Guardiola’s second half substitutes instrumental to Manchester City’s comeback
With a little less than 15 minutes left to go, it seemed like Manchester City’s Premier League hopes were all but over. Goals by Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho had Aston Villa up 2-0. Manager, and former Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard was on the cusp of helping out his former side.
But Manchester City were not going to be denied as Pep Guardiola’s men mounted an incredible comeback in the final stretch of the game to win 3-2 and finish one point ahead of Liverpool to be crowned Premier League champions.
After a dismal first half, Guardiola made a halftime sub, taking out Fernandinho for Oleksandr Zinchenko. He also brought on Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan. All three of his substitutes were instrumental in the comeback.
Sterling delivered the cross in the 76th minute that was met by Gundogan which brought City back in the match. Only five minutes later, Zinchenko drove through on the left before cutting the ball back to Rodri who skillfully placed the ball into the corner of the net, past the Villa keeper.
Still needing a goal to ensure the title, Kevin de Bruyne did what he does best and sent in a wonderful cross in from the right. It evaded the Villa defenders before it found Gundogan who scored his second of the game, clinching the title for Manchester City.
It was pandemonium as the supporters, players, and City coaching staff all celebrated the goal, knowing they were on their way to another league title.
The final minutes of the game was spent near the corner flag as City players tried their best to win a corner and run out the four minutes of stoppage time.
The final whistle resulted in eruptions of jubilation as fans stormed the pitch, trying to celebrate with the Man City players.
Over in Liverpool, they immediately recognized their 3-1 win over Wolverhampton was not going to be enough to snatch the title away from City.
This title in particular seemed to be a bit of a relief for Guardiola who was in tears once the game was over.
Liverpool took Manchester City down to the final game of the season but in the end, it was City and Guardiola winning their fourth Premier League title in five years.