Men's Team

Gundogan: Frustration fuelled title-winning Villa performance

Gundogan: Frustration fuelled title-winning Villa performance
Ilkay Gundogan says the disappointment of being left out of the starting XI for last season’s Premier League title-decider against Aston Villa was the catalyst for his match-winning performance.

The German midfielder wrote his name into City’s history books with an unforgettable introduction off the bench, scoring twice in five minutes as Pep Guardiola’s men fought back from two goals down to seal a 3-2 win that crowned us champions of England for the fourth time in five years.

Gundogan admits he had expected to start at the Etihad Stadium, but with Rodrigo, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva preferred in midfield, he used the frustration of missing out as motivation for his Man of the Match display.

“It didn’t start that well for me,” he said when discussing the game at the premiere of Together: Champions Again! – a new seven-part documentary series which takes fans behind the scenes throughout the 2021/22 campaign.

“I was highly expecting to start that game and I didn’t. The week before I hadn’t started the West Ham game, so I was quite confident in starting against Aston Villa.

“I was a bit frustrated as you can imagine but I still tried to be focused and support the guys that were starting and I think I put that frustration a little bit into the game.

“Things didn’t start so well when I got subbed on as we were 10 seconds in and we conceded the second goal and then, to be honest, as a professional football player you always try to do your best, do the simple things.

“We scored the first goal and luckily that happened, then in ten minutes we scored the three goals. Everything happened so quickly, it’s still difficult for me to analyse as it all happened so quickly.”

The first episode of Together: Champions Again! will be released on CITY+ and the Club’s Recast channel at 18:00 (UK) on Wednesday 27 July, with the remaining instalments to follow in the coming weeks.

During the series we see Gundogan take a training session with City’s Under-16 side as part of the coaching hours required for his studies for the UEFA B Licence.

The 31-year-old has no intention of retiring anytime soon, but plans to progress to the pro licence – the highest qualification in the game – and credits working under Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel for whetting his appetite for coaching.

“There are no concrete plans [for coaching] right now,” he explained.

“I started at the beginning of last season, May or June, with the German FA.

“The reason I wanted to do it is I’m 31, hopefully I’ve got some more years ahead of me, and I want to be ahead of things, and this is an area I’ve always wanted to explore especially having the privilege of working with Pep, Thomas Tuchel and Klopp.

“I wanted to learn some stuff with the German FA and the Academy under-16s. I’m the owner now of the B licence, then I’ll go for A and the pro licence.”

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