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Manchester City close the Premier League season with a bang; Jurgen Klopp says goodbye at Liverpool

Hello! The Premier League reached an expected conclusion when Manchester City lifted the title yet again on Sunday, but an offseason of uncertainty looms for them and a truckload of other high-profile European teams. I’m Pardeep Cattry with the latest as the season winds down in Europe.

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Monday, May 20
🇮🇹 Serie A: Bologna vs. Juventus, 2:45 p.m ➡️ Paramount+

Tuesday, May 21
🇨🇦 Canadian Championship: Toronto vs. Saint-Laurent, 7 p.m. ➡️ FS2
🇺🇸 U.S. Open Cup: LAFC vs. Loudon United, 10:30 p.m. ➡️ MLSsoccer.com

⚽ The Forward Line

🏆 Manchester City do it again

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The seemingly inevitable finally happened on Sunday, when Manchester City lifted their fourth successive title after a 3-1 triumph over West Ham United. Needing a win to abolish any fears of Arsenal catching up, City got off to a quick start with Phil Foden’s brace in the opening 18 minutes. Mohammed Kudus nearly made things interesting with his goal shortly before halftime, but Rodri’s second half strike sealed the deal for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Though City winning Premier League titles feels commonplace at this point, they actually hit a new benchmark in their near-unprecedented success by becoming the first men’s team to win four titles in a row in England. Pep Guaridola said post-match that the historical feat served as motivation for a team that has accomplished just about everything it possibly could, especially after last season’s treble.

  • Guardiola: “I had that season last year after [winning the Champions League to complete the treble in] Istanbul. I said, ‘It’s over, there’s nothing left.’ But I have a contract, I’m still here. Some of the moments I’m a bit tired, but some of the moments I love and we are here winning games, looking good with new players. I started to think about [how] no one had done four in a row [so] why don’t we try? And now I feel it’s done, so what next? FA Cup [Final against Manchester United on Saturday].”

The latest accolade in a long list of them renews the question posed to Guardiola a year ago, though: Where exactly do they go from here? City will enter the offseason as the favorites to win the title yet again next season, but even the manager has questions about when this streak of dominance will end — and if some big decisions will have something to do with it. Guardiola’s contract expires at the end of the 2025 season and though he said he and the club will talk about his future sometime during next season, he also suggested that his stay in Manchester will not last forever — “the reality is I am closer to leaving than staying,” he admitted.

Guardiola’s future might not even be City’s biggest concern next season, though. The Premier League is finally expected to hold a hearing related to the 115 charges for financial breaches in either October or November of this year and eyes a decision in spring 2025, per The Athletic. The pressure of following up a treble-winning season might just pale in comparison to the questions lingering around the club when next season finally begins.

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🔗  Midfield Link Play

🪑 Klopp says goodbye as Soccer’s game of managerial musical chairs continues

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As the European season comes to a close, a transformational summer beckons for several clubs with managerial changes coming for many high-profile clubs. Arne Slot was officially named the Liverpool manager on Monday, almost 24 hours after Jurgen Klopp unofficially kicked off the club’s new chapter by leading the crowd at Anfield to chant Slot’s name. Liverpool’s preparedness for the season ahead, though, sets them apart from many of their counterparts, who are still looking for a new manager as the countdown to preseason begins.

Brighton and Hove Albion became the latest club to join the managerial search on Saturday, when they announced that Roberto De Zerbi would not return next season — and not because he has another job lined up. There’s no shortage of gigs he could land: Bayern Munich are still looking for Thomas Tuchel’s successor despite deciding in February he would leave and recently failing in an attempt to change his mind, while Juventus has yet to close a deal with Bologna’s Thiago Motta to succeed Massimiliano Allegri and could be looking at De Zerbi. Manchester United, meanwhile, have another week to decide whether or not to dump Erik ten Hag after Saturday’s FA Cup final.

There also could be a vacancy at Barcelona, who pulled themselves out of the coaching carousel a month ago by convincing Xavi to stick around after he decided to leave. The club is now flirting with the idea of firing him, in part because president Joan Laporta took issue with Xavi’s “realistic” viewpoint that Barcelona will find it difficult to compete with Real Madrid amid financial constraints, per Guillem Balague.

The crop of new job listings this weekend was coupled by a buzzy new name making the rounds — Kieran McKenna. The manager who led Ipswich Town to back-to-back promotions is now a leading contender for the Brighton job and might be in the mix for the United gig should it become available, leaving one more vacancy open in the Premier League in the process. It may just be a scramble to the finish line for a handful of clubs as they begin planning for next season by lining up players and managers.

