Man City retained the title after a great comeback



Manchester City made a sensational 2-0 comeback to retain the Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Need to win to make sure Liverpool stop, City were in danger of blowing it up as Matty Cash and former Reds star Philippe Coutinho hit Etihad Stadium.

Yet Pep Guardiola’s side showed up to rally all their champion quality, with Ilke Gundogan getting off the bench and scoring twice on both sides of the great Rodri strike with a remarkable five-minute spell.

City knew that second-placed Liverpool, just one point behind, could overtake them with a win over the Wolves, and there was a time in the afternoon when they were sitting on their nerves.

There were some signs of excitement to follow as the game started in a fun and exciting environment.

City fans gave their team a rousing welcome outside the stadium, and the festivities seemed to be almost over as news of Wolves’ first goal filtered.

City made up the bulk of the early runs but Villa, whom referee Michael Oliver warned early on wasted time, got into the game and took a shock lead eight minutes before the break.

Lucas Digne, the former Everton full-back, cleared down from the left and a great cross from the byline. Cash, running from the opposite direction, could not keep out the Ederson that filled it with a strong title.

The mood has changed as Liverpool are now level against the Wolves. The city looked stunned and suddenly unprotected.

Fernandinho looked particularly shaky as Oli Watkins threatened twice, first a shot was blocked and then denied by a back-tracking Stones.

The gap came at a good time for City and it should come as no surprise that Fernandinho did not return in the second half. Alexander Jinchenko took his place and the back line was reshaped.

City speeded up and Gabriel Jesus should have equalized when Joao Cancello was picked up in the back post but in the volley over.

Kevin de Bruyne came close with a skinny free-kick but was caught out by City Robin Olsen’s long clearance upfield, which led to Watkins Coutinho.

The Brazilians’ first touch was on the fine and completely wrong-legged Imeric Laporte, exposing Ederson in a nearby post. Coutinho calms her down and finds the corner below.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard did more than just do his job for the former club Liverpool and it was now a serious test of City’s metal, but they rallied.

Substitute Rahim Sterling and Gundogan put one back in the 6th minute. Germany had a free header in the back post after being picked by Sterling and made no mistake.

City came under pressure again and leveled a moment later as Jinchenko picked up Rodrigo at the edge of the area and the Spaniard stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

With Gundogan there was more to getting back to the right place because De Bruyne had a good ball.

The comeback was complete and, although a parity with Villa could change the picture again, it never seemed to happen as City celebrated another league crown.

© AAP

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.