Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Pep Guardiola title reaction: ‘We are legends’ as Man City boss also pays special tribute to Liverpool after dramatic win

Fernandinho Man City Premier League title celeb

Pep Guardiola claimed his Manchester City team are now ‘legends’ after they claimed another Premier League title in dramatic fashion, while also finding time to praise Liverpool after another fierce title tussle.

City staged a stunning late comeback with three goals in five minutes to beat Aston Villa and claim Premier League glory when, at one point, it looked as if their chances were slipping away.

Guardiola’s side needed victory to secure their fourth title in five seasons. However, they were facing the prospect of ending the season empty-handed as strikes from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho put Villa 2-0 ahead and in control.

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

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

And speaking after the title success, Guardiola told Sky Sports: “The last game is always special, a lot of emotion. Aston Villa gave everything but the first goal changed everything. We had to handle it.

“We are legends. When you win the Premier League in this country four times in five seasons it is because these guys are so, so special. We will be remembered.

Pep knew the tide was turning

“Winning at home in front of our people is the best. The moment we equalised we had the feeling we had the chance to score the third.

“The magnitude of the achievement is related to magnitude of our rival and I have never seen a team like Liverpool in my life. Congatulations to Liverpool – they have made us better and better each week.

“I don’t have the energy or desire to think about next season now. We are champions again.”

Gundogan reflects on incredible win

Asked for his immediate thoughts afterwards, Gundogan, who confessed he did not know the Liverpool result, said on Sky Sports: “It was an unbelievable game. I don’t what to say to be honest.

“We are human beings and after going 2-0 down the chances were just very, very small. But we had to do the simple things and scoring two goals quickly and then having 10 minutes to score the third one gave us the right lift.

“It was about getting that goal and then the momentum was on our side. Then were able to score three goals in just a few minutes. These are the days you look back to, it was an unbelievable game.”

Gundogan also paid tribute to Liverpool – and boss Klopp, whom he worked alongside at Borussia Dortmund – for pushing City to the wire.

“I know it’s tough to say but if Liverpool do not play the way they play, incredible football and successful, I don’t think this league could have been that attractive,” Gundogan added.

“Even though they finished behind us, I think they played an incredible season. We pushed each other to the limits again. Even though it is a sad day for them, we need to appreciate what they have done, especially my former coach who I still like a lot.”

REPORT: Man City sensationally fight back to claim Premier League title in stunning final-day drama