Just over 24 hours after the frenetic events of the final day of the season, Manchester City paraded their Premier League trophy through the streets to celebrate with their fans on Monday, with Jack Grealish making the most of the festivities.
City kicked things off with a traditional open-top bus tour that set off from from Exchange Square and wound its way through a-mile-and-a-half of glittering ticker tape and flare smoke.
The route ended with the playing squad, coaches and backroom staff arriving outside Beetham Tower where they took to a special stage that had been erected for the back-to-back English league champions.
Fans turned out in their thousands to herald the squad, who clinched the title ahead of Liverpool by a single point after coming back from two goals down against Aston Villa with 20 minutes of the season remaining to win 3-2.
Among the crowds there was even a City title wedding, with one couple tying the knot the day after manager Pep Guardiola tied up his fourth title in five years.
The star of the bus parade was undoubtedly Grealish, who appeared to take over as MC for the occasion. The winger cracked a cheeky joke about teammate Bernardo Silva‘s performance on the final day after the midfielder’s late substitution coincided with the start of City’s momentous comeback.
Taking the mic with a huge grin on his face, Grealish offered a wry thank you to Silva for exiting the pitch in the 70th minute because he had been “miles off it” up until that point.
Jack Grealish: “The main person I want to thank is Bernardo Silva for coming off in the 70th minute, because he was miles off it yesterday!” 😂
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 23, 2022
Proving there were no hard feelings between the two, Silva then shared a video of him celebrating with Grealish during which the latter made another playful dig about Riyad Mahrez, coupled with an unexpected pop at Newcastle United forward Miguel Almiron.
“What was the secret yesterday?” Silva asked his teammate. “Two secrets,” came the croaky reply. “Number one, Riyad — take him off the pitch as soon as possible! He played like Almiron.”
Give these two their own show already 😂 pic.twitter.com/Z6wDYLhKXo
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) May 23, 2022
The roast continued on stage as Grealish teased his City teammates in front of the gathered fans, quipping that he was the only player capable of outfoxing Kyle Walker in a 1-vs.-1 scenario.
“Me when I was at Aston Villa, that’s why Pep signed me.” 😂
Jack Grealish stole the mic when Kyle Walker was asked who could beat him 1v1.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 23, 2022
Decked out in his “Buzzing: Champions” t-shirt and shades, the £100 million British-record signing clutched a drink in each hand as he made the most of winning his first-ever major honour.
The 26-year-old remained front and centre as the celebrations rolled on, swinging the Premier League trophy around with careless abandon as the City entourage partied around him.
And the England international summoned every ounce of strength in his famously robust calves to help hoist a fellow reveller up on to his shoulders.
Perhaps the coolest entrance was made by Guardiola, who sauntered onto the stage through a cloud of smoke with a large cigar in his mouth.
You know something important is going down if Pep has that celebratory stogie lit.
The Spaniard even afforded himself a little victory jig after claiming to be the best dancer among his backroom staff “by far.”
“I’m the best dancer out of my staff by far” 🤣
Pep Guardiola speaking at Manchester City’s trophy parade 🏆 pic.twitter.com/nljyAvRGoa
— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) May 24, 2022
Sorry, Pep, but the evidence suggests otherwise. You’d think that a guy with 32 trophies won over the course of his 15-year managerial career would have had enough practice by now.
Still, with striker Erling Haaland due to arrive from Borussia Dortmund this summer in time for preseason, Guardiola will surely be the bookies’ favourite to be he manager doing the dancing again in 12 months’ time.