Manchester City retained their Premier League title and finally ended Liverpool’s magnificent challenge after surviving a scare to come from behind and outclass Brighton at the Amex.
And when Glenn Murray gave the Seagulls the lead with a glancing header from a corner after 27 minutes, anxiety rose in Sussex and hopes rose at Anfield that Liverpool might win their first title in 29 years.
Manchester City’s response was instant, emphatic and ruthless as they swept Brighton aside to end the campaign with a record 14 successive league victories, making it 32 in all, which equals the record they set last season.
Sergio Aguero pounced in the area to equalise inside 83 seconds and Aymeric Laporte arrived unmarked on the end of a corner to put City ahead before half-time.
Brighton had no way back and City completed the formalities in spectacular style as Riyad Mahrez fired high past Mat Ryan just after the hour and Ilkay Gundogan’s spectacular 72nd-minute free-kick sparked wild celebrations.
They will now aim to complete a unique domestic treble when they face Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley on 18 May.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s bid for a first Premier League title and a first top-flight triumph in 29 years ended in failure despite a final-day victory over Wolves.
Sadio Mane scored from close range after 17 minutes and again after 81 to join Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the Premier League’s top scorer on 22 goals.
Liverpool keeper Alisson was confirmed as the Golden Glove winner with 21 clean sheets.
Finally, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal beat Burnley at Turf Moor, but the Gunners failed to finish in the top four for the third successive season.
Unai Emery’s side secured fifth place meaning they go straight into the Europa League group stage next season.
And they can still qualify for the Champions League if they beat Chelsea in the Europa League final on 29 May in Baku.
Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick on Thursday as Arsenal beat Valencia in the Europa League semi-finals, finished the season with 22 league goals.
That saw him tie for the Premier League Golden Boot with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Ben Mee gifted Aubameyang his first, miscontrolling a pass from Jack Cork to allow the Gabon striker to run in and slot past Tom Heaton on 52 minutes.
He then lashed in a volley from close range 11 minutes later and should have had a hat-trick, but with the goal at his mercy, he poked wide.
Burnley, who had already secured a fourth straight season in the Premier League, pulled one back as Ashley Barnes met Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s pass with a glancing header.
Arsenal’s 19-year-old forward Eddie Nketiah added a third with the last play of the game in the 95th minute as he poked the ball through Heaton’s legs.