Both coaches made two changes in start XI compared to their team’s draws on the previous match day. While tenant Robin Olsen made his Aston Villa debut and newcomer Philippe Coutinho also started, Emiliano Martinez was put on the sidelines with a knee injury and Carney Chukwuemeka took his place on the bench. At the other end, Pep Guardiola picked up his stars Phil Foden and John Stones for Oleksandr Zinchenko and ex-Villan Jack Grealish.
It started well from the citizens’ point of view. Liverpool FC came early behind in the long-distance duel for the championship, while Manchester City absolutely dominated the match at the Etihad Stadium. However, the Sky Blues did not manage to score their own goal so far, although goalkeeper Robin Olsen did not seem too confident at the start of the match.
Eventually, however, 1-0 to the Gerrard team fell out of nowhere! Jacob Ramsey passed on to Lucas Digne on the left. The Frenchman crossed with great precision to Matty Cash’s head, and the Pole nodded with full force from a few meters (37 ‘). Villans held a tight and flattering lead until the break, so Guardiola responded: Oleksandr Zinchenko replaced the disappointing Fernandinho (46 ‘).
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Since then, Manchester City have posed much more danger, for the goal in the first half had previously spurred the visitors. Despite this, Aston Villa made it 2-0 (69th)! Ollie Watkins sent a ball shot from the now better Olsen to Coutinho, who made a quick move to the right and shot low in the near corner from about twelve yards out. At this point, the league title was suddenly far away, with Liverpool already equalizing and putting pressure on the lead.
The 20 minutes that followed should go down in history. Ilkay Gündogan, who came in as a substitute a few moments before 0: 2, headed the ball into the net after a cross from Raheem Sterling (76 ‘). Just two minutes later, Rodrigo equalized with a long shot after Zinchenko crossed in (78th) before ex-Dortmunder struck again: Kevin De Bruyne played flat from the right into the center, with Gündogan only having to push in from the shortest distance (81st). . City brought the victory over time and the Skyblues could therefore no longer take the title despite Liverpool’s parallel success.
Ruben Dias (Manchester City): “Each of us feels great. Especially watching the fight from the bench made your heart pump, but there is no better way to win it.”
Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa Manager): “I’m sure you feel the frustration as much as I do, but I can assure you we’ll be back better and stronger.”
Phil Foden (Manchester City): “It’s the hardest competition to win in my opinion. It was very special today to share it with the fans, as we did.”
Tweet about the game:
This result was the best response to citizens’ criticism. Even at the stadium, there was no longer any belief in a comeback, but the players on the field had a different attitude.
It caught the eye – Gundogan: The Hero of Manchester
Time ran out for Citizens, and Pep Guardiola replaced Ilkay Gündogan in the 68th minute. When Coutinho scored 2-0 a minute later, the desperation among Skyblues fans was probably even greater. But in the last 20 minutes of the match, the German national team player led his team to victory with an excellent performance. With two goals, Gündogan first created the connection and then the lead. So much the more surprising that the 31-year-old might have to leave the club. However, that is the “problem” when the squad consists of world stars …
After nine years at the club, Fernandinho celebrated his farewell match in the light blue jersey today. He started against Aston Villa but was replaced due to a poor performance. City fans’ gratitude for Fernandinho’s performance in Manchester should still be undiminished.
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