In pictures: Man City v Aston Villa
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Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne gave a ‘drunk’ interview on the Sky Blues’ open-top bus parade as fans came out in droves to show support for the Premier League champions. A croaky-voiced Jack Grealish was similarly merry and jokingly called out Bernardo Silva for his lacklustre performance against Aston Villa.
A decade after Sergio Aguero’s famous stoppage-time winner against Queens Park Rangers, City once again snatched the Premier League title in dramatic circumstances. Villa held a two-goal lead until the 75th minute, but two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and one from Rodri sparked bedlam inside the Etihad Stadium.
The trio of goals in a five-minute spell proved crucial as Liverpool beat Wolves at Anfield, meaning City would have lost the title with anything less than a victory. As the blue half of Manchester gave the victorious squad and staff a hero’s welcome on Monday, De Bruyne was among those to get into the party spirit.
“I’m a little bit drunk!” he admitted. “It’s amazing to do this for the fourth time. We couldn’t really do it last year because of Covid, but it’s amazing to see so many people here to celebrate with us. Thank you to the fans, the last game and atmosphere was amazing. Enjoy the summer and let’s go again.”
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De Bruyne had a quiet outing for much of the game against Steven Gerrard’s visitors, but his spectacular assist provided the winner for Gundogan, who delivered more good news for City fans by banishing exit rumours while on the bus parade.
Grealish played a less prominent role on Sunday as Pep Guardiola left him on the bench, but he was certainly in the party spirit on Monday. With a raspy voice perhaps evident of the celebrations that kicked off at full-time and may not have stopped much since, he slurred: “This is my first title. I want to thank everyone. But the main person I want to thank is Bernardo Silva for coming off in the 70th minute because he was miles off it yesterday.”
Securing the Premier League title was crucial for Guardiola’s side, and it will go down as their only trophy this season. Rivals Liverpool have scooped up both domestic cups, and they are set to meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final on May 28.
The former Barcelona manager suggested that this was the sweetest title of all, and he has now won four in the past five seasons. “We are legends,” he said on Sunday. “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.”
He was similarly glowing with pride during Monday’s bus parade celebrations, adding: “This is the toughest league and we have won four since we have been here. I can see the happiness on the people’s faces. I am the best dancer of my staff! We will do it tonight. We saw the reaction when Ilkay scored the winning goal.”
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