Manchester City make an impressive comeback to take the English Premier League title on a dramatic final day


Manchester City make an impressive comeback to take the English Premier League title on a dramatic final day

The hosts knew a win on the final day would guarantee the title and, despite being 2-0 down, scored three goals in five minutes of the second half to send the Etihad Stadium into delirium.

The fans, many with their heads in their hands for most of the match, took to the pitch to celebrate winning an unrivaled title race.

As the players rushed to the tunnel, City fans danced on the field and even broke one of the goals when a chilling rendition of the club’s famous anthem, Blue Moon, filled the air.

Eventually, stewards ushered people off the pitch, allowing the City players to reappear and parade the trophy in front of an admiring, if not exhausted, crowd.

City’s Ukrainian defender Oleksandr Zinchenko was particularly emotional on the lap of honour. The 25-year-old was in tears as he wrapped the trophy in his country’s flag in tribute to the victims of the war.

Gundogan celebrates after scoring his team's third goal.

As the season drew to a close, City manager Pep Guardiola said: “The hardest serve in tennis is the one you have to serve to become a champion.”

It was an analogy that couldn’t have been more fitting on a rollercoaster afternoon in Manchester.

Goals from Matty Cash and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho seemed to have stolen the title from City, but Guardiola has assembled a very special side.

While many teams have collapsed under the pressure, City kept up the pressure and were rewarded – with two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri securing their fourth league title in five years.

This performance is made all the more impressive by the quality of Liverpool, who have fought tooth and nail against City all season. His win against Wolves on Sunday proved academic in the end.

City’s victory comes 10 years after Sergio Aguero opened the floodgates to a decade of success at Manchester City when he scored a last-minute goal on the final day of the season to secure his side the league title.

And barring a goal in the closing seconds, that title win was almost as dramatic, with fans feeling the full spectrum of emotions.

“We are legends,” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the stunning match. “If you win the Premier League four times in five seasons in this country, it’s because these guys are so special. We will be remembered.”

Kevin De Bruyne faces mobbing from Manchester City fans after the club won the Premier League.

A set of emotions

The fans seemed confident their side would repeat that success before filling the air outside the stadium with chants of Liverpool defeat and City winning the title

There was also a party atmosphere as DJs encouraged fans to sing Oasis songs as they made their way to their seats.

But once the game started, the excitement turned to jitters as the home fans got excited every time Aston Villa enjoyed a moment of possession.

The fear temporarily subsided as news that Liverpool had fallen behind against Wolves resonated on the ground, but grew again as City, particularly Gabriel Jesus, missed some early chances and Liverpool leveled.

The frustration turned to anger as Villa took a two-goal lead, leading many in blue to look to heaven for some sort of intervention.

The title that so many expected City to win eluded him.

But it’s not like this City side is going down without a fight, and they’ve taken matters into their own hands.

Faith grew after Gundogan scored the opening goal in the 76th minute and Rodri leveled in the blink of an eye. With the fans still celebrating, Gundogan struck again in the 81st round to complete one of the most chaotic periods in Premier League history.

Guardiola and his team celebrate after winning the Premier League.

Gerrard’s mission failed

Sunday’s game had an added element of drama as City’s opponents had certain allegiances to their title rivals.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard is a Liverpool legend but failed to win the league title during his tenure at the club.

He came close, of course, but his infamous slip seven years ago helped his side throw away the title this season.

Fast forward to now, and the script was almost too perfect from a Liverpool perspective.

Gerrard knew he had to take something from the game to help his boyhood club overtake City and prowled the Etihad touchline like a double agent sent from Anfield.

He barked instructions at ex-Liverpool man Coutinho, who tried to probe City’s defense and deliver a gift to his former club.

Gerrard giving instructions to his team during the game against Manchester City.

Gerrard kicked every ball off the touchline as his players fought resolutely against the mounting pressure from City.

Eventually, Villa’s defenses buckled and the floodgates opened.

In truth, City can’t begrudge anyone the title.

While Liverpool produced a rockier style of football, City have consistently blown teams away and displayed a consistency that has rightly crowned them champions of the league once again.

Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur defeated Norwich City 5-0 at Carrow Road to secure fourth place and a spot in next season’s Champions League tournament.
Burnley were relegated after a 2-1 home defeat by Newcastle United.
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