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One of the most special aspects about Manchester City’s Premier League title win last term were the number of hard-fought victories.
Perhaps none bigger than City’s 3-2 victory against Aston Villa on the final day of the season to seal their status as domestic champions.
After all, the Sky Blues were in a precarious position in the 69th minute after Philippe Coutinho had doubled the Villains’ lead.
It seemed as if fate had plans for Liverpool to go on and become the champions of England after all.
However, Pep Guardiola’s side responded in lionhearted fashion, courtesy of a five-minute comeback in which they miraculously scored three goals.
Ilkay Gundogan replaced Bernardo Silva off the bench to score a brilliant brace, while Rodri’s finely-struck equaliser sealed a fightback for the ages.
Another game that similarly springs to mind is City’s valiant 2-1 triumph against Arsenal on New Year’s Day.
The Gunners were undoubtedly the dominant side in the first half and were rewarded on the balance of play with a well-deserved Bukayo Saka opener in the 31st minute.
However, City’s maturity shone through as they stayed resilient and equalised after Riyad Mahrez converted from the spot in the 57th minute.
Shortly after, Gabriel Magalhães was sent off in the 59th minute as the tie swung in City’s favour.
As the clash looked set for a draw, Rodri came up trumps with a 93rd minute winner and went on to celebrate in emphatic fashion in front of the travelling Arsenal fans.
In the build-up to one of the most dramatic games of last season, Mikel Arteta’s team talk before the contest at the Etihad Stadium has now surfaced.
“When we were at the Etihad, remember what they did.
"3-0 down with 10 players and they went and f*****g putting [Riyad] Mahrez and [Raheem] Sterling on the pitch to humiliate you,” he said in Arsenal’s Amazon documentary, ‘All or Nothing’.
Ultimately, the former Sky Blues assistant manager’s efforts to motivate his side looked set to work wonders, as Arsenal looked in pole position to pull off an upset against the Premier League champions in January.
However, it was City’s know-how on days like those that gave them the edge in their successful title defence.
Both sides got off to a winning start on this year's Premier League opening weekend.
Arsenal produced an impressive performance against Crystal Palace, while Erling Haaland's brace earned City all three points against West Ham United.