Manchester City are the Premier League champions. But that simple yet grand statement does not go anywhere near describing the despair, the delirium, the impossible to script drama of this extraordinary comeback against Aston Villa that ultimately delivered the title for the fourth season in the last five. It never could. No one ever statement could.
Maybe three remarkable images of Pep Guardiola will serve instead. On 69 minutes, when Philippe Coutinho put Villa 2-0 in front the City manager looked utterly bereft as he sank deep back in his seat. His deflated body language betrayed his feelings. It was over.
But then on 81 minutes when Ilkay Gundogan scored the winning goal to cap an amazing five-minute turnaround he cavorted like a young child, totally lost in the moment, wild in his celebrations. He was a kid again. And then at the final whistle. Well, at the final whistle there were tears before Guardiola turned and walked down the tunnel.
It showed how much it meant to even a coach who has won it all; whose pre-eminence is rarely challenged. It also showed how close City were to throwing it away and the interminable recrimination and ridicule and anguish that would have invited having surrendered a 14-point lead over Liverpool.
If City had not already had their ‘Aguero moment’, 10 years earlier when they won their first Premier League title deep into stoppage time, then it would be this victory that would be first in their folklore.
But it will be up there, of course, as City eventually won by the same 3-2 scoreline and yet again affirmed the belief that despite their talent and apparent dominance this is not a club that does it the easy way. Not a club that does it by half.
Source: The Telegraph