EPL

'Back from the dead' – Fernandinho goes out in a blaze of Man City glory

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Fernandinho signed off from Manchester City with a fifth Premier League title under his belt as the club captain declared: "It's like we came back from the dead."

From 2-0 down to Aston Villa after goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho, City roared back in the final 15 minutes and snatched a 3-2 win with a double from Ilkay Gundogan and a fine strike from Rodri.

Brazilian Fernandinho has decided his time is up at City, after nine successful years in which he established himself among the best defensive midfielders in the history of the Premier League.

At the age of 37, the skipper played the first half of Sunday's game before a tactical switch saw Oleksandr Zinchenko take his place after the break.

That was a shrewd move as the younger legs of Zinchenko gave City a little extra energy, with Fernandinho having been deployed out of position at centre-back.

The outcome delighted Fernandinho, who watched on anxiously from the bench before City roared back to snatch the silverware. He then lifted the trophy, the perfect finale to his City career.

"It's a great experience for me," Fernandinho old Sky Sports. "It's like we came back from the dead today and won the league – an amazing feeling.

"At 2-0 down, playing at home, and we were a little bit nervous. We struggled a little bit to find the spaces. We had so many set-pieces [in the first half], but it wasn't enough to score the goal."

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne and substitutes Gundogan and Raheem Sterling drove City forward late on, and Fernandinho said such players "made the difference for us.".

"I think this is Manchester City's spirit. We never give up, we always believe until the end," Fernandinho added.

He joined the club a year after their first Premier League title in 2012, when a 3-2 comeback win over QPR on the final day was clinched by Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time strike.

"It happened 10 years ago and today is a little bit different, but it's quite the same," Fernandinho said.

"It's a really emotional day for me. It was a really nice experience for me, a beautiful journey, and for sure they will be always in my heart.

"It's unforgettable emotions for me."

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