🔗  Top Stories

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 That’s a wrap: Here’s more coverage from championship Sunday in the Premier League, when Phil Foden said City’s history-making title “means a little bit more” and Mikel Arteta remained optimistic after Arsenal’s strong season. Plus, here’s a look at Klopp’s Liverpool legacy after his nearly nine year stint officially came to an end.

🇺🇸 Copa America looms: Gregg Berhalter named his squad for the USMNT’s pre-Copa America friendlies, and talked about how the team will go about trying to replace the injured Sergino Dest.

🔵 Hayes exits on a high: Chelsea won their fifth successive WSL title on Saturday as Emma Hayes closed things out with a 6-0 win over Manchester United, reflecting on the evolution of the women’s game at the end of her 12 year spell with the Blues.

👏 Williams makes history: Gotham’s Lynn Williams broke the NWSL all-time goalscoring record with her 79th league goal on Sunday, leading them to a 2-1 win — and helping them jump up a place in the latest batch of NWSL power rankings.

🍺 Cheers for beers: Borussia Dortmund icon Marco Reus bought a round of beers for the fans who attended his final game at home for the club, a 4-0 win over Darmstadt in which he notched a goal and an assist.

🦩 Miami win again: Lionel Messi returned to the lineup as Inter Miami defeated D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday, extending their unbeaten run in MLS to nine.

🇮🇹 Fagioli’s return: Juventus’ Nicolo Fagioli is back in the squad for the first time in seven months following his suspension for gambling.

🇩🇪 Leverkusen’s unbeaten run: After becoming the first Bundesliga team to go unbeaten for a whole season, it’s worth asking: Will Bayer Leverkusen have the best-ever season if they finish the campaign undefeated in all competitions?

💰  The Back Line

💵 Best bets

  • Serie A: Bologna vs. Juventus, Monday, 2:45 p.m.
    💰 THE PICK: Dusan Vlahovic to score (+200)
    — The final Serie A game of the weekend comes with its own managerial storylines, especially after Juventus abruptly fired Massimiliano Allegri last week. His likely successor, Thiago Motta, will be on the touchline for Bologna after he led them to clinch a Champions League berth for the first time since 1965, which could provide incentive for some Juventus players to impress as the season comes to a close. It’s hard to say whether or not Juventus will be at their best with little left to play for this season, but if they come out in a big way on Monday, expect lead goalscorer Dusan Vlahovic to play a big part in the midst of a 16 goal season.

📺 What’s on CBS Sports Golazo Network

☀️ Morning Footy (Weekdays 8-10 a.m.): Hosts Susannah Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerreros help fans get their day started on the network’s flagship morning show with highlights, interviews and the biggest soccer storylines. Morning Footy is also available in podcast form, so you’ll never have to miss an episode.

📦 Box 2 Box (Weekday afternoons): The news-driven show quickly recaps all the latest headlines from around the world with panelists previewing the top matchups of the day. Catch Box 2 Box on CBS Sports Golazo Network on the CBS Sports app, PlutoTV and Paramount+. 

3️⃣ Attacking Third (Monday, Thursday): The leading women’s soccer podcast and social brand is now a live studio show. The NWSL season is back and our coverage of the women’s game is stronger than ever. Our analysts will be breaking down the USWNT, NWSL and European domestic season all year long.

👟 Kickin’ It (Tuesdays): CBS Sports Golazo Network’s unfiltered interview show releases Tuesday. Hosted by Kate Abdo, Clint Dempsey, Mo Edu and Charlie Davies, the group chat candidly with the biggest names from the Beautiful Game and share their stories from on and off the pitch. 

Call it What You Want (Monday night): A weekly podcast where Jimmy Conrad, Jesse Marsch and Charlie Davies cover all things USMNT and the state of the beautiful game in the United States.

🥅 Scoreline (Daily): Scoreline is the newest place for fans to catch up on all the biggest news and results impacting global football, match highlights from the top soccer competitions and all the can’t-miss goals from the day’s action, starting Thursday and airing seven days a week.

📺 How to watch: CBS Sports Golazo Network is a free 24/7 channel exclusively dedicated to offering unparalleled coverage of all the top soccer competitions worldwide. You can stream for free on the CBS Sports appPluto TV and Paramount+.

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