City clinched their fourth title in five seasons with a memorable victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, fighting back from 2-0 down with less than 15 minutes to play to triumph 3-2 and pip rivals Liverpool to glory by a single point.
The game took place on a poignant and emotional day for the city of Manchester, the fifth anniversary of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in which 22 people died in May 2017 and hundreds were left injured by suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who detonated a device outside an Ariana Grande concert.
Several tributes and moments of reflection took place throughout Manchester on Sunday, including a minute’s applause at the Great Manchester Run and commemorations held at Victoria Station and the Glade of Light memorial. The bells at Manchester Cathedral will also toll at 10:31pm BST on Sunday night to mark the moment that the attack took place.
City and Villa’s players also marked the occasion by wearing black armbands, while City and Manchester United both had bee symbols printed onto their shirts for Sunday’s games.
Per the Manchester Evening News, City ambassador Mike Summerbee has also lain wreaths of remembrance at the Glade of Light and memorial garden at the Etihad, while City raised over £80,000 for five charities at the recent ‘Manchester Remembers’ legends and celebrities match held at their Academy Stadium.
Speaking at his post-match press conference after City’s dramatic win over Villa, Guardiola said: “It’s the fifth anniversary of the Manchester Arena tragedy. It’s a special day for us, we want to share it with the families who suffered in this terrible event and dedicate this to them.”
Guardiola also stated that this City squad would be remembered as “legends” after taking his tally of major trophies to nine during six successful years in charge at the Etihad.
“When you win in the Premier League four times in five seasons, it’s because these guys are so, so special. We’ll be remembered,” he said. “These guys are legends.”
However, Guardiola would still not be drawn on his own long-term City future as he prepares to enter the final 12 months of his contract.
“Now I don’t have the energy or desire to think about next season,” he said. “It was a real tough two months in the Champions League and here but we are champions again. We will defend our crown again and again.”