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The greatest Premier League title race of them all is given a fitting final day of drama

Manchester City staged a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to retain the Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.
Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts the Premier League trophy after their side finished the season as Premier League champions . (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts the Premier League trophy after their side finished the season as Premier League champions . (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Kevin Palmer

Fittingly, this epic Premier League title race served up the most dramatic final day script imaginable.

Manchester City staged a sensational comeback from 2-0 down to retain the Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.

Needing to win to be assured of holding off Liverpool, City were in danger of blowing it as Matty Cash and former Reds star Philippe Coutinho struck at the Etihad Stadium.

Yet Pep Guardiola’s side showed all their champion quality to rally with Ilkay Gundogan coming off the bench to score twice either side of a superb Rodri strike in a remarkable five-minute spell.

City had known that second-placed Liverpool, trailing by just a point, could overtake them with victory over Wolves and there were times in the afternoon when they lived on their nerves.

When they trailed by two, Liverpool were being held 1-1 and news of another goal at Anfield at that stage, could have been a hammer blow.

Yet in remarkable final-day drama, City cast off the shackles of a dismal first-half display to turn the game around and render Liverpool’s eventual win academic.

"It was an unbelievable game, I don't know what to say. It's fantastic," said match-winner Gundogan.

"Honestly, I think we are all human beings and after going 2-0 down the chances were very small, but we had to do the simple things and obviously scoring those two quick goals gave us 10 minutes to score the third one. We're proud of ourselves today.

"We felt the tension. It was a negative tension more than a positive one when we were 2-0 down, but it was about getting a goal and we knew we could score more if we got the first.

"These are the days you look back on. It was an unbelievable day.

"If Liverpool didn't play the incredible football they've been playing, I don't think this league would have been that attractive. We pushed each other to the limits and even though it's a sad day for them, we need to appreciate what they've done and we look forward to competing with them again next season."

Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team's Premier League title winning goal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team's Premier League title winning goal. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

An emotional Pep Guardiola summed up his joy, as he spoke to Sky Sports after his side lifted the Premier League trophy.

"The moment we found a goal it changed everything. We are playing in not normal circumstances but you have to handle it," said Guardiola.

"Gundogan is the best inside runner we have. We were arriving down the sides and we needed a player with the sense of tempo in the box and he’s the best.

"We are legends. When you win the Premier League four times in five seasons it’s because these guys are so, so special. We will be remembered. The first title we won with lots of margin, then at Brighton, then winning at home without fans and now with people, it’s the best.

"The magnitude of your achievement is defined by the magnitude of your rival. I’ve never seen a team like Liverpool. I know it’s tough but a huge congratulations to them. They help us to be a better team.

"Today is special as it’s the fifth anniversary of the Manchester arena attack when 22 people were killed. This is for the families. Today was special."

Roy Keane was among those saluting City's dramatic comeback, as he suggested Kevin De Bruyne was the man who fired their burners.

"This City group keeps going until the end. Kevin De Bruyne turned on the magic," former Manchester United and Ireland captain Keane told Sky Sports.

"When you're two goals down and need to turn it around - absolutely outstanding. All credit to City. All brilliant teams find a way to win."


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