Liverpool came from behind to beat nine-man Newcastle United 2—1 but the win was not enough for the Reds to claim a first league title since 1990.

Manchester City won the Premier League for the second time in three seasons on Sunday. Unlike the final day of the 2012 season, City didn’t need any stoppage time goals to clinch the title this time; just a comfortable 2—0 victory over West Ham courtesy of goals either side of halftime by Samir Nasri and Vincent Kompany.

Liverpool came from behind to beat nine-man Newcastle United 2—1 but the win was not enough for the Reds to claim a first league title since 1990.

On a final day lacking drama, the only other matter to settle was sixth place, with Tottenham denying deposed champion Manchester United the final Europa League spot by beating Aston Villa 3—0.

As soon as the final whistle was blown, thousands of Manchester City fans flooded onto the Etihad Stadium pitch, setting off blue flares. For a club that has spent so much time in the shadow of United — last year’s champion — it was just the fourth time in its 134—year history that fans could celebrate a league title.

Resurgent Liverpool rues missed opportunity

With their title dreams extinguished, Liverpool’s players circled the pitch inside Anfield Stadium, heads bowed, to the backdrop of another passionately sung rendition of club anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The final match of the Reds’ season could have been a celebration of the most unlikely championship triumph in Premier League history. It ended up being a tale of what might have been.

Liverpool came up short on Sunday in its bid for a first league title in 24 years, finishing two points behind champion Manchester City despite a come-from-behind 2—1 win over Newcastle.

Brendan Rodgers’ team did their part on what proved to be an anticlimactic last day, passing the 100—goal mark for the league campaign after near-identical strikes in the space of two second half minutes by Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge. That clinched a club-record 26th league victory.

But Liverpool was also relying on a favour from West Ham at Etihad Stadium, which was always unlikely to happen. City won 2—0, keeping the trophy out of Liverpool’s grasp.

“I’m devastated for the fans,” Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said. “Although we’ve made them dream, I’m devastated we didn’t go that one step more.”

Liverpool had the destiny of the title in its hands just three weeks ago, when it beat Norwich 3—2 for an 11th straight win. Then came a decisive nine days when Rodgers’ side lost 2—0 at home to Chelsea before conceding three goals in the final 11 minutes to draw 3—3 at Crystal Palace.

It meant there was more hope than expectation heading into the Newcastle match.

“We finished the season winning 12 games out of 14,” Rodgers said. “So the players have shown incredible level of consistency and quality in that period ... we’d prefer to finish top, but it’s a great mark of progress this season.”

Anfield has seen previous last-game drama, with Arsenal winning 2—0 here in 1989 thanks to an injury-time goal from Michael Thomas to snatch the title from Liverpool.

Twenty five years on, Journey’s famous song “Don’t Stop Believin’” blared out before kickoff. But all hope among Liverpool fans was gone by halftime, with their team 1—0 down thanks to Martin Skrtel’s own goal in the 20th minute and City having virtually guaranteed finishing first by going 1—0 up against West Ham.

After a poor first half, Liverpool steeled itself to finish the season on a high, with Gerrard crossing for Agger to volley in after 63 minutes and then producing a similar delivery for Sturridge to tap in at the far post. It was all in vain.

“When we went in front and there was no roar from the crowd, I realized the story was elsewhere,” Rodgers said.

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