MANCHESTER: Manchester City clinched a sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons on Sunday by scoring three times in five minutes as it came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the finale and hold off Liverpool’s challenge.
After starting the day in first place, City was at risk of an historic choke when it conceded twice to trail 0-2 Villa at the Etihad Stadium. Super substitute Ilkay Gundogan’s header began the comeback in the 76th minute and Rodri equalised two minutes later by placing the ball through a tight gap into the bottom left corner.
The home fans erupted in celebrations in the 81st minute when Gundogan tapped in Kevin De Bruyne’s cross. The importance of that goal became clearer moments later. Liverpool had been locked at 1-1 against Wolverhampton
Wanderers (Wolves) at Anfield, but Mohamed Salah then put the second-placed team 2-1 in front in the 84th minute.
That scoreline would have taken Liverpool into first place had City not just mounted its fightback to take the lead. The jeopardy was still there — with Andy Robertson sealing Liverpool’s 3-1 win — while City would have given away the title had it conceded a late equalise.
City’s fourth championship success in five seasons produced a first for Guardiola. It’s the first time City has sealed the title in front of its own fans, who spilled onto the field in their thousands at the final whistle.
“It was an unbelievable game,” match-changer Gundogan said. “We are human beings and, after going 0-2 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. We were able to score three goals in just a few minutes. These are the days you look back to, it was an unbelievable game,” added Gundogan.
Tottenham Hotspur comfortably secured the fourth Champions League spot with a 5-0 win at relegated Norwich City while North London rival Arsenal had to settle for the fifth position despite crushing Everton 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
Burnley was relegated after it lost 1-2 at home to Newcastle United while Leeds United secured survival with a 2-1 victory at Brentford.