Men's Team

Rodrigo: Title win against Villa still gives me goosebumps

Rodrigo may be focusing on World Cup glory with Spain, but the events of last May’s epic title decider against Aston Villa are still fresh in his memory.

City’s anchor-man still reflects on the dramatic events of the final day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign and the way the game unfolded.

With the title at stake and three points needed to fend off Liverpool’s challenge, the Blues trailed 2-0 to Villa at the Etihad with 76 minutes on the clock.

What followed was a finale that typified the spirit and never-say-die attitude of this group of Manchester City players as Rodrigo and a Ilkay Gundogan brace turned the game on its head in the space of six unforgettable minutes.

“You talk about that day and my skin gets goosebumps. I think we made history that day,” said Rodrigo.

“It is so difficult to win the Premier League and for it to go into the last game.

“You have 80 or 90 points and of course you know Liverpool are behind you and they are not going to drop or give you anything.

“You have to win.”

Rodrigo says the task was all the more difficult having suffered a gut-wrenching loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final a few weeks earlier.

City led 3-1 on aggregate at the Bernabeu with just added to time to see out but would end up losing 4-3 and seeing a place in the final snatched away in incredible circumstances.

“I remember since the Real Madrid knockout game, we still had four games to win the Premier League,” he said.

“It was very difficult in this situation because the Champions League dream is gone and now you still have to fight for something massive and so tough until the end.

“Your mood is down, but you have to recover this spirit. It is not easy, and I think those last games were the best part of the season after this defeat.

“We showed the strong personality we have until the last game which we needed to win, but we were losing 2-0.

“Imagine the feeling we have in those moments on the pitch.

“We didn’t have 70 minutes, we had 25 minutes.

"Everything happened really fast, and it felt like it wasn’t our day.

“Football shows you that sometimes it gives you something. Real Madrid was catastrophic, and this day was incredible.

“That speaks about the spirit of the team, the spirit of football and that you should always believe.

“The team was important, and we could do something very similar to what Sergio Aguero did in those days back in 2012.


“To win another league in the last minutes, I always say that it represents the people in the crowd.

“That moment talks about the club, the spirit of the club, the time they have waited for these sorts of moments is years and years and now it is happening at Manchester City.

“You are working one year to achieve the Premier League title and when you win it is incredible and you have two or three days to celebrate.

“But then you have to focus on other things. You don’t have half a year to celebrate, it is just this.

“That is why the feeling is unbelievable.”