Manchester City successfully defended their Premier League title in a historic 3-2 comeback against Aston Villa.
If you watched the final Premier League day between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers ten years ago; this match followed a similar pattern. The club reacted perfectly after being put in this position yet again with their reaction describing their joy at the events that unfolded.
Matty Cash puts Villa ahead, Coutinho doubles the lead, then drama unfolds as Pep Guardiola sums it up perfectly, “we were close to losing the Premier League today, we were closer to losing than winning.” He sometimes gets the back lash for his substitutions in big games but today he got it right, as all of them made an instant impact.
Even the league’s player of the season Kevin De Bruyne admits IIkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko changed the game. Even the other sub, Raheem Sterling, played a big part in the comeback, supplying the cross for the first goal.
This was a game City had to win, and were expected to, but it certainly looked far from being won after 75 minutes and two goals down. They responded swiftly hitting three goals in 5 minutes, and maybe they learned a thing or two when they choked in UCL against Madrid, which Guardiola joked about saying “I called Real Madrid and they gave me a good advice.” The events that unfolded in the Spanish capital may have gave them that extra motivation to prevent a trophy-less season.
Yes, indeed the outgoing skipper Fernandinho said they looked way motivated in the second half than first and the belief and character was there too “This is the ManCity spirit, you never give up, believe until the end. It happened 10 years ago, today was a bit different, but the result is the same.” He said.
It was also emotional for some players, take Zinchenko a Ukrainian left back and you do not need reminders of what was going on back at home “It’s unforgettable for me, for all Ukrainians which are starving, surviving in my country because of Russian aggression. I’m so proud to be Ukrainian. I’d love to bring this PL title to Ukraine-they deserve it.”
But for Jack Grealish it was tears of joy as he won the title against his former side, “I ran straight down the tunnel crying my eyes out, you know when you were a kid you always dream of playing in the Premier League and to win it.” He said.
In a day filled with emotions, Guardiola confirmed the win was for the 22 victims who died during the Manchester Arena attack five years ago. He said “we want to dedicate this PL title to the 22 people who were killed in the Manchester bombing.”
A fitting tribute to the lives lost in the attack, giving the trophy to the people of Manchester.