But City needed to win Tottenham on Saturday and hope United lose against West Brom today to be declared winners - and it was so!
The Spain global told MUTV in the wake of a disappointing home reversal against West Brom which gifted the Premier League crown to City: "Second position was not done before the game".
It was already pretty much nailed-on that Manchester City would lift the trophy, but José Mourinho's side was still mathematically in it - until they lost at home to the worst team in the league, that is.
Following the 20-time English champions shock defeat at home, the Portuguese tactician revealed he trusts in his ability to lead sides to Premier League glory but maintained it can not be achieved without consistent efforts from the team.
Mourinho said the there was no continuity or fluidity in the team's play on Sunday, but he said he thought the result was harsh.
Mourinho lambasted his players for over-elaborating in possession, calling them "masters of complication", after they produced a performance completely at odds with the stirring second-half showing in their 3-2 title-delaying victory against City last week.
Guardiola might not have seen Jay Rodriguez's 73rd-minute winning goal at Old Trafford because he was due to be playing golf with his son instead of watching the match.
An 18-match winning run from late-August to late-December laid the platform for the runaway title victory, and it was only a matter of when it would be clinched. "I don't know if I was the first or second or third but I congratulated them face to face when I had the chance", Mourinho said.
United had beaten City in a stunning comeback during the derby, denying them the title, but denied that win was the most important win of the season.
Mourinho insisted the title was not lost with defeat to West Brom at Old Trafford on Sunday, calling City "deserved" champions because they only lost two games all season. This league title is for you too!
"We couldn't play fast, we couldn't think fast, everything was complicated, " he said.
This title won by the City would be the fifth in the history of the team.
Four days on from reaching the Champions League last four for the first time in a decade, Liverpool moved ever closer to sealing their place back in the competition next season with a top-four finish thanks to a routine 3-0 win over Bournemouth.