second season.

“I have learned from him. When I was 20, I would have been a perfect player for him,” he said. “Everyone that plays under him will have had success because of him, because he has the ability to unlock the full potential.”

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