Turkish German Gündoğan hailed as Man City’s title hero after brace

Manchester City’s Turkish German midfielder İlkay Gündoğan hailed his side’s “incredible” Premier League title triumph as he came off the bench to spark an astonishing fightback to beat Aston Villa 3-2 on the last day of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s side was in serious danger of blowing the title after falling two goals behind at the Etihad Stadium, with a victory required to be sure of pipping Liverpool to the trophy.

Enter Gündoğan. He provided City’s super-sub as he headed home to give them a lifeline in the 76th minute.

After Rodri equalized, it was Gündoğan who wrote his name into City’s history books with the 81st-minute winner from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.

City finished just one point ahead of Liverpool, who beat Wolves 3-1 in its last game, and Gündoğan admitted he was almost lost for words after the dramatic denouement.

“It was an unbelievable game,” Gündoğan said.

“We are human beings and after going 2-0 down the chances were just very, very small. But we had to do the simple things and scoring two goals quickly and then having 10 minutes to score the third one gave us the right lift.

“It was about getting that goal and then the momentum was on our side then we were able to score three goals in just a few minutes. These are the days you look back to, it was an unbelievable game.”

Gündoğan paid tribute to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who he played for at Borussia Dortmund, for pushing City to the wire before falling short in their bid for an unprecedented quadruple.

Liverpool trailed City by 14 points in January and only Gündoğan’s last-gasp heroics stopped the Reds from stealing away the title.

“I know it’s tough to say but if Liverpool do not play the way they play, incredible football and successful, I don’t think this league could have been that attractive,” Gündoğan said.

“Even though they finished behind us, I think they played an incredible season. We pushed each other to the limits again.”

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne controls the ball during a Premier League match against Aston Villa, Manchester, England, May 22, 2022. (AFP Photo)

‘A little bit panicked’

City midfielder De Bruyne was at his best when his side needed him most, but the Premier League’s Player of the Season admitted he was starting to panic as time ticked away.

“We tried to stay as calm as possible but sometimes it was a little bit panicked. Maybe a couple of times! It’s normal in this situation. It’s so different,” De Bruyne said.

“You just go for it, you’re losing anyway. You want to change the situation and that’s what we did.

“At 2-1 it just changed the whole situation for me. The stadium, the atmosphere, the players change. We never looked back from there.

“It’s hard because Liverpool push you that far and you need to be excellent all the time.”

City forward Jack Grealish is a Premier League champion for the first time after joining for a British record 100 million pounds ($124 million) from Villa last year.

Grealish has struggled to replicate his Villa form in a City shirt and he vowed to improve after a difficult first season in Manchester.

“When I signed here people were saying to me ‘do you want to win the Champions League or the Premier League?'” Grealish said.

“For me, it was always the Premier League. I’ve never won it before and I’m so happy I almost cried.

“I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone to come here. It’s been difficult. Way harder than I thought. But today just makes up for all of it.

“I know I can kick on and I certainly will. I feel like I’ve played my part in games.”

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