Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

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

Gabriel Jesus, Robin Olsen Man City v Aston Villa May 2022

Manchester City sensationally fought back from two goals down against Aston Villa to win 3-2 and clinch the Premier League title at Liverpool’s expense.

City led the title race by a point as things stood at the start of play on Sunday’s final day. They were initially boosted by the fact that Wolves took the lead at Anfield.

However, Steven Gerrard’s Villa had other ideas and Matty Cash sent Villa into a shock lead in the first half. Across the M62, Sadio Mane had made it 1-1, but City were still to be champions on goal difference as it stood then.

City came forward, but it was Philippe Coutinho – the former Liverpool man – who made it 2-0 to Villa. And it looked as though Pep Guardiola’s side were done, with Liverpool just needing to score to win the title.

However, the Etihad Stadium witnessed one of its greatest comebacks – Sergio Aguero-esque – to send the fans into raptures. Ilkay Gundogan scored either side of Rodri in a stunning five-minute spell to hand City a fourth title in five years.

City dominated the first half and Joao Cancelo had the first effort with a shot blocked. Fernandinho then played a ball over the top, but Robin Olsen in the Villa goal beat Gabriel Jesus to it.

After a Lucas Digne injury forced a lengthy stoppage, City took their time to get back into their groove.

In typical City style, they forced an overload in the box and almost scored from a neat cross on the byline. However, Digne recovered to get back and make a brilliant tackle.

Foden had the next best chance for City, but after he cut inside his shot trickled agonisingly wide of the left post.

And after Foden snuck in to set Jesus away on a counter-attack, the forward scuffed his shot. But for all City’s dominance, it was Villa who took a shock lead at the Etihad Stadium.

Villa make Man City nervous

Philippe Coutinho, Joao Cancelo Man City v Aston Villa May 2022

Digne got in down the left and put an inviting cross in. No-one followed Cash’s run and his powerful free header beat Ederson.

Man City suddenly looked shaky, with Fernandinho tugging Watkins back after the striker got away.

Watkins did not get a foul, though, and he then missed an opportunity to shoot one-on-one with Ederson as John Stones got back to make the challenge – a crucial moment in the match.

City started the second half on the front foot but could not convert several chances. Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri blazed over and wide, before Stones could not divert a header goalwards.

As the hosts pushed for an equaliser, Watkins should have made it 2-0 on the counter-attack. From an Olsen goal-kick, the striker race through from inside his own half but scuffed his effort – another huge moment.

It looked as if De Bruyne would be able to capitalise on those missed chances with a free-kick, but he fired agonisingly wide.

And it was City who would pay for their missed chances, with Philippe Coutinho sensationally making it 2-0 to Villa.

Watkins headed on a long ball over the top and Coutinho controlled it excellently, before firing past Ederson into the bottom corner.

Stunning Manchester City comeback

Gundogan netted the first on 76 minutes and he was assisted by fellow substitute Raheem Sterling.

Two minutes later, Rodri found space on the edge of the Villa area and fired precisely into the bottom left corner.

If that sent the Etihad Stadium into raptures, Gundogan’s second goal took it to a new level.

And after it went in, the party started at City’s home. Liverpool eventually recovered to beat Wolves 3-1, but they needed a favour from City and they – in the end – did not get one.

It is therefore four title wins in five years for Guardiola’s side – and the second time they have edged Liverpool out by a point.