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Manchester City parade: Fans line the streets as team celebrate Premier League title on open top bus

Thousands of Manchester City fans have lined the streets to celebrate their team’s fourth Premier League title in five years.

It was the first time since the COVID pandemic that the supporters were allowed to party with their heroes.

Players and staff took to an open top bus in a Manchester parade as they held the trophy aloft.

Confetti rained down and blue smoke flares were lit along the route from Exchange Square, on to St Mary’s Gate and then south on Deansgate, before finishing at the Beetham Tower with a live stage show.

City just managed to hold off the challenge from Liverpool on the final day of the season on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola’s side were 2-0 down at home to Aston Villa with 14 minutes remaining before scoring three goals in a dramatic five-minute turnaround to win the match 3-2.

City took the title by a single point over the Reds, who beat Wolves 3-1.

On Monday, Guardiola, who became the most successful foreign manager in English football with his fourth league title, puffed away on a cigar and looked a rejuvenated man after a tense top-flight race.

He said: “Everybody knows it was an incredible achievement. This is the toughest league and we have won four since we’ve been here. I can see the happiness on the people’s faces.

“I am the best dancer of my staff, we will do it tonight. We saw the reaction when Ilkay Gundogan scored the winning goal.”

Midfielder Kevin De Bruyne said: “It is amazing, to do this for the fourth time. We couldn’t really do it last year because of COVID but amazing to see so many people here to celebrate with us.

“The players have pushed me all the way. I’ve been here seven years and I love them. I have three more years and I’m definitely staying, this is where I want to be and win more trophies.”

The Belgian star was named the Premier League’s Player of the Season, having won the award for a second time after scoring 15 goals and providing eight assists – including one for the winner by Gundogan.

Gundogan said: “Honestly I didn’t feel that much (scoring the winner), I got it on a plate from Kevin. Everything else was pure joy. Not a bad week, I cannot complain.”

Meanwhile, two football fans have been charged following the match at the Etihad Stadium.

Phillip Maxwell, of Knowsley, has been charged with throwing a missile (pyrotechnic) on to the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on 23 June.

Paul Colbridge, of Salford, has been charged with going on to the pitch and will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on 7 June.

Both have been bailed ahead of the court appearances.

Separately, police said enquiries into the reported assault of a player on the pitch after the final whistle are ongoing with officers working in partnership with both football clubs.

Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was reportedly assaulted as thousands of City fans stormed the pitch at the full-time whistle to celebrate winning the Premier League – prompting an apology from City.

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