Drama Is The Norm At The Etihad As City Come Back Again To Clinch The Premier League Title

Drama Is The Norm At The Etihad As City Come Back Again To Clinch The Premier League Title

The Etihad has seen it all. To be a City fan in this era under Pep Guardiola has been it’s own roller-coaster ride.

As the fans invaded the pitch and the light blue flares were thrown around, Guardiola embraced his staff and celebrated, and then walked off into the tunnel, to maybe celebrate in private and perhaps to just take a breather, from all the shouting and prompting from the sidelines, not just today, but throughout this long and hard season. He has been, in a word, relentless.

It was vindication, for that game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

The pyrotechnics and celebrations began and a crossbar got damaged with fans perched on top of it screaming and celebrating wildly. This was City’s moment. They exorcised the demons of Madrid and dug deep to win it with 15 minutes to go.

It was a night of despair and an incomprehensible loss at the Bernabeu in Champions League that night. But this time City wouldn’t be denied. If City learned anything from losing to Real Madrid is that the game is never over until the referee blows the full time whistle.

It took Real 3 minutes to overturn their deficit in the Champions League but City today did it in 5 minutes and 30 seconds at the Etihad to clinch the title from the depths of despair.

“Are you watching Sergio?” cried Peter Drury after Ilkay Gundogan’s first goal. By the time 5 minutes passed, the comeback was complete. 3-2 to Man City. It was oddly reminiscent of the Argentine striker’s heroics ‘that day’ against QPR and winning the title against Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. City had just unveiled a statue of Aguero to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of ‘that’ moment earlier this month.

The parallels are endless and the task at hand was more or less the same; City needed a win to clinch the title on the last matchday of the season.

This time they were down 2-0 with 15 minutes on the clock.

Pep Guardiola, for all his second guessing, and idiosyncrasies decided to turn to his bench by bringing on Ilkay Gundogan for Bernardo Silva.

And the German midfielder delivered, and how. A miracle, once again. City needed one and they got another miracle again.

From being down 2-0 with quarter of an hour to play to overturning it to 3-2 and the derided delirium which ensued after the full time whistle, just showed how much it meant to the City fans. Another moment of unbelievable drama for the season to be decided by just 5 minutes of brilliance.

It was an inspired substitution, and one that will live on in City folklore for the foreseeable future.

It was a move by Guardiola, that was bold, needed, and which changed their fortunes, and turned the tides for the Citizens.

The roof nearly came off the Etihad when the diminutive midfielder slotted home after a incisive pass by club captain and Premier League player of the season Kevin De Bruyne and as the fans invaded the pitch, and went wild, the Belgian was seen shouting “Come on!”. That’s his mentality. He’s always hungry and he always manages to deliver for City. Always.

For all of Jurgen Klopp’s comments in the media of his Liverpool players being “mentality monsters”, City dug deep and showed the world that they wouldn’t buckle under pressure again. This time, it was for the Premier League title, but they showed their mettle.

For City and their fans, a lot has come and gone since that first Premier League title won under Roberto Mancini by Sergio Aguero with the last kick of the ball against QPR. The parallels to 2012 are endless and City wrote the script almost similarly as the Etihad sucked the ball into the net after levelling 2-2.

Since then, City have ushered in a kind of dominance in the Premier League since Guardiola has been at the helm, that no club has managed in the history of English football. No manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson has been able to win as consistently as Guardiola has.

The Catalan manager, despite searching for that elusive first Champions League trophy for City, has brought about a certain kind of domestic domination that few have in their time managed, in what is arguably the toughest football league in the world. City have won four Premier League titles in the last five seasons.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson has won the Premier League more than Pep Guardiola. The Catalan boss has left his imprint on the very fabric of the club and will be remembered and revered by City fans and his players no matter where he goes next, whenever that contrives to occur.

Drama is the norm at the Etihad, for fans and neutrals alike, but for now it’s time to enjoy this moment for Man City fans and everyone involved with the club.

Drama is the norm at the Etihad, but Manchester and England are sky blue and sky high again.

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