Manchester City F.C. Captures Another Premier League Title
Manchester City Football Club (F.C.), a team founded in 1880, Gordon, United Kingdom and known as St. Mark’s (West Gorton) has come a very long way. Years later in 1887 it became known as the Ardwick Association of Football Club and finally Manchester City F.C. in 1894. After playing at Maine Road since 1923, the team’s home ground switched to Etihad Stadium in East Manchester, and has played there since 2003 until present day.
Because football is so prominent in England, Manchester City has always been a very well known team, however their program has grown even more within the last few years. Racking up major trophies starting in 2011, they captured their very first Premier League title after a hard fought 3-2 win over the Queens Park Rangers. Although they skipped a year of winning a title in 2012, they were quick to regain it in 2013 with a 2-0 win over West Ham.
Four years later in 2017, Manchester City took yet another title after a 3-2 win over Aston Villa, followed by a 3-0 win over Arsenal in 2018. Two years later they won their fifth title beating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in the league final. Most recently, Manchester City won their sixth title, coming behind from 2-0 to beating Aston Villa 3-2 and winning it all.
However, none of this would have been possible without the man himself, Pep Guardiola. The 51-year-old from Septandor, Spain started off his professional soccer career as a player from 1988-2006. Also known as “the child of Septandor,” he played for FC (Football Club) Barcelona from 1988-2001, where he played a total of 289 official matches or 30,437 minutes, and 90 unofficial matches. Playing at the midfielder position for his entire career with this club, he managed to score 11 official goals and five unofficial goals, coupled with a solid 107 yellow cards and nine red cards.
His most exciting season with the team was by far his last from 2000-2001. Despite only playing 37 official games which is equivalent to 2,702 minutes, and six unofficial games, he managed to sneak in three official goals, one unofficial goal, 13 yellow cards and no red cards.
After his professional career, he made sure to stay in the football industry and became a manager. Starting off in his forming playing grounds, he managed the F.C. Barcelona C team from 2007-2008, then the F.C. Barcelona full team from 2008-2012. After this he went on to manage F.C. Bayern Munich from 2013-2016, and finally Manchester City F.C. from 2016 until present day.
Although he is very well known in Spain and LaLiga (the top Spanish football league in the world), he made his name even bigger once he began coaching Manchester City in the Premier League. He has brought the club to win countless titles, the most recent being Manchester City’s 3-2 over Aston Villa to secure yet another Premier League title.
With Manchester City favored to win and Aston Villa named the underdogs, it took a massive turn of events once the game actually started. With Aston Villa scoring early, Matty Cash in the 37th minute and Phillipe Coutinho in the 69th, it wasn’t looking too good for Manchester City, however they didn’t lose hope. By keeping their foot on the gas pedal and remaining hungry, their comeback began in the 76th minute when Ilkay Gundogan scored, followed by a Rodri goal two minutes later. The players were feeding off of the insane energy from the crowd, which caused them to not lose sight of what they had stepped on the field for: a championship. Three minutes later in the 81st minute Ilkay Gundogan scored again, taking the 3-2 lead over Aston Villa.
However, Manchester City versus Aston Villa was not the only deciding factor in who would be crowned Premier League Champions, but Liverpool F.C. versus Wolverhampton as well. Because Manchester City and Liverpool were neck and neck in points, both teams would need to secure a win and score a few goals in order to claim the league title.
Just as Manchester City did, Liverpool had started off the game a little rocky, allowing Wolverhampton to take the lead. Sky Sports stated, “The first news was positive for City as Wolves took an early lead at Anfield where Liverpool needed victory to snaffle top spot from City’s grasp. It sparked wild celebrations, adding to an already raucous atmosphere. But the home side simply forgot to play.”
The energy from both sides was immense for over 90 minutes, as everyone watching was constantly being updated on how Liverpool and Manchester City were doing. Sky Sports says, “Remarkably, with Wolves still holding Liverpool, they were still on course to be champions on goal difference but that was not the mood at the Etihad until Gundogan altered the atmosphere in an instant. The substitute headed in and the game turned.”
Moreover, late goals were scored by Liverpool players, but that just added to the excitement of the game and made Manchester City dig deeper down inside of them and leave it all out on the field so they could be named champions. Sky Sports exclaims, “Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson’s late goals for Liverpool meant that there was still no margin for error but City were not going to make the same mistake, shutting down the game sensibly for the remaining moments as the relief began to pour down from the stands.”
Finishing off in a 3-1 victory for Liverpool over Wolverhampton, Manchester City fans were extremely nervous for what was to come. What they didn’t know was that because they were ahead in goal differential with a 3-2 lead over Aston Villa, all they needed to do was finish the game off with a win, rather than looking to score more goals. “Three goals in five minutes late in the game turned the match - and the title race - on its head as a substitute Ilkay Gundogan scored two, either side of Rodri’s strike. Liverpool’s late win over Wolves meant that only a victory would have been enough for City.” Sky Sports explains.
Although the clock was ticking and time was running out for Manchester City, they pushed through and secured the win. It was an astonishing way to finish off yet another wonderful season of football. Pep Guardiola, the rest of the coaching staff, and the players on their team will never forget this magical moment in football history. “It seems strange to cite an occasion when Manchester City almost blew the title as Pep Guardiola’s greatest moment as their manager but for all the wonderful football, for all the dominance that has led to four Premier League titles in five seasons, this was different.”
Manager Pep Guardiola’s words after the championship were, “Every season is more difficult. I would not betray the club - they give me probably the most incredible moments in my life but I have to feel it, the players have to feel it and the club has to feel it. Now it is time to celebrate. We are the champions again.”