MANCHESTER, England (AP)Puffing on a cigar, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrated his team’s fourth English Premier League title in five seasons after a parade through the streets on Monday.
Three open-top buses carrying City players and staff navigated a short route through Manchester center after starting at the National Football Museum.
The parade came a day after City added another incredible comeback story to its history, scoring three goals in about five minutes to beat Aston Villa 3-2 and edge out Liverpool to the title by a single point.
”It was the plan, 0-2, calm, calm,” Guardiola said, with a laugh. ”And after we scored it was a great night. Everybody knows what has happened is an incredible achievement. This is the toughest league, in six years since we arrived we had four. The happiness on all the faces is the greatest reward we can get.”
Ilkay Gundogan struck two late goals, either side of Rodri’s equalizer, to give City the win.
”Definitely, it was a tough moment,” Guardiola said. ”Always the players show again, it was incredible to come back. There was a lot of tension in the last month after (the Champions League loss to Real Madrid) and a lot of difficult games.
”We never give up and we have to be so proud of the group.”
Goalkeeper Ederson sprayed more than one of the fans clinging to lamp posts from a bottle, while Jack Grealish offered to buy everyone on the roadside a shot if they wanted to meet him in town later on.
Kevin De Bruyne was far from alone in sporting dark glasses, admitting to being a ”little bit drunk.”
The event also became a farewell party for club captain Fernandinho, who will return to his native Brazil this summer after nine years and 12 trophies with the club.
”When I came here for the first time and met someone from City they said, `Listen, we want you to be one of the leaders, we want you to be a champion’,” the 37-year-old Fernandinho said. ”When I look back, all of the titles we won are really special.”
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