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Player Ratings: Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)

Manchester City claimed the 2021/22 Premier League title with a dramatic 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The sky blues' triumph over Steven Gerrard’s side marks Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola’s fourth Premier League title in the last five seasons at the club.

The game started off slow, but Manchester City were bolstered by the early news that Liverpool had fallen behind to Wolves. Although this was positive news for the Citizens, Liverpool soon equalised through Sadio Mane.

Manchester City hearts dropped though, as Aston Villa took an unlikely lead via a Matty Cash header which sparked memories of that famous final day of the season in 2012 against Queens Park Rangers.

City began the second half rejuvenated with the substitution of Oleksandr Zinchenko for the departing Fernandinho. Despite applied pressure from Manchester City, former Liverpool man Philippe Coutinho doubled Villa’s lead.

Then the unthinkable happened.

I swear you’ll never see anything like this ever again,” uttered Martin Tyler a decade ago. Well, we did see something arguably just as crazy today at the Etihad: Three goals for Manchester City saw the game turn on its head.

The substitution of Ilkay Gundogan wielded a goal from a Raheem sterling assist but it still did not look to be city’s day. Rodri then stroked in an equaliser to change the mood around the Etihad and the blue belief was restored.

Manchester City’s German maestro Ilkay Gundogan then completed the dramatic comeback with a crucial goal via a magnificent Kevin De Bruyne assist.

Liverpool then took the lead themselves against Wolves via a Mohammed Salah goal and then added to this with a shot from left back Andy Robertson, leaving the score at 3-1. This was in vain though as Manchester City sealed the all-important win.

Here's how City Xtra rated the players from Manchester City's dramatic title-winning comeback win over Aston Villa at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon!


Ederson – 4.5

Although winning the Golden Glove 2021/22 via Neto’s goal at Anfield, Ederson failed to win the award outright as Manchester City conceded in the first half. It would be harsh to suggest Ederson could have done better with the first goal but stood still as Coutinho doubled Villa’s lead.

John Stones – 7

The English defender has played in the unorthodox position of right back a couple of times this season and has done well, which is why Pep Guardiola trusted him in the most important of matches today. After Fernandinho’s departure, Stones moved to his more natural position of centre back and coped well despite the Coutinho goal.

Fernandinho – 6.5

His final match for City was spent playing in the heart of defence in the absence of Ruben Dias. Fernandinho’s performance summarised his time at the club: he gave it his all and left everything on the pitch. Came off at half-time.

Aymeric Laporte – 6

On a day of madness, the Spaniard looked fairly well composed. Aymeric Laporte could not get close enough to Coutinho though as Villa doubled their lead.

Joao Cancelo – 6

Although coming forward, Joao Cancelo’s play for Villa’s opener was poor to say the least. In the second half, the defender also fuddled some passages of play leading to frustration from Pep Guardiola and the fans.

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Rodri – 8

His passing was good but like the rest of his City teammates, the Spaniard underwhelmed on the frantic final day of the season. That was until the midfielder scored City’s second of the day with a brilliant shot.

Bernardo Silva – 6

Underwhelming showing from the Portuguese magician today. He came off for Gundogan in what was to be the right choice from Guardiola as the German scored after coming onto the pitch.

Kevin De Bruyne – 8

Came into the came more in the second half after a disappointing first half showing. He summoned up the most important moment of the match with a title-winning assist to Gundogan to complete the most dramatic of comebacks.

Phil Foden – 6.5

Provided trickery on the wing but did not have the spells to unlock the defence himself. Luckily his creative teammates came up with the goods to avoid embarrassment of the final day for the Sky Blues.

Riyad Mahrez – 5.5

Set up a couple of chances but did not contribute enough leading to the Algerian winger being substituted for Raheem Sterling early in the second half.

Gabriel Jesus – 6.5

Showed great energy as per in what might have been his final match for the club but missed an open goal from mere yards out at the start of the second half.


Substitutes:

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7

Came on for the second half for the departing Fernandinho. The whole team looked more inspired with the introduction of the Ukrainian. This setup suited Manchester City far more and many would argue started the comeback that secured the title.

Raheem Sterling – 7.5

Came on for Riyad Mahrez with the aim of getting City back in it. Looked to create but struggled against a firm Aston Villa rear-guard. This changed as Sterling set up Gundogan for City’s opener.

Ilkay Gundogan – 9.5 (M0TM)

Came on for Mahrez with the aim of getting Manchester City back in it. Looked to create but struggled against a firm Villa rear-guard. This changed as Sterling set up Gundogan for City’s opener. Gundogan then completed the comeback with a fantastic third for City.


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