Manchester City won their fourth Premier League title in five years on Sunday but the trophy almost slipped from their hands, coming back from under two goals to electronically beat Aston Villa three minutes late in the second half.
After an afternoon of high nerves, Liverpool were overwhelmed by the fear of winning the title at their post, and fans of the relieved and overwhelmed City took to the field at the final whistle.
The day was set for a party and there was a relaxed mood around the field before the kick-off. But that is about to change, as former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has made a comeback.
In the 36th minute, Mattie Cash put Villa ahead with a great header from Lucas Degane’s cross from the left, and the mood in the stadium changed.
City were far from their smooth best, lacking in finesse as they struggled to find a leveler but rarely put Villa keeper Robin Olsen in trouble.
Philippe Coutinho then doubled the lead as a villain for the sake of pure simplicity, after which the mood among the fans at home turned to despair.
Oli Watkins went ahead with a long Olsen goal kick and former Liverpool midfielder Coutinho made a great first touch to cut inside and then drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Liverpool were level with the Wolves at the time of Coutinho’s goal, but City knew that a goal for Juergen Klopp could now snatch the title from them.
But then came the City Comeback Blitz which sealed the title regardless of the Anfield incident.
In the 76th minute, Raheem Sterling headed in an Ilke Gundogan cross in the back post and the two options were combined for the first.
Half-time substitute Oleksandr Jinchenko, on the left, showed restraint to return to Rodri, and the Spaniard provided a definite finish – side-footing in the bottom corner from 20 meters outside.
The title-winning goal came in the 81st minute when De Bruyne whipped Gundogan on a low cross, who tapped very close, sending the audience into a state of ecstasy.