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Simply the best: Media react to City’s triumph

There’s no shortage of praise for City in Sunday’s crammed back pages.

And the message that resonates throughout is that the Blues are probably the greatest English team of all time.

‘Probably’ because such a grand statement can only be based on statistics and opinion – and they all suggest that this City team is in a class of its own.

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Let’s kick off with the BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty who writes: “The club once loftily dismissed as ‘noisy neighbours’ by then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed they now exert a domestic dominance that speaks eloquently on their behalf with a crushing, brutal 6-0 dismissal of Watford in the final at Wembley.

“It completed a domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup - something never before achieved in the English men's game.

“This may have been a victory lap completed with embarrassing ease, with early Watford body blows parried in comfort before a form of footballing torture ensued, but this was arguably the greatest day in City's history as this treble was won ruthlessly, spectacularly.

“If Watford thought City's Premier League title triumph, secured six days earlier after a mentally and physically taxing season-long battle with Liverpool, would take the edge off the appetite for success that consumes Guardiola and his players, they were swiftly disabused of the notion. Guardiola insists winning is "addictive".

 

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“All the signs are City, in their current form and with further development to come, will satisfy this craving for years to come.”

The Daily Mail continue the theme as they write: “Guardiola became just the eighth manager to win the English top-flight, League Cup and FA Cup, joining Bill Nicholson, Don Revie, Joe Mercer, Kenny Dalglish, George Graham, Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in achieving the feat.

“Liverpool sat top of the table for 141 days… but still came second to this outstanding side. City were only in first position for 125 but were top when it mattered most, on the season’s final day.

“The decision to award Kevin De Bruyne man of the match over Raheem Sterling caused some surprise but the midfielder did complete all 40 of his passes in Saturday’s final.

“City became only the fourth team to win both of England’s major domestic cup competitions, after Arsenal in 1992-93, Liverpool in 2000-01 and Chelsea in 2006-07.

“Only two other sides had scored six goals in an FA Cup final before. They were Blackburn against Sheffield Wednesday in 1890 (6-1) and Bury against Derby in 1903 (6-0).”

It goes on, with Eurosport not holding back in their opinion of City’s brilliance: “They may not have won the Champions League but the cold hard facts don’t lie: Manchester City are the best team to ever grace English football.

“Their unprecedented treble in the men's game included an unprecedented challenge from Liverpool; they saw it off – all the while navigating a path to double domestic cup glory. Furthermore, truth be told, they were, perhaps, only a VAR call away from having a great shot at winning the Champions League.

 

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“We will, of course, never know how they would have fared against Ajax and Liverpool but stylistically, the Dutch side looked a decent match up for them, and City took four points off Liverpool in the league this season.

“Pep Guardiola has cultivated an ethos of the collective at the club. The fact that Gabriel Jesus seamlessly replaced Sergio Aguero in their line-up for the FA Cup final is testament to that.

“The fact that City have somehow managed to collect a treble despite missing their best player in Kevin de Bruyne for large swathes of the season is testament to that. And the fact they collected the FA Cup despite missing their most important player in Fernandinho is testament to that.”

We’ll round off with Barney Ronay’s excellent feature in The Guardian…

“Manchester City's historic FA Cup final win was almost swamped by the glowing list of statistics piling up around them - but nothing can disguise the scale of this achievement and the brilliance of Pep Guardiola's team.

“Emphatic win against Watford showcased Pep Guardiola’s men at their well-grooved best, full of invention and good habits

“Welcome to the new order. Domestic games: played 51, won 43. Domestic trophies: three out of three. Five-goal hauls: 11. Defeats since Christmas: one.

“Scan the history books, fan back to the big city clubs of Victorian times, linger on the red-shirted eras of the last 50 years. English domestic football has never seen anything quite like this single-season hit from Manchester City. It turns out we really do all live in a sky blue world now.

“City were not just brilliant at Wembley; they were disorienting. They were hypnotically good; good in a way that seems to pose wider questions of a sporting-existential nature about why, and how, anyone could have assembled a team this devastatingly fine.

Plenty more reaction to come over the next few days, so we’ll be back with more tomorrow…

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