Pep Guardiola: Manchester City become 'legends' with fourth title in five years

City retain Premier League trophy after a remarkable 3-2 win over Aston Villa at Etihad

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Pep Guardiola believes his Manchester City side have earned legend status after securing a fourth Premier League title in five years on Sunday in the most dramatic of fashions.

Leading second-placed Liverpool by one point heading into the final day of the season, City were in serious danger of relinquishing their crown when they trailed Aston Villa 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Substitute Ilkay Gundogan sparked the comeback by heading home Raheem Sterling's cross, before Rodri levelled with a controlled finish two minutes later. Gundogan struck again with nine minutes left when he tapped home Kevin De Bruyne's low cross to complete a stunning fightback and ensure the trophy will remain in Manchester.

Reflecting on his side's remarkable victory, City manager Guardiola said: "The last game is always special, a lot of emotion. Aston Villa gave everything but the first goal changed everything.

"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."

While City celebrate as champions, it was another riveting title battle between two clubs that have separated themselves from the competition. Liverpool may have fallen short in their pursuit of the Premier League, but the Reds still won both domestic trophies and will go for the treble when they take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.

"The magnitude of the achievement is related to magnitude of our rival and I have never seen a team like Liverpool in my life," Guardiola said. "Congratulations to Liverpool - they have made us better and better each week."

Man City v Aston Villa player ratings

As Guardiola receives his 10th league winners' medal as a manager - having won three at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich - Jack Grealish is savouring his first.

Grealish became the most expensive British player in history when he joined City for £100 million ($124.9m) from Aston Villa last summer, and while the England midfielder admitted his first season at City has had its challenges, he believes the league title will help him "kick on" next season and beyond.

"It means everything - when I signed here people were saying to me 'what do you actually want - to win the Champions League or the Premier League?' and for me it was always the Premier League. I've never won it before and I'm so happy," Grealish, 26, said.

"[My first year at City was] harder than I thought. I've enjoyed every minute, I've stepped out of my comfort zone to come here - new changing room, new surroundings, new teammates, it's been difficult, but this today just makes up for all of it.

"I know that I can kick on and I certainly will - I feel like I've played my part in games, the goal last week at West Ham which obviously meant a lot. I can kick on so much more, I know in myself how much of a role I have to play in this football club and I will."

Updated: May 23, 2022, 6:53 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL