Manchester City won its fourth Premier League title in five years on Sunday but nearly let the trophy slip from its hands as it needed three goals late in the second half to come back for a 3-2 win over Aston Villa.
Matty Cash stunned the Etihad Stadium, putting Villa in front in the 37th minute with a fine header from a Lucas Digne cross.
City was far from its fluent best, lacking finesse as it piled on the pressure in search of a leveller but rarely troubling Villa keeper Robin Olsen.
AS IT HAPPENED:
But the edgy mood among the home fans turned to desperation after Philippe Coutinho doubled the lead for Villa. Ollie Watkins headed on from an Olsen goal kick, and the former Liverpool midfielder produced a brilliant first touch and finish.
But then came the City comeback blitz, which sealed the title. Substitute Ilkay Gundogan headed in a Raheem Sterling cross at the back post in the 76th minute and then Rodri delivered a pinpoint finish after being set up by Oleksandr Zinchenko.
The title-winning goal came in the 81st minute when De Bruyne whipped in a low cross to Gundogan, who tapped in from close range, sending the crowd into rapturous delight.
"It was an unbelievable game. I don't know what to say to be honest," Gundogan 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."
"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," Gundogan said.
"Even though they finished behind us, I think they played an incredible season. We pushed each other to the limits again.
"Even though it is a sad day for them, we need to appreciate what they have done, especially my former coach who I still like a lot," added Gundogan.
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