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Man City deservedly on brink of title glory

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Phil McNulty | 17:00 UK time, Sunday, 6 May 2012

Manchester City must win at home against QPR - fighting for their Premier League lives near the bottom of the table - and avoid a mathematical meltdown of goal difference next Sunday to win their first title for 44 years.

It all comes down to that.

It is worth stating that simple fact to underscore the message to fiercely loyal supporters whose natural default position is to believe it is in their club's DNA to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Roberto Mancini celebrates winning at Newcastle

Roberto Mancini is likely to be celebrating a Premier League title in a week's time. Photo: Getty

What it means to City, downtrodden by Manchester United's recent years of unbroken success under Sir Alex Ferguson, was written on the face of club legend Mike Summerbee as he sat alongside Patrick Vieira in the stands at Newcastle United on Sunday.

The great former winger, a vocal champion of City and always ready to take the fight to United even in the fallow years, looked emotional and close to tears as Roberto Mancini's side showed the touch of champions to impressively win 2-0 on Tyneside.

Summerbee or "Buzzer" to the still adoring City fans, was no doubt letting his mind wander back to that final day of the 1968 season when he was on the same ground and scored in a 4-3 win at Newcastle that brought the title to Maine Road under the guidance of manager Joe Mercer and the wonderful maverick coach Malcolm Allison.

As City closed out the win that pushes them to within touching distance of being champions of England once more, and making it even sweeter for the likes of Summerbee by taking it off Manchester United, he looked lost in thought.

The long and barren years, the memories of the mocking banner that used to hang from one corner of the Stretford End recording City's years without a trophy