The hosts knew a victory on the final day of the season would secure the title, and despite trailing 2-0, scored three goals in five minutes in the second half to send the Etihad Stadium into a state of delirium.
The fans, many of whom were on hand for most of the match, ran onto the field full time to celebrate winning a title race like no other.
As the players ran into the tunnel, City fans danced on the pitch and even smashed a goal as the air filled the air with a stunning performance of the club’s famous anthem, Blue Moon.
Ultimately, the referees drove the people off the field allowing the City players to re-emerge and display the trophy in front of a beloved, if not weary, crowd.
Ukrainian City defender Oleksandr Zinchenko was particularly impressed on the lap of honor. The 25-year-old sobbed as he wrapped the cup with his country’s flag, in honor of those who experienced the war.
With the season coming to a close, City coach Pep Guardiola said that “the hardest serve in tennis is the one who has to serve to be a champion”.
It was an analogy that couldn’t be more apt on a rolling afternoon in Manchester.
Goals from Matti Cash and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho seemed to have stolen the title from City’s grasp, but Guardiola put together a very special squad.
While many teams have faltered under pressure, City kept pushing and getting their reward – goals from Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri to take their fourth league title in five years.
The feat was made all the more impressive by the quality of Liverpool, who battled hard with City for the entire season. His win over Wolverhampton on Sunday proved academic in the end.
City’s victory comes 10 years after Sergio Aguero opened the door to a decade of success with Manchester City, scoring a last-gasp goal on the final day of the season to win the league title.
Regardless of a goal in the final seconds, this title win was almost sensational, with fans experiencing a full range of emotions.
“We are legends,” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the fantastic match. “When you win the Premier League in this country four times in five seasons, it’s because these guys are so special. We will remember them.”
set of feelings
Fans were confident their team would repeat this success before kick-off, with chants of Liverpool losing and City winning the title to fill the air outside the stadium.
There was a festive atmosphere to boot, with DJs encouraging supporters to sing Oasis songs as they made their way to their seats.
But as the match kicked off, the excitement turned to nerves as the home team’s fans became furious every time Aston Villa enjoyed a possession pass.
The anxiety temporarily eased as news of Liverpool’s delay against Wolverhampton reverberated across the ground, but it grew again as City, particularly Gabriel Jesus, missed some early chances and Liverpool equalized.
Frustration turned to anger as Villa took a two-goal lead causing many in blue uniforms to look to the sky for some kind of intervention.
The title that many expected City to win is beginning to be lost.
But it’s not like this side of town falls without a fight, and he’s taken the matter into his own hands.
Beliefs grew after Gundogan scored the first goal in the 76th minute, and in the blink of an eye, Rodri equalized the goals. With the fans still celebrating, Gundogan scored again in the 81st minute to conclude one of the most chaotic lanes of play in Premier League history.
Gerrard’s mission failed
There was an added element of drama in Sunday’s game, as City’s opponents had certain loyalties to their title rivals.
Villa manager Steven Gerrard is one of the legends of Liverpool but failed to win the league title during his tenure at the club.
He came close, of course, but his infamous slip seven years ago contributed to his team’s elimination for the title that season.
Fast forward to now, and the script has been pretty near perfect from Liverpool’s point of view.
Knowing he needed to take something from the match to help his boyhood club move past City, Gerrard chased the side of the Etihad like a double agent sent from Anfield.
And he instructed the former Liverpool player Coutinho, who sought to investigate the City’s defense and present a gift to his former club.
Gerrard was kicking every ball off the touchline as his players drilled firmly against the increasing pressure from City.
In the end, Villa’s defense collapsed and the gates opened.
In truth, no one could envy City’s title.
While Liverpool produced a more rock ‘n’ roll style of football, City blew teams away time and time again and showed consistency that truly crowned them champions again.
Burnley fell after losing 2-1 at home to Newcastle United.