Sergio Aguero says Manchester City’s victory over Liverpool in January proved to be the turning point in this season’s Premier League title race.
Liverpool had the opportunity to go 10 points clear at the top of the table if they had won at the Etihad Stadium at the turn of the year, but City closed the gap to four points following a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
Jurgen Klopp’s side later dropped points against Leicester City, West Ham, Manchester United and Everton before winning their final nine matches to keep the title race alive until the final day.
But City’s run of 14 consecutive victories since the end of January propelled them to their second successive title, with Aguero scoring in the 4-1 win at Brighton on Sunday that saw them over the finish line.
“The Premier League is complicated,” he told reporters at the Amex Stadium. “I’ve been here eight years and the truth is that every game is difficult. [This season] we knew that our only option was to win.
“I think the key was in January when we beat them and managed to get a few points closer, and after that it was a question of them drawing a few games.
“We knew that Liverpool were always there in the fight, but luckily we could just think about ourselves and we knew that we had to win today. That’s how it went and I’m happy with my fourth Premier League title and I hope it goes on like this.”
Despite more domestic success, the Argentine insists that City will be setting their sights on the Champions League next season.
City could yet complete an unprecedented domestic treble – they face Watford in the FA Cup final on Saturday – but were denied the chance of a quadruple after being eliminated from Europe in dramatic circumstances by Tottenham in April.
Raheem Sterling’s injury time strike was ruled out by VAR after Aguero was adjudged to have been in an offside position earlier in the move, and the former Atletico Madrid man says City’s main target next season is to go all the way.
“Yes, I think so,” he responded when asked if City’s focus will shift. “Obviously our objective this year was also to fight for the Champions League but these things happen in football.
“We were out by such a small margin, by an elbow that was offside, but next season we will try to fight until the end.”