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Man City win title after thrilling fightback

Published on: 22 May 2022

Ilkay Gundogan scored twice as Manchester City - 2-0 down with 14 minutes left - came back to win

Manchester City staged a stunning late comeback with three goals in five minutes to beat Aston Villa and win the Premier League as their title chances looked to be slipping away amid dramatic scenes at Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola's side needed victory to secure their fourth title in five seasons but were facing the prospect of ending the season empty-handed as goals either side of the interval from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho put Villa 2-0 ahead and in control.

It looked as if Villa manager Steven Gerrard might help his former club Liverpool secure the title - until City turned the game on its head in at atmosphere bordering on hysteria.

Ilkay Gundogan, on as a substitute for Bernardo Silva, gave City hope with a far-post header in the 76th minute, and Etihad Stadium was a wall of noise when Rodri drove a low finish past Villa keeper Robin Olsen two minutes later.

The title-winning recovery was complete with nine minutes left as Gundogan once again arrived at the far post to put City in front, the decisive contribution on this nerve-shredding final day.

City did need those three points as Liverpool beat Wolverhampton Wanderers - with City boss Guardiola overcome with emotion and breaking down in tears at the final whistle.

Man City show the grit and class of champions

When Coutinho slid in Villa's second goal, it looked as if the most unpalatable of storylines was being written for Manchester City.

The notion of this supremely talented side ending the season with nothing was in clear view as City knew they had 21 minutes to score three times.

The headlines were being written in large type with Gerrard, who never won the Premier League title during his long career at Liverpool, directing the trophy to Anfield in another guise, helped by his former Anfield team-mate Coutinho.

And then, in one of the most dramatic twists of any Premier League title race, City knocked down the door that had been firmly slammed in their face by a supremely well-organised Villa.

Philippe Coutinho's goal briefly gave his former side Liverpool hope in the title race

City looked crestfallen but showed their class and character once Gundogan gave them hope with that header, scenting their chance, even though some of their fans still feared this might only be a consolation.

Rodri's equaliser was the transformative moment, a sense of inevitability sweeping around as fevered stadium, with a mixture of disbelief and elation the result of Gundogan slid home the third.

Villa did not know what had hit them and had no response, supporters flooding on to the pitch when referee Michael Oliver sounded the final whistle in a deafening din.

Manchester City have had their character questioned this season, especially when they let the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid slip from their grasp, but there can be no more doubts after this.

The manner in which they turned this game around with the title - and their entire season - on the line was the perfect answer. They were heading towards the most bitter disappointment but transformed this day into one they and their supporters will remember forever.

It was little wonder Guardiola broke down at the conclusion of a truly remarkable afternoon.

More to follow.

Follow all the final day action live!

Player of the match

Philippe CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho

with an average of 8.07

    Man CityManchester CityManchester CityAston VillaAston VillaAston Villa

Manchester CityAvgSquad number8Player nameGündoganAverage rating

7.23

Squad number11Player nameZinchenkoAverage rating

5.88

Squad number7Player nameSterlingAverage rating

5.76

Squad number17Player nameDe BruyneAverage rating

5.74

Squad number47Player nameFodenAverage rating

5.32

Squad number16Player nameRodriAverage rating

5.19

Squad number9Player nameGabriel JesusAverage rating

5.01

Squad number20Player nameBernardo SilvaAverage rating

5.00

Squad number31Player nameEdersonAverage rating

4.97

Squad number5Player nameStonesAverage rating

4.97

Squad number27Player nameJoão CanceloAverage rating

4.96

Squad number26Player nameMahrezAverage rating

4.93

Squad number25Player nameFernandinhoAverage rating

4.92

Squad number14Player nameLaporteAverage rating

4.80

Aston VillaAvgSquad number23Player namePhilippe CoutinhoAverage rating

8.07

Squad number2Player nameCashAverage rating

7.81

Squad number7Player nameMcGinnAverage rating

7.77

Squad number27Player nameDigneAverage rating

7.61

Squad number11Player nameWatkinsAverage rating

7.57

Squad number16Player nameChambersAverage rating

7.50

Squad number41Player nameJ RamseyAverage rating

7.50

Squad number10Player nameBuendíaAverage rating

7.46

Squad number6Player nameDouglas LuizAverage rating

7.43

Squad number5Player nameMingsAverage rating

7.40

Squad number25Player nameOlsenAverage rating

7.20

Squad number19Player nameNakambaAverage rating

6.47

Squad number20Player nameIngsAverage rating

6.28

Squad number18Player nameYoungAverage rating

5.97

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsMan City

Formation 4-3-3

31Ederson5Stones25Fernandinho14Laporte27Cancelo17De Bruyne16Rodri20Bernardo Silva26Mahrez9Gabriel Jesus47Foden

    31Ederson5Stones25FernandinhoSubstituted forZinchenkoat 45'minutes14Laporte27Cancelo17De Bruyne16Rodri20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forGündoganat 68'minutes26MahrezSubstituted forSterlingat 56'minutes9Gabriel Jesus47Foden

Substitutes

    2Walker6Aké7Sterling8Gündogan10Grealish11Zinchenko33Carson80Palmer87McAtee

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-2-1

25Olsen2Cash16Chambers5Mings27Digne7McGinn6Douglas Luiz41J Ramsey10Buendía23Coutinho11Watkins

    25Olsen2Cash16Chambers5MingsBooked at 49mins27Digne7McGinn6Douglas Luiz41J RamseySubstituted forIngsat 83'minutes10BuendíaSubstituted forYoungat 88'minutes23CoutinhoSubstituted forNakambaat 72'minutesBooked at 87mins11Watkins

Substitutes

    8Sanson15Traoré18Young19Nakamba20Ings33Chukwuemeka38Sinisalo45Chrisene47Iroegbunam

Referee:Michael OliverAttendance:53,395Match StatsHome TeamMan CityAway TeamAston VillaPossessionHome71%Away29%ShotsHome24Away4Shots on TargetHome5Away2CornersHome13Away1FoulsHome5Away11Live TextPost update

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2.

90'+3'Post update

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Matthew Cash.

90'+1'Post update

Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90'+1'Post update

Foul by Ashley Young (Aston Villa).

89'Post update

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89'Post update

Foul by Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa).

88'Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Young replaces Emiliano Buendía.

87'Booking

Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

86'Post update

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

86'Post update

Foul by Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa).

86'Post update

Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86'Post update

Foul by John McGinn (Aston Villa).

85'Post update

Foul by Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City).

85'Post update

John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

83'Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Danny Ings replaces Jacob Ramsey.

81'goalGoal!

Goal! Manchester City 3, Aston Villa 2. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

80'Post update

Attempt missed. Rodri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by João Cancelo.

78'goalGoal!

Goal! Manchester City 2, Aston Villa 2. Rodri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

77'Post update

Attempt saved. John Stones (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross.

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Source: bbc.com

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