Kevin De Bruyne admits Man City doubts during thrilling title finale and hails Pep Guardiola’s super subs

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·2-min read
Kevin De Bruyne admits Man City doubts during thrilling title finale and hails Pep Guardiola’s super subs
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Kevin De Bruyne admitted the panic set in during yesterday’s remarkable Premier League finale but hailed substitutes Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko for inspiring the dramatic comeback that made Manchester City champions.

City claimed their fourth crown in five seasons thanks to a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad, pipping Liverpool to the title by a single point, but had to do it the hard way as they came from two goals down to beat Steven Gerrard’s side.

Failure to win would have left the door open for Liverpool to leapfrog Pep Guardiola’s men with victory over Wolves and when asked whether he feared the worst after former Anfield hero Philippe Coutinho had doubled Villa’s lead with just 20 minutes to play, De Bruyne said: “Maybe a couple of times. It’s so different you can’t explain it.

“You try to stay as calm as possible but I think for about 10 seconds you doubt yourself, then you just go for it.”

Gundogan came off the bench to halve the deficit from Raheem Sterling’s cross, before Rodri steered home Zinchenko’s pull-back to equalise. Gundogan then tapped in De Bruyne’s low cross to complete an incredible five-minute turnaround.

In Pictures | Manchester City win Premier League 2021/22

"2-1 changed the whole situation for me,” De Bruyne added. “The stadium changes, the atmosphere, the players, then we just didn’t look back. Ilkay and Zinchenko changed the game.”

It was an emotional success for Ukrainian Zinchenko, who afterwards draped the Premier League trophy in his country’s flag.

“It’s unforgettable emotions for me,” he said. “For all Ukrainians which at the moment are starving, they are surviving, in my country because of Russian aggression.

Kevin De Bruyne was named Premier League Player of the Season before Manchester City clinched the title (Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
Kevin De Bruyne was named Premier League Player of the Season before Manchester City clinched the title (Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

“I am so proud to be Ukrainian. I would love to one day bring this title to Ukraine. For all Ukrainian people because they deserve it.”

Liverpool went on to beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield, though did not take the lead until City’s comeback was complete, meaning Jurgen Klopp’s men never actually topped the table and must now prepare to go again in next weekend’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

“With all the things I would have preferred actually they [City] were 5-0 up after 10 minutes,” Klopp said. “This season is absolutely incredible and will not end today, it ends next week obviously. Of course, losing the league increased the desire to put it right next week.”

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