‘It’s one of the great substitutions in Premier League history!’: Pep Guardiola hailed as a GENIUS by Micah Richards and Roy Keane for game-changing Ilkay Gundogan move that sparked comeback to win Manchester City the title
- Manchester City won the Premier League title after victory over Aston Villa
- Substitute Ilkay Gundogan found the net twice as City came from behind to win
- Sky Sports’ pundits hailed Pep Guardiola’s decision to bring the midfielder on
- Fellow substitutes Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko both got assists
- Roy Keane described the Spanish boss as ‘as one of the best coaches ever’
- Guardiola has won the title in four of his six seasons at the Etihad Stadium
Pep Guardiola was hailed ‘as one of the best coaches ever’ by Roy Keane after the Spaniard’s substitutions proved crucial in Manchester City winning the Premier League title on the final day of the season.
City knew that a win over Aston Villa would guarantee them the trophy, but were left stunned as they found themselves 2-0 down after 69 minutes at the Etihad.
But Guardiola’s team mounted a sensational comeback and scored three goals in the space of five minutes – two from Ilkay Gundogan and one from Rodri – to lift the title.
Pep Guardiola’s substitutions proved vital as Manchester City beat Aston Villa to win the title
Ilkay Gundogan came off the bench to score twice in City’s sensational comeback victory
Gundogan had only come on to the pitch in the 68th minute, moments before Philippe Coutinho doubled Villa’s lead.
But the German proved to be the match-winner and indeed the title-winner, while fellow substitutes Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko both got assists.
‘I think it’s one of the great substitutions in Premier League history, bringing on Gundogan,’ Jamie Redknapp said. ‘I think all three of us thought he might bring on Jack Grealish, he didn’t. He brought on someone who was so calm, so assured. Two really good finishes, he sniffed them out.’
Micah Richards described Guardiola’s decision to bring on the midfielder as a ‘genius move’
Raheem Sterling also earned praise for his performance as he assisted Gundogan’s first goal
Discussing Gundogan’s first goal that halved the deficit, Micah Richards said: ‘That was the spark. Two subs involved, Sterling to Gundogan, making that late midfield run into the box, and that’s what they were missing. That’s exactly what they needed.
‘Everyone is talking about Pep over-thinking things. Today, it’s a genius move. He brings on Gundogan and gets you two goals, Sterling gets the assist as well. Absolutely brilliant.’
‘Sterling I thought made a difference, he was a real threat,’ Roy Keane added. ‘City, these last few years, they do keep going until the end. Absolutely outstanding, all credit to City.’
Guardiola has now guided City to four of the last five titles – only Sir Alex Ferguson (13) has won more in the Premier League era.
Guardiola has led Manchester City to the title in four of his six seasons in charge at the Etihad
Roy Keane hailed the Spaniard as ‘one of the best coaches ever’ after City lifted the trophy
Across spells at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and City, the Spaniard has won the title in 10 of his 13 seasons as a top-flight manager.
‘Pep is one of the greatest coaches ever,’ Keane said. ‘I know people constantly say “well he’s worked with the top players”, but you’ve still got to manage them, have a style of play.
‘They’ve been so consistent over the years. That comes from him. It’s like Klopp at Liverpool, they start the ball rolling, and then everyone else follows behind.’