MANCHESTER, England ( Associated Press) – Manchester City won their sixth Premier League title in 11 seasons on Sunday, scoring three times in five minutes to come from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the final to be topped by challengers Liverpool. was avoided.
City were trailing Villa 2–0 until Alke Gundosson started his comeback in the 76th. Rodri equalized two minutes later and Gundogan placed City in 81st.
At a time when City were losing, it was still ready to defend the title as Liverpool only drew 1–1 to Wolverhampton. But Mohamed Salah put up a second-place side in the 84th minute, which would have taken Liverpool to first place if City had not returned their fight at the Etihad Stadium. Andy Robertson then gave Liverpool a 3-1 win.
Liverpool would have snatched the trophy if City had leveled late, but Pep Guardiola’s side would have rallied to victory in the thrilling climax.
Pep Guardiola’s trophy defense was secured in a more jerky way than expected on the final day when City took a 14-point lead in January.
City’s fourth championship success in five seasons produced a first for Guardiola. It is the first time City have sealed the title in front of their own fans, who took to the field in the final whistle against Villa in thousands.
Although it went down the wire, it came without any of the pains of 10 years ago when City’s first Premier League title was achieved in the final minutes of the season.
The success that led to City’s first championship crown in 44 years – with Roberto Mancini as manager – marked the beginning of an era of dominance enjoyed by the club, transformed by the flow of investment from Abu Dhabi.
City are now enjoying a steady stream of titles that once saw crosstown rivals United sweep up under Alex Ferguson. City’s rise has coincided with the retirement of Scott – who won the Premier League 13 times from 1993 to 2013 – and the decline of Manchester United.
The teams entered the final round on Sunday, with City 32 points ahead of United and with Liverpool a major threat in Guardiola’s side. In the last five seasons, City have not won the trophy, ending Liverpool’s 30-year title drought in 2020.
But it will be another season in which City will be unable to win the biggest prize in European football – the Champions League – while Liverpool fight the final against Real Madrid on 28 May.
While Liverpool’s net transfer spending over the past five years has been around $250 million, City’s has been over $530 million.
City’s financial strength was not enough to convince Tottenham to sell Harry Kane earlier this season, leaving Guardiola without a recognizable striker to hold the title. Nevertheless, City were able to break the British transfer record by signing Jack Grealish for £100m ($139m), even though the midfielder started only sparingly.
City have already strengthened their attack for next season, with Borussia Dortmund signing Erling Haaland for 60 million euros ($63 million), one of Europe’s most exciting young forwards. Adds one to the squad.
Nevertheless, the Abu Dhabi ownership of the club and its actions remain a concern for human rights activists and less wealthy rivals.
Human rights violations by the United Arab Emirates are highlighted by fans of the city, who largely ignore how their club has been used by a state as a tool of soft power that erodes its image. Exploits the glamor of the world’s biggest sport to purge.
The owner of the city, Sheikh Mansoor, has only been seen in one game as his 14-year-old owner. Mansour, who is the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, was recently condemned by the British government for hosting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
City were fined €10 million ($12 million) in 2020 for obstructing a UEFA investigation into their finances following leaks of internal correspondence at the club. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the two-year Champions League ban because claims that the club had disguised a source of income as sponsorship over companies owned by Abu Dhabi were either rejected or The investigation was found to have happened long ago. ,
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