Thrilling Man City wins the Premier League with an epic come-back!

It was 22nd May. It was the conclusion of the 10-month-long fought war for the coveted Premier League title. It was the final day showdown at the Etihad Stadium. A point separated Manchester City and their deadly rivals Liverpool. The competitors were having their own match at Anfield, a den where they had never lost in the past few years. The City had no option but to win. Against them stood a determined Aston Villa with their general Steven Gerrard, looking all set to help Liverpool lift the title. Whistle blew. Seventy minutes later, tranquillity surrounded the once cheerful Etihad.

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They were down 0-2 against a side they had to beat today. There was silence, anguish, and fear. Tears were flowing out. City was about to bottle it again. Then came a hero in shining armour. Wearing number ‘8’ on his back and bearing the name of ‘Gundogan’, the player set Aston Villa ablaze as City made one of the most dramatic comebacks ever.

Before the fated match, theories were spreading about how Steven Gerrard and Phillipe Coutinho, ex-Anfielders, could rescue Liverpool to the title. Cityzens saw their worst nightmare come to life at their beloved Etihad.

37 minutes into the first half, Matty Cash plunged in a silent header to start the anguish for Cityzens. Out there at Anfield, their rivals were already drawing against the Wolves thanks to outstanding efforts by Pedro Neto and a staggering response by Sadio Mane.

The First Half ended. Cityzens were petrified. Their team was down 0-1, and their rivals were still in the game with a 1-1. Knowing how pressuring Anfield can be, Cityzens knew Wolves couldn’t hold out much longer. Their team had to do something.

The match resumed and brought in a load of chances. But City, being City, missed all of them. Guardiola replaced Bernardo Silva with Ilkay Gundogan, completely unknown to the fact that what a butterfly effect it would cause. It was at the 68th minute when the theories hit the target. Coutinho banged in a low-blow to Man City. It was looking promising for Liverpool now. Their favourite boys, Gerrard and Coutinho, were really keeping City at bay. It was all up to Liverpool now. City would have been hoping that Wolves somehow draw against the Reds, but 10 minutes before Coutinho struck, Jurgen Klopp put in his trump card. Mo Salah was out there at Anfield. With a 2-0 deficit and rival’s ace out there, Cityzens knew they were wrecked completely.

Melancholy dawned upon the Etihad. Sky Blues were crushed deep down in the ground. Fate turned its face away. There was darkness everywhere. Even General Guardiola looked despondent. Then came a ray of hope. A ray so strong that it shattered the very remains of doubt and despair. In the 76th minute, Ilkay Gundogan made a subtle run into the box right at the end of Raheem Sterling’s cross and rattled it into the goal with a thumping header. Cityzen’s eyes lit up. There was hope.

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Two minutes later, Zinchenko battled his way out of a heavily guarded Villa low-block to pass the ball to Rodri. The midfielder wasn’t enjoying his best game on the day, but he had a chance for redemption. Rodri grabbed the opportunity with both the hands, as he slotted in an accurate grounder to a tight bottom right corner. City was back in the game. The pandemonium was broken through with a roar of cheers. Etihad was jubilant. Things were back to square one. City believed they still had a chance.

The clock ticked to the 81st minute. Joao Cancelo sent out a long grounder to Gabriel Jesus, only for it to be interrupted by Tyrone Mings’ last-ditch interception. But before Mings had a chance to control the ball, the predatorial eyes of Kevin De Bruyne sensed a massive opportunity. The Apex predator of Manchester City swooped the ball and cleared his way out from three defenders. His eyes met Gundogan’s, and the message was sent. ‘GO FOR THE GLORY!’. De Bruyne utilised his passing ability to the fullest as he laid out a mischievous pass to the German, which fooled the GK, as a shot off the target. Meanwhile, Gundogan made another quiet run to the front, just in time to direct De Bruyne’s pass into the goal, while the unsuspecting Olsen kept looking.

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THE CITY WAS IN THE LEAD!! The commentators went on, “From the brink of despair to the absolute elation, from catastrophe to cackling joy. The stuff of the Champions”. Ten years ago on the very same occasion, in the very same situation, City produced an incredible comeback which was finished by an evergreen “AGUEROOOOOOOO….”. Ilkay Gundogan had his ‘Aguero’ moment. Etihad was roaring. A few minutes later, Mo Salah scored against the Wolves, giving the lead to the Reds, but the goal came a bit too late. City was already on the top, and with the momentum they had, they couldn’t let it go no matter what. Guardiola used all the tricks in his book, including the dirty ones, to ensure City didn’t go down.
And they didn’t. Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City had now won 4 out of the last five Premier League titles. The fans ran down to hug their heroes. Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan achieved a god-like status. England was blue now. The defending Champions successfully defended their title against a vicious Liverpool.

What captivated the fans worldwide would be how City won their title in a similar fashion they did ten years ago. It was a perfect farewell for their captain Fernandinho. Who knows even Sergio Aguero might have been watching this match and was moved to tears of joy, watching his team conquer England the same way he did! Stay Tuned with The Sportsway for more such comebacks!

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