Manchester City retained the Premier League title in the most dramatic fashion as they hauled themselves back from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 with three goals scored in the final 15 minutes.
City clinched their sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons on Sunday by scoring three times in the final minutes to come from behind to beat Aston Villa.
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Trailing 2-0 to Villa, City’s İlkay Gündoğan began the comeback with a goal in the 76th minute. Rodri equalised two minutes later and Gündoğan put City in front in the 81st minute with a third goal.
It was a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to win and retain the Premier League title.
Needing to win to be assured of holding off rivals and contenders Liverpool, City were in danger of blowing it as Villa’s Matty Cash and struck early with goals at the Etihad Stadium.
City had known that second-placed Liverpool, trailing by just a point, could overtake them with victory over Wolves in their match, and there were times in the afternoon game when City lived on their nerves.
Yet in remarkable final-day drama, City cast off the shackles of a dismal first-half display to turn the game around and render Liverpool’s eventual 3-1 win academic.
Gündoğan told Sky Sports: “It was an unbelievable game. I don’t know what to say, to be honest.”
“We are human beings and after going 2-0 down the chances were just very, very small. But we had to do the simple things and scoring two goals quickly and then having 10 minutes to score the third one gave us the right lift.
“It was about getting that goal and then the momentum was on our side and then we were able to score three goals in just a few minutes. These are the days you look back to; it was an unbelievable game.”
There were few signs of nerves, or the tension to follow, as the game kicked off amid a joyous and raucous atmosphere.
City supporters had given their team a rousing welcome outside the stadium and there was a feeling that celebrations were almost getting under way as news filtered through of an early Wolves goal.
Although it went down to the wire for City, this one came without any of the anguish of 10 years ago when City’s first Premier League title was only clinched in the final minutes of the season.
That success, which produced City’s first championship crown in 44 years – with Roberto Mancini as manager – ushered in the era of dominance enjoyed by a club transformed by the influx of investment from Abu Dhabi.
City is now enjoying the steady stream of titles it once had to watch crosstown rival Manchester United sweep up under Alex Ferguson.
The rise of City has also coincided with the retirement of the Scot – who won the Premier League 13 times from 1993 to 2013 – and the decline of United.
The teams entered the final round on Sunday with City 32 points ahead of United and with Liverpool the greater threat to Pep Guardiola’s side.
In the last five seasons, the only time City didn’t win the trophy was when Liverpool’s 30-year title drought ended in 2020.
But it will be another season ending with City unable to win the biggest prize in European football – the Champions League – while Liverpool will be contesting the final against Real Madrid on May 28.