Pep Guardiola puffs on cigar with staff as Man City celebrate with title parade
Pep Guardiola has been celebrating Manchester City's Premier League title victory in style after being spotted puffing on a cigar with his backroom staff during the team's open-top bus parade on Monday.
Thousands of jubilant fans crowded into the city centre to join the party 24 hours after the club's manic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium to seal their fourth title in five seasons.
The Citizens went into the game knowing that a victory would be enough to secure the trophy, but astonishingly found themselves 2-0 down with 14 minutes to play, and on the verge of being leapfrogged by rivals Liverpool. But conjuring the spirit of 2012, they clawed their way back from the brink with Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri netting to snatch glory from the jaws of despair.
Following months of Liverpool's breathing down their necks, City's players, staff and fans were finally able to relax, and the squad marked their triumph by hitting the town until the early hours of the morning – and met up again for the title parade this afternoon.
Players were pictured sipping beer and champagne as they were carried through the packed-out streets of Manchester, though it was Guardiola's cigar snap that fans on social media loved best.
"What an absolute don! My manager," one City fan tweeted.
"Someone make this an album cover," wrote another, while a third said: "Warra photo, give him a 500 year contract!"
Who looked cooler smoking a cigar – Pep Guardiola or Carlo Ancelotti? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Reserve goalkeeper Scott Carson was also pictured with a stogie, Kevin De Bruyne admitted to fans he was drunk and Rodri and Ederson doused them with bottles of booze while players took it in turns to lift the trophy at the front of the bus.
During the stage presentation, Guardiola told fans: "It was a plan to be calm at 2-0 down. It was a great afternoon and great night. Everybody knows it was an incredible achievement. This is the toughest league and we have won four since we have been here. I can see the happiness on people's faces.
"It was a tough moment at the end … the players showed an incredible comeback, there was a lot of tension after Real Madrid but we never give up. We have to be so proud of the group of players."
De Bruyne then took the mic: "I am a little bit drunk," he told fans. "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.
"10 seconds after the 2-0 [I felt we lost it], but we did it, the City way. Now it feels very sweet," the Belgian added.
Jack Grealish was next up, saying: "The main person I want to thank is Bernardo Silva for coming off in the 70th minute as we was miles off it yesterday."
De Bruyne added: "Thank you to the fans, the last game and atmosphere was amazing. Enjoy the summer and let's go again."
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