Football: Manchester City crowned English Premier League winners on dramatic final day; Liverpool beat Wolves to confirm second place

Manchester City’s Rodrigo runs to celebrate after scoring his side’s second goal against Aston Villa.Photo/AP

Manchester City clinched their sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons today, scoring three goals in five minutes to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the final to avoid being overthrown by challengers Liverpool.

City trailed Villa 2-0 until İlkay Gündoğan started his comeback in the 76th. Rodri equalised two minutes later, with Gundogan putting City ahead in the 81st minute.

Manchester City fans watch the last Premier League game of the season.Photo/AP
Manchester City fans watch the last Premier League game of the season.Photo/AP

Even when City lost, it was still poised to defend the title as Liverpool drew just 1-1 with Wolverhampton. But Mohamed Salah then put the second-placed side in front in the 84th minute, which would have given Liverpool first place had City not fought back at the Etihad Stadium. Andy Robertson then sealed Liverpool’s 3-1 victory.

Liverpool could have snatched the trophy had City equalised at the last minute, but Pep Guardiola’s side held on to victory in a thrilling climax.

Guardiola’s defense of the trophy was secured in a tighter-than-expected manner on the final day, when City briefly led by 14 points in January.

Manchester City's Rodrigo runs to celebrate after scoring his side's second goal against Aston Villa.Photo/AP
Manchester City’s Rodrigo runs to celebrate after scoring his side’s second goal against Aston Villa.Photo/AP

Manchester City won the title for the fourth time in five seasons, creating a first for Guardiola. It was the first time City had sealed the title in front of their own fans, with thousands pouring into the pitch at the final whistle against Villa.

While it has come to an end, this time it is not as painful as it was 10 years ago, when City’s first Premier League title was won only in the final minutes of the season.

The success gave City its first title in 44 years – with Roberto Mancini as manager – opening up a club that has been transformed by an influx of Abu Dhabi investment. era of domination.

Manchester City, now enjoying a steady stream of titles, had to watch cross-city rivals Manchester United sweep under Alex Ferguson. City’s rise coincided with the Scot’s retirement – who won 13 Premier League titles from 1993 to 2013 – and the decline of Manchester United.

Manchester City fans flooded the pitch after their team won the Premier League title.Photo/AP
Manchester City fans flooded the pitch after their team won the Premier League title.Photo/AP

The team entered the final round on Sunday, with Manchester City leading Manchester United by 32 points, while Liverpool were more of a threat to Guardiola. The only time City have failed to win a trophy in the past five seasons was when Liverpool’s 30-year title drought came to an end in 2020.

But it will be another season, with Manchester City unable to win the biggest prize in European football – the Champions League – and Liverpool’s final against Real Madrid on May 28.

Liverpool’s net transfer spend over the past five years has been around $250 million, while Manchester City’s net spend has exceeded $530 million.

Manchester City are not financially strong enough to convince Tottenham to sell Harry Kane before the season, allowing Guardiola to secure the title without a high-profile striker. However, Manchester City still broke the UK transfer record, signing Jack Grealish for £100m ($139m), despite the midfielder’s modest start.

Manchester City have stepped up their attack next season with a deal with Borussia Dortmund to sign Erling Haaland for 60 million euros ($63 million), adding one of Europe’s most exciting young forwards to the squad.

Manchester City fans celebrate after their team won the Premier League.Photo/AP
Manchester City fans celebrate after their team won the Premier League.Photo/AP

Still, human rights activists and less wealthy rivals remain concerned about the club’s ownership in Abu Dhabi and its actions.

Human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates have been overshadowed by Manchester City fans, who largely ignore how their club can be used by a country as a tool of soft power, using the glamour of the world’s biggest sport to cleanse its image.

City boss Sheikh Mansour has played just one game in his 14 years as boss. Mansour, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, was recently condemned by the British government for hosting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Manchester City have been fined 10 million euros ($12 million) in 2020 for hindering a UEFA investigation into their finances after a leak of internal club communications. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned a two-year Champions League ban after claims that clubs disguised revenue streams as overvalued sponsorships by companies linked to their Abu Dhabi ownership were either rejected or found to happen too soon to be investigated .

How it happened:
3rd minute: Manchester City 0-0 Aston Villa, Liverpool 0-1 Wolves.
24th minute: Manchester City 0-0 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
37th minute: Manchester City 0-1 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
69th minute: Manchester City 0-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
76th minute: Manchester City 1-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
78th minute: Manchester City 2-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
81st minute: Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 1-1 Wolves.
84th minute: Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 2-1 Wolves.
89th minute: Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa, Liverpool 3-1 Wolves.

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