EPL

BREAKING NEWS: Man City clinch Premier League title with comeback win

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Manchester City had to do it the hard way on the final day of the season, but they won the Premier League title by defeating Aston Villa 3-2.

The title race went down to the wire, with City needing to match Liverpool's result against Wolves in order to win their fourth league crown under Pep Guardiola.

However, Matty Cash's goal midway through the first half at the Etihad Stadium put Villa, managed by Liverpool great Steven Gerrard, ahead going into half-time.

Ex-Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho then put Villa 2-0 up but – as they did against QPR to win their first Premier League title 10 years ago – City lodged an incredible comeback.

Ilkay Gundogan was the hero. The substitute dragged City back into it and then, after Rodri had restored parity, scored from close range to complete a sensational fightback.

It was needed, with Liverpool beating Wolves 3-1, but City have now won their sixth Premier League title, and their fourth in the space of five seasons.

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    Cristiano Ronaldo may regret deciding to move back to Manchester United, according to former Netherlands and Milan legend Ruud Gullit, who also accused the club of "living in the past".

    Ronaldo returned to United in 2021 from Juventus, scoring 24 goals in 38 games in all competitions for the Red Devils.

    However, despite the presence of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, United did not win a trophy, being eliminated from the Champions League last 16 by Atletico Madrid and finishing sixth in the Premier League.

    Ronaldo has reportedly expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford due to a lack of Champions League football, but United have not shown any sign of allowing the Portugal international to move.

    Speaking to Laureus, Gullit stated his belief that the 37-year-old will be eager to show his best at the World Cup in Qatar later this year, but that he might be regretting his decision to go back to United.

    "Ronaldo with Portugal, can he still do it?... I think he is eager to show the world how good he is," Gullit said. "That's my feeling. This guy has unbelievable mental strength.

    "He doesn't say it, but I think he regrets the fact that he came back to Man United because of the team that was there. I think he hoped that it was better, so he wants to show everybody who criticised him what he's worth. I think he's on a mission.

    Gullit also had words of advice for Erik ten Hag. His fellow Dutchman took over as manager of United at the end of last season, and did not get off to the best start as his new team lost 2-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion in their opening game of the Premier League campaign last week.

    "Ten Hag, I think he is a good coach, but if you come with a Dutch mentality only to come to England, it's difficult," he said. "You have to adapt yourself, you have to understand that you don't win games only with football, you need power as well. You need power, you need technique. You need stamina and the right mentality.

    "That's why we love the Premier League. There is no easy games, and that is what you need to understand."

    Gullit - who himself managed Chelsea and Newcastle United during his days in the Premier League - also accused United of "living in the past", adding: "I think that there's a lot of problems at Man United.

    "I think they live too much in the past," he said. "They talk about the 90s team too much. That's the past.

    "If you see teams that played football that [United] now want to play, but are too late. [Manchester City manager] Pep Guardiola did it, [Liverpool manager Jurgen] Klopp did it, [Chelsea manager Thomas] Tuchel did it. And [United] were hanging in the past, [Louis] Van Gaal and [Jose] Mourinho as well. Great coaches, but there's a new era. There is a new way of playing, and that's the reason why they stood behind.

    "I think they also they sacked Mourinho too early [in 2018]. I think because he still had a trophy when he was there with players that were not that good.

    "The thing is also, nowadays, players want to go to different teams. They want to go to Liverpool, they want to go to City, they want to go to Chelsea. [United] are not the main team any more in England, as they were with [Sir Alex] Ferguson. That's the past.

    "So you need to change your mentality a little bit and it will take some time.

    "Plus, they have five ex-players who every day talk about Manchester United. It's difficult, and the only way you can overcome that is to win. And if you don't, every day, you're going to see the newspapers, the first five, six articles all about Man United, every day. It's difficult."

    Gullit also took time to praise the work of former Milan striker, Ukraine international and Laureus Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko, who has been working with Laureus to help refugee programmes in Eastern Europe following the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    "It's incredibly difficult for me to imagine what Andriy Shevchenko and his family have gone through over the past six months. I was delighted to see Andriy visiting a refugee project in Warsaw, which is helping Ukrainians to rebuild their lives away from the horrors of war," he said.

    "Nelson Mandela, a man I have a huge amount of respect for and a man I dedicated my Ballon d'Or to in 1987, spoke at the first Laureus Awards and said 'Sport can create hope where once there was only despair'.

    "Watching footage from Andriy's visit with Laureus Sport for Good in Warsaw reminded me of Mandela's words, but also of the incredible power sport can have to change lives. What Andriy and Laureus are doing to make a difference shows the power of sport around the world."

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    Barca head coach Xavi on Friday revealed the club were "very optimistic" that their new recruits would be registered, but all five may not be given the green light for their first match of the LaLiga campaign against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

    It later emerged that Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have been registered along with Ousmane Dembele and Sergi Roberto, who signed new contracts

    Centre-back Kounde's registration has not been sanctioned by LaLiga despite Barca having activated a fourth economic lever on Friday.

    It had been reported that Kounde may be the last of the five new recruits the Catalan giants have brought in to be registered, given the big-money signing from Sevilla underwent surgery to repair a minor pelvis injury in June.

    Barca have been busy raising funds to try and meet LaLiga's salary limits and sold a further 24.5 per cent of their production company for €100million, having also agreed a hugely lucrative sponsorship deal with Spotify and sold a percentage of broadcast rights.

    The Blaugrana have lowered their wage bill by offloading players and could also sell Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have both been linked with Chelsea.

    Blaugrana head coach Xavi said in a press conference on Friday he was prepared for the possibility that some of his new men may not be eligible to play this weekend.

    He told reporters: "We are working hard and everyone at the club is very positive. Maybe not 100 per cent [of the players will be registered], but we are optimistic. We'll see. The club has signed very well, I am very excited about the players we have signed. We have time until tomorrow and now we are very optimistic."

    Barca are expected to make Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso their next signing and they continue to be linked with Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

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    The England defender joined the Rossoneri on a permanent deal from Chelsea in July 2021 after a successful loan spell at San Siro.

    Tomori put pen to paper on a four-year deal with Milan when he left Stamford Bridge just over 13 months ago.

    The commanding centre-back played a big part as Milan ended an 11-year wait to win the Serie A title last season and he has been rewarded with a contract extension.

    Chelsea academy graduate made 30 appearances for Stefano Pioli's side in the Italian top flight last season, helping the champions keep 13 clean sheets.

    He won more tackles (44) than any other Milan defender, and had the most tackles won (44), blocks (23), interceptions (44) and clearances (77).

    The 24-year-old's new deal was announced on the eve of the champions' first game of the Serie A season against Udinese at San Siro on Saturday.

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