Manchester City have defended their Premier League title after coming from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 with three goals in five minutes on a dramatic final day of the 2021/22 Premier League season.
For Liverpool, who beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield, the result spells the end of their quadruple challenge having already won the FA Cup and League Cup this season.
City piled on the pressure straight away, with Villa's stand-in goalkeeper Robin Olsen looking very nervous with the ball at his feet on his debut, but the hosts could not register a shot on target until first-half injury time.
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Villa's defensive resilience paid off as they took a shock lead after a rare foray forward in the 37th minute. Matty Cash nodded in Lucas Digne's whipped cross from the left flank beyond a helpless Ederson.
Liverpool were drawing 1-1 with Wolves at Anfield at the break, meaning City would still win the league on goal difference, setting up a tense second half.
Gabriel Jesus missed from point-blank range as he blazed his strike over the bar in the 50th minute, moments before Ollie Watkins somehow dragged his shot from a one-on-one position wide.
City pressured for an equaliser, but remarkably Villa extended their lead through Philippe Coutinho in the 70th minute. He latched onto a Watkins flick-on and buried his low driven strike into the bottom corner to silence the home supporters.
Then came along substitute Ilkay Gundogan. He pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 76th minute, nodding in Raheem Sterling's perfectly-weighted cross at the far post.
And two minutes later the Etihad was bouncing as City scored again; this time through Rodri. The Spaniard coolly placed his shot from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.
And City completed a dramatic comeback in the 81st minute when Gundogan tapped in an excellently crafted pass from Kevin de Bruyne at the back post, sending the City supporters into raptures.
Liverpool went on to beat Wolves 3-1 thanks to late goal from Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson, but it mattered little in the end as City produced a fightback that will be remembered for years to come.
TALKING POINT - GUARDIOLA GETS IT RIGHT
It looked as though City had thrown their title pursuit away as they trailed by two goals until the 76th minute.
Pep Guardiola has endured plenty of criticism for overtinkering on the big occasion, but this time his decision to introduce Ilkay Gundogan in the 68th minute proved a masterstroke.
The midfielder's calmness and, more importantly his two goals, were what ultimately steered City from the brink of a collapse to retaining their Premier League title.
MAN OF THE MATCH - ILKAY GUNDOGAN
The German midfielder was only on the pitch for less than half an hour, but his two goals is ultimately what has ensured City are the 2021/22 Premier League champions.
Starting XI: Ederson (6), Cancelo (6), Fernandinho (5), Laporte (6), Stones (6), De Bruyne (8), Rodri (7), Silva (6), Mahrez (6), Jesus (5), Foden (6)
Subs: Zinchenko (7), Sterling (6), Gundogan (9)
Starting XI: Olsen (6), Cash (7), Chambers (7), Mings (7), Digne (7), Luiz (5), Ramsey (5), McGinn (6), Buendia (5), Coutinho (6), Watkins (6)
Subs: Nakamba (5), Ings (N/A), Young (N/A)
37' - GOAL! CASH PUTS VILLA IN FRONT!!! Could we be in for a huge shock at the Etihad!? Digne's cross from the left finds Cash and he gets in front of Cancelo before thumping his header in off the left palm of Ederson. Villa lead!
50' - BIG MISS FROM JESUS! Jesus slides in and meets Cancelo's cross from the right flank. The goal is wide open for him but he skies it over the bar! That was easily City's best chance to score so far.
54' - HUGE MISS FROM WATKINS! The England international bursts into a one-on-one, but he gets his finish all wrong and it bounces inches past Ederson's right post! It was initially flagged for offside but replays showed he was in his own half! What a huge miss that was.
70' - GOAL FOR VILLA!!! COUTINHO MAKES IT TWO! City are 2-0 down! A goal-kick from Olsen is flicked on by Watkins to Coutinho and he buries his low driven strike into the bottom corner! It's route one and it does the job! Villa extend their lead!
76' - GOAL FOR CITY! GUNDOGAN SCORES! Gundogan pulls a goal back! Sterling's cross to the far post is nodded in by the German and City are back in this!
78' - CITY SCORE AGAIN!!! RODRI HAS EQUALISED FOR CITY!! It's 2-2! The Etihad is bouncing! Zinchenko cuts it back to the Spaniard and he places his shot into the bottom corner beyond Olsen! City are level and now go one point clear of Liverpool as things stand!
81' - GOAL!! GUNDOGAN MAKES IT 3-2!!! Mings' loose touch gives the ball to De Bruyne and he plays an expertly placed pass to the back post for Gundogan who taps it in to send the Etihad into raptures! What a comeback from City!!! Surely the title is theirs now!
FT - MAN CITY RETAIN THEIR PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE!
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