Club football played second fiddle to the World Cup in 2018 and that was probably just as well given its utter predictability. Four of the five major European domestic leagues, which concentrate nearly all the top players and most of the sport’s wealth, turned into one-horse races in the latest demonstration of the growing gulf between the biggest clubs and the rest. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City wrapped up the English Premier League with five games left, eventually amassing a record 100 points to finish 19 points clear. The many records they set in the process included the most consecutive Premier League wins (18), the most goals scored (106), the best goal difference (79) and the most passes in a Premier League game (902). There was no denying the quality of the football, arguably the best yet played in the Premier League, yet the contest itself was effectively over by Christmas. In Spain, Barcelona won La Liga for the third time in four seasons with a 14-point advantage and 99 ...

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