Man City seemed to be in a difficult situation on the final day before pulling off a stunning return from the brink to win the Premier League title with a thrilling victory over Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola sobbed as he watched Manchester City pull off a stunning comeback to win the Premier League title.
The Catalan couldn’t hold back tears as he hugged his assistant Juanma Lillo on the touchline following a tumultuous day at the Etihad Stadium, watching his team battle back from the brink to claim their fourth trophy in his sixth season at the club.
After winning his 10th league title in just 13 seasons as a manager, the 51-year-old is now considered one of the finest managers in the game’s history. After a day of drama in the top flight, it was far from a routine victory.
Guardiola was in pain as his team fell down 2-0 against Aston Villa at home with only 22 minutes remaining in regular time, as Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho scored either side of the half.
The champs, though, kept their nerve, with Ilkay Gundogan equalizing on 68 minutes.
A Rodri then leveled the score at 2-2, but a Liverpool goal would have put the Reds top of the table as they drew 1-1 with Wolves at Anfield.
But, with a low cross from Kevin De Bruyne, Gundogan slipped home to score his second goal and make it 3-2, clinching the championship for City.
Liverpool finally triumphed 3-1 courtesy of late goals from Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson, but City celebrated wildly on the touchline after the final whistle.
Guardiola called Manchester City’s thrilling Premier League title success “the finest ever” after they came back from two goals down to beat Aston Villa, and he pledged to celebrate with “beer and cigars” after the win. “Today was really fantastic.” Guardiola said.
“We’ll celebrate tomorrow with cigars and beer. Don’t worry, I’ll bring my cigarettes! Wow! We’ve made history. When you win four times in five years, it’s because these players are so excellent.”
Gundogan, City’s title-winning hero who may leave on a free transfer this summer, said that their “unbelievable” performance was implausible when they fell down 2-0.
“It was incredible. To be honest, the odds were slim after falling down 2-0, “admitted the German.
Simple tasks had to be completed in the most efficient manner feasible. It was a more unpleasant than pleasant experience.
It was all about getting that goal, and we knew we’d be able to score three goals if we did. These are the days that will be remembered.”
Gundogan also thanked Liverpool for bringing them all the way and expressed optimism that they will challenge for the championship again next season:
“If Liverpool were not there and played the way they do, I don’t think the league would be as appealing.
We pushed each other to the maximum during their wonderful season.
Even though it is a sad day for them, we must honor what they have accomplished. Next season, we’re looking forward to fighting against them.”
As the victory celebrations began, Guardiola hailed his team as “legends” and raised the trophy with his title-winning heroes inside a loud Eithad Stadium.
With players like Fernandinho playing their final game and Gundogan perhaps departing, City manager Pep Guardiola may shed more tears as he says farewell to his long-serving players.