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'It just had to be Villa, didn't it?' - Grealish looks forward to City’s day of destiny

The Premier League title favourites face his former side on Sunday.

Manchester City's Jack Grealish applauds the fans after yesterday's 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Manchester City's Jack Grealish applauds the fans after yesterday's 2-2 draw with West Ham.
Image: PA

JACK GREALISH CANNOT wait to take on his former club and try to secure a first Premier League winners’ medal.

The winger, who joined Manchester City from Aston Villa for £100 million last summer, faces his old side in next Sunday’s title decider.

City know a victory will be enough to clinch a fourth crown in five years no matter what Liverpool do in their last two matches.

“You want to make it as easy as you can for yourselves,” Grealish told the cub website.

“We have a great home record, all our fans will be behind us, it will be a great day. Fingers crossed we can go and get the win.

It just had to be against Aston Villa, didn’t it? It doesn’t matter about me and it doesn’t matter who we play against.

“We will try to get all three points. It’ll be different for me, I’ve never had that before, to play for a game to win (a title). I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait.”

Grealish has endured a difficult first season with City but he grabbed his third Premier League goal of the campaign, and his first away from home, in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at West Ham.

“About time, isn’t it? I just try to score goals,” he added. “The manager tells me (to) keep getting into the box.

“I hit the target. I’ve scored quite a few goals at that ground in my career, hopefully I can play there more often.”

City were trailing to Jarrod Bowen’s first-half double when Grealish halved the deficit, and they drew level through a Vladimir Coufal own goal.

Pep Guardiola’s side could have won a topsy-turvy match but Riyad Mahrez saw a late penalty saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

The match was retiring Hammers skipper Mark Noble’s last at home and there were emotional scenes before and after.

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The 35-year-old midfielder came on for the last 20 minutes but there was no sentiment involved.

“We agreed that we wouldn’t do that at all,” said Noble. “It was only in the best interests of the football team and West Ham, so Kevin Nolan came out to me at half-time and said, ‘The gaffer is going to need you at about 70 minutes’.

“And thank you to Lukasz for a fantastic penalty save at the end because it made the day that bit more special.”

BTL 5

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