Pep Guardiola described his Manchester City players as “legends” after they staged an astonishing fightback to beat Aston Villa and deny Liverpool the Premier League title.
City are champions once more, taking the crown for the fourth time in five seasons, with Sunday’s 3-2 win against Villa giving the season a remarkable finish.
They had trailed 2-0 going into the final 15 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, but substitute Ilkay Gundogan scored twice, either side of Rodri’s low strike, to turn the match around.
Liverpool, a point behind City, were 3-1 winners against Wolves at Anfield but had to settle for second place.
Guardiola acclaimed City’s triumph as the best of his six years in Manchester, given they wrapped it up in such dramatic fashion and in front of a packed home stadium.
“Wow, we, these guys, are legends,” Guardiola told Sky Sports.
“When you win in this country the Premier League four times in five years, it’s because these guys are so, so special.
“We’ll be remembered. The first time, 100 points, we won with a lot of margin; the second one was in Brighton, not in home; the third last season without people; wow, winning at home with our people is the best.”
Teams with the best goal difference within a season in Premier League history:
Man City (2017-18): +79
Man City (2021-22): +73
Man City (2018-19): +72
Chelsea (2009-10): +71
Liverpool (2021-22): +68
— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) May 22, 2022
Last season’s title was clinched when Manchester United lost to Leicester City, with City not in action. It was a different story this time, as City fans flooded the pitch to celebrate after victory was secured.
“The moment we scored, and after we equalised, we had the feeling we would have chance to score the [winning] goal,” said Guardiola.
“What it means to me is that the magnitude of the achievement is related to the magnitude of the rival, and I’ve never seen a team like Liverpool in my life.
“Big congratulations, they help us to be a better team season by season.”
Campeones campeones , I love you @ManCity
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) May 22, 2022
Guardiola said his team were aware that Sunday marked the five-year anniversary of the Manchester Arena bomb attack, when 22 people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated a device as fans left an Ariane Grande concert.
“Of course today is special. It’s the fifth anniversary for the arena in Manchester, the 22 people that were killed,” said Guardiola. “Today was special for our people. We talked about that and the guys did it.”
Asked whether he would commit to a new contract, Guardiola said he had other plans for the coming days.
“Now golf,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.
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