With five minutes to go, Riyad Mahrez took the ball and planted it on the penalty spot. Manchester City had equaled the 2-0 with which West Ham had advanced on the penultimate day of the Premier League. A goal from the Algerian would see the English league return to blue trim for the fourth year in five seasons. Lukasz FabianskiHowever, he had other plans. The Pole saved the stake from eleven meters and the final result is tied at two. A victory at the London Olympics would have practically solved the fight for the titlebut the point achieved was the only thing that would make the difference between the cityzens and Liverpool before the last game of the course.
The disciples of Pep Guardiola They returned to the training ground on Monday morning, but the Catalan coach wanted his team to be relaxed. Calm. Fernandinho was also involved in these matters. The Brazilian began his last week in the Manchester City inviting the squad, coaching staff and various club employees to a meal at an Italian restaurant in Oldhamoutside of Manchester. The Brazilian paid in a relaxed evening that ended with Ederson behind the bar lending a hand to the owner of the establishment and with the sky-blue players enjoying a quiet evening.
After a busy and intense season, at City he still had to put the final touch. On Tuesday and Wednesday there was rest. No talk, no visualizations. Each of the players already knew the importance of Sunday’s duel against Aston-Villa. There would be little point in insisting on it. The vast majority of them had previously found themselves in a similar situation, such as the conquest of the Premier League 2018-19also decided in favor of the Mancunians by a single point.
Three training sessions before what, at the end of the day, would be the most important game of the season. The one that would give them the only title of the course. “We train like we do before any game, we haven’t done anything special,” he explained. Guardiola at the press conference on Friday. Calm and good food.
Against Aston Villa everything was good feelings during the first minutes. There was a tremendous atmosphere in the etihad (“The best since I’ve been here,” he would say later Guardiola), the ball was handled by the local players and the result of Anfield accompanied: Wolves scored against Liverpool after three minutes. The scene abruptly changed when Matty Cash finished off a cross from Lucas Digne. Away goal. Nerves. at rest, Guardiola asked his men for a goal. A bit would change the dynamics of the game again. Aston Villa scored againbut the Catalan coach was right. Ilkay Gündogan closed the gap on the scoreboard, and six minutes later he scored the third. After the draw of Rodrigo, Gündogan gave victory to Manchester City.
The decisive week ended happily. With a party, with a dinner and with alcohol until three in the morning. Jack Grealish warned in post-match interviews that he would do nothing else for the next few days.. Celebrate. He will be pleased to know that another party awaits him on Monday. The team will offer the league title to its fans in the center of Manchester… and then more party. As at the beginning of the previous week, with the club’s employees. With the champions of the Premier League.