Fans line the streets as the team celebrates the Premier League title in an open top bus

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

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

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

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

City just managed to fend off Liverpool’s challenge the last day of the season Sunday.

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

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

On Monday, Guardiola, who became English football’s most successful overseas manager with his fourth league title, puffed on a cigar and looked a rejuvenated man after a tense top run.

He said: “Everyone knows it was an amazing achievement. It’s the toughest league and we’ve won four since we’ve been here. I can see the happiness on people’s faces.

“I’m the best dancer in my staff, we’ll do it tonight. We saw the reaction when Ilkay Gundogan scored the winning goal.”

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, two football fans were charged after the game at the Etihad Stadium.

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

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

Both were released on bail ahead of court appearances.

Separately, police said investigations into the alleged assault on a player on the pitch after the final whistle were underway with officers working in partnership with the two football clubs.

Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen was reportedly assaulted as thousands of City supporters stormed the pitch at the full-time whistle to celebrate the Premier League victory, prompting City to issue an apology.