Manchester City retain Premier League title after dramatic comeback

(Football news) Manchester City came from two goals down to defeat Aston Villa 3-2 on the final day of the 2021/2022 Premier League season, thereby retaining the league trophy once again. With Liverpool comfortably defeating Wolves 3-1, nothing but three points would have sufficed for City, who turned their situation around dramatically with three goals in five minutes to seal the win. At one moment during the match, it looked extremely unlikely for Pep Guardiola’s team to secure the three points as Philippe Coutinho added to Matthew Cash’s opener with manager Steven Gerrard looking to do his boyhood club a big favour. 

City manager Pep Guardiola made two changes to the team that started against West Ham with John Stones returning at right-back, Joao Cancelo moving to the left and Phil Foden replacing Jack Grealish at the middle of the park. As for Villa, Steven Gerrard made two changes as Robert Olsen made his Villa debut in goal and Phillipe Coutinho replaced Carney Chukwuemeka. The hosts could only manage a single shot on target in the first half despite having the bulk of possession as nerves were getting the better of them and were punished by Cash, who capitalised on Lucas Digne’s cross from the left flank to find the back of the net.

With the Etihad Stadium anxiously waiting for the equaliser, Guardiola introduced Oleksandr Zinchenko for Fernandinho and the substitution paid dividends with City looking more fluid in attack. Just when the hosts looked like they were getting the momentum, Villa struck again through Coutinho whose excellent finish went past Ederson and into the bottom left corner. However, Gundogan scored the opening goal for City in the 76th minute with a towering header followed by Rodri finding the back of the net just two minutes later to draw level. For the third goal, Kevin De Bruyne found space on the right wing and his low cross found Gundogan who tapped it into the back of the net, resulting in wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.

Speaking after the match, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said “The moment we found a goal it changed everything. We are playing in unusual circumstances but you have to handle it. Gundogan is the best inside runner we have. We were arriving down the sides and we needed a player with the sense of tempo in the box and he's the best. We are legends. When you win the Premier League four times in five seasons it's because these guys are so, so special. We will be remembered. The first title we won with lots of margin, then at Brighton, then winning at home without fans and now with people, it's the best. The magnitude of your achievement is defined by the magnitude of your rival. I've never seen a team like Liverpool. I know it's tough but a huge congratulations to them. They help us to be a better team." 

Also read: Serie A: AC Milan win their first Scudetto since 2011


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