Jack Grealish banishes the idea of winning the Premier League by beating his former club Aston Villa next Sunday. The £100million signing from the Midlands club is just one medal win away from their first title winner after sparking a 2-2 comeback with a goal at West Ham that is likely to set the Blues for a simple equation on the last day – win and they’re champions.
That will change if Liverpool slip up at Southampton tomorrow night – a defeat would mean City win the crown without kicking a ball, while a draw would leave them with just a draw against Villans on Sunday to secure their fourth title in five years. Sunday’s game is full of stories, with Steven Gerrard in charge of the visitors – his famous slip gave City the title initiative in 2014, meaning he left the club without ever winning the league, but could eventually to gain a title to them by obtaining a result with Villa.
And with former Liverpool teammates Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho in the Villa ranks, and Grealish potentially facing the club where he spent 20 years, the side stories keep coming. But the England star says he is focused on helping City win the game and refuses to consider facing former team-mates, saying: “Of course we are going to be confident.
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“We have a great record at the Etihad this year and we’ve scored a lot of goals, so it’s up to us. We just have to try and get the three points on the final day.
“It’s not about me [versus Villa] or the opposition, it is about the team and the club. That’s what I have in mind. It’s going to be a great day for this city and for this football club.
“I hope we can go and lift the trophy. All we can do is go out there and try to get three points so we can get our hands on the trophy. Of course it will be a great opportunity for me, but it’s about the team and we have a job to go out there and get three points. I can’t wait to be there and I can’t wait.
Grealish has received largely unfair criticism for a relatively marginal role in City’s season, scoring just six goals and four assists in his debut season. But his volley early in the second half at the London Stadium, which set up City for a two-goal fightback to take a point, was a vital contribution.
Grealish revealed that the team’s poor defensive performance, which earned Jarrod Bowen those two first-half goals, caused Guardiola no anger at half-time. He said: “He was obviously positive with us as he always is and he gave us a good team chat.
“He just said we were dominating the game and dominating the ball, even though we were down 2-0. It just shows the character we have in the team.
“We had a lot of injuries, especially in defense, and we still came out in the second half and put in a great performance. Luckily we scored both goals and we could have won, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I think we played well. We dominated the game, dominated the ball. They had their fair share of chances and obviously scored two goals.
“We knew what they were going to do, which was to put the ball in (Michail) Antonio, have runners on him and try to play the ball behind and that’s what they do very well. West Ham are a tough place to come to and they’ve beaten some big teams here this year. To score a point at the end, especially after the score at half-time, is a good point for us.
This was despite Riyad Mahrez having his late penalty saved by Lukasz Fabianski, missing the chance to cap the comeback in style. Said Grealish: “At the end of the day it’s one of those games where you would have liked to win it, but at half-time I think we would have drawn it. It was nerve-wracking even though it was fun for the viewers!
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