MANCHESTER – Three goals in five minutes turned into the final of the season “Manchester City”, when Pep Guardiola’s team won the sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons, beating “Aston Villa” with a score of 3-2 and holding back the challenge of “Liverpool” on Sunday.
After the start of the day from the first place, “City” was threatened with historic suffocation, when he lost twice, losing at home to “Villa” with a score of 2-0.
In the 76th minute Ilkay Gundogan scored with a header, and two minutes later Rodri equalized, scoring the ball through a tight gap in the bottom corner. Celebrations broke out at the Etihad Stadium in 1981 when Gundogan hit Kevin De Braine’s cross.
“It was an incredible game,” Gundogan said. “We are human, and after losing 2-0 the chances were very, very small. But we had to do simple things: to score two goals quickly, and then 10 minutes to score the third, gave us the right blast.
The importance of this goal became clearer in a few minutes. Liverpool were blocked 1-1 against Wolverhampton, but Mohamed Salah then led the team to second place, 2-1 in the 84th minute. That number would have put Liverpool in first place if City hadn’t just set out to fight to get ahead.
The danger remained – Andy Robertson ended Liverpool’s 3-1 victory – while City would have conceded the title if they had conceded a late equalizer.
“City” were in danger – against a low team for which little to play – when Mattie Cash led Villa ahead in the 37th, and former Liverpool star Philippe Cautinho extended the lead in the 69th, causing a shock to City players.
Gundogan arrived from the bench a minute earlier, amid Guardiola’s second-half substitutions that turned the game in City’s favor.
“He came out and changed the whole game,” said City midfielder Phil Foden. “He always knows where the ball will be in and around the penalty area. He is such a smart player. “
City retained the trophy by one point after the 38th and final game, which was more uneasy than expected, given that in January City briefly led by 14 points.
“We are legends,” said Guardiola. “If you win four out of five, it’s because these guys are so special. We will be remembered.”
It was the first time since Guardiola took over in 2016, when City won the title in front of their fans, thousands of whom spilled onto the field after the final whistle against Villa.
Although the case came to an end, it wasn’t as painfully late as 10 years ago when City’s first Premier League title was scored with only goals in extra time at the end of the season at the Etihad.
“It’s the spirit of Man City,” said Captain Fernandinho, who is leaving. “You never give up. You always go to the end. It happened 10 years ago and it happened again.”
Success in 2012 – City’s first championship crown in 44 years with Roberto Mancini as manager – ushered in an era of dominance enjoyed by the club, transformed by an influx of investment from Abu Dhabi.
“City” now enjoys a steady stream of titles that he once had to watch as a rival for the city of United gathers under the leadership of Alex Ferguson. City’s rise coincided with the departure of the Scot, who has won the Premier League 13 times from 1993 to 2013, and the decline of Manchester United.
But while United have a record 20 English titles, City have moved on to just eight, including championship success in 1937 and 1968 long before the Premier League. A sign of how far these rivals are now on the field is “City”, which is ahead of its neighbor, who is in sixth place, by 35 points.
Liverpool is a bigger threat to Guardiola. In the last five seasons, the only time the City hasn’t won a trophy has been Liverpool’s 30-year drought in 2020.
However, it will be another season that will end with City failing to win the biggest prize in European football – the Champions League – while Liverpool will fight in the final against Real Madrid on Saturday.
While Liverpool’s net transfer costs over the past five years have been about $ 250 million, City – more than $ 530 million.
City’s financial strength was not enough to persuade Tottenham to sell Harry Kane before this season, leaving Guardiola to win the title without a known striker. However, City were able to break the British transfer record to sign Jack Grilish for £ 100 million ($ 139 million) and still not bring the midfielder off the bench on Sunday against his former club.
City have already stepped up the attack for next season, signing a contract with Borussia Dortmund to sign Erling Holland for 60 million euros ($ 63 million), adding to the team one of the most exciting young forwards in Europe.
However, human rights activists and less affluent competitors are concerned about the club’s property rights in Abu Dhabi and its actions.
Human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates are silenced by City fans, who largely fail to notice how their club has been used by the state as a soft power tool that uses the glamor of the world’s biggest sport to clean up its image.
City owner Sheikh Mansour has only been spotted at one game in 14 years as the owner. Mansour, who is the UAE’s deputy prime minister, has been condemned by the British government for recently receiving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
City were fined 10 million euros ($ 12 million) in 2020 for obstructing UEFA’s investigation into his finances following a leak of internal correspondence at the club, but the ban on Champions League lifting was lifted.
Although an investigation into the Premier League is underway into City’s behavior, including whether the proceeds have increased overpriced sponsorship deals related to Abu Dhabi, Guardiola has long dismissed concerns about how his team was funded.
“Tomorrow we can celebrate together on the streets of Manchester with cigars and beer,” said the former coach of “Barcelona” and “Bayern” after winning the 10th league title.
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