They said it would never be beaten. They said it was the greatest finish in Premier League history and you’ll never see anything like it again. But ten years after Sergio Aguero wrote his name into Etihad folklore, Manchester City emulated that result by leaving it late to beat Aston Villa 3-2 to crown the blues champions and ensure City are still the only team to complete a domestic treble.
But City decided, as they did in 2012, to put their supporters through hell and back, before clinching the title. Goals from Matty Cash and Phillipe Coutinho had given the visitors a 2-0 lead but, with Liverpool level 1-1 at home to Wolves, the title still look destined to stay in Manchester.
However, three goals in the most amazing five minutes, a brace by Ilkay Gundogan with a strike by Rodri sandwiched in between secured the title for City, giving the blues probably the most fitting tribute to their first Premier League title win in 2012.
It will be yet another day to remember for blues fans, who have now seen City win their fourth league title in five years, and their fourth on the final day of the season.
The blues won their second title in 2014, beating West Ham 2-0 at Etihad Stadium, then beat Brighton 4-1 on the south coast in 2019 to once again snatch the title from under Liverpool’s noses. And now, the blues complete a hat-trick of final days wins to finish ahead of their Merseyside rivals in the most dramatic of circumstances.
The faithful never gave up. The team never stopped playing. And they somehow found a way past the stubborn Villa defence, who had just the two shots on target and scored with both of them.
At 2-0 down, City’s hopes were hanging in the balance. Well, that’s an understatement. They were virtually dead. Yet, one goal by Gundogan changed it all. City’s tails were up, and two further goals followed to put one blue hand on the Premier League trophy.
City should not have come back from that, but they found the mentality to force their way back, Goals in Liverpool sent the reds 3-1 up, but it was in vain as City saw out the final minutes to claim the title and break Liverpool hearts.
In their midweek win at Southampton, Liverpool were labelled ‘mentality monsters’ by a reader on the BBC website. But today, once again, we have been treated to a display by the real monsters of mentality.