Manchester City defended their Premier League title in the most dramatic fashion as they came from behind to beat Aston Villa by 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. It was only fitting that Ilkay Gundogan, who was Pep Guardiola’s first signing at City, came off the bench and scored twice to script a remarkable turnaround.
As soon as the final whistle blew, fans stormed the ground with banners and flares, and some even took the net cuttings home as a souvenir.
This was City’s fourth title in the last five seasons, and also the second instance of winning it by the slimmest margins. They sealed the title with 93 points in 38 games, and scored 99 goals in the process. Liverpool, despite their 3-1 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers, agonisingly finished only a point short.
City also surpassed Chelsea’s record of five Premier League titles, and are now only behind their local rivals Manchester United in the all-time PL tally.
Gundogan’s match-winning goal took fans down memory lane, when Sergio Aguero’s goal sealed their title ten years ago in 2011-12.
“Take your Aguero moment and Stick it in your memory box!” wrote Rob Smyth for The Guardian after Gundogan’s second goal. Aguero himself congratulated the team on Twitter: “Campeones campeones , I love you
On the other hand, Liverpool did their part of the bargain, but were let down by Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa, who couldn’t hold on to their 2-0 lead. They remained ahead till the 75th minute, thanks to efforts from Matty Cash and former Scouser Philippe Coutinho.
Even when Liverpool was down 1-0, Anfield was buzzing, thanks to City’s scoreline. But the men in sky blue avoided a repeat of their choking antics against Real Madrid in the recent UEFA Champions League semi-final, and scored three without response, to defend their PL crown.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment of the game came in the 84th minute, when Mohamed Salah’s strike put them ahead. While Salah was celebrating his goal, a spectator stood still with three fingers raised on the right and two on the left, signifying the scoreline at Etihad. Andy Robertson soon made it 3-1, but the goal they yearned for the most never came.
Liverpool’s quadruple dreams are now over, but they still have a chance to end the season on a high, when they meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp’s men have already won two domestic trophies at home this season and are still in the running for a continental treble.
Here’s how netizens reacted to a thrilling matchday that culminated with Manchester City’s sixth Premier League title:
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Manchester City
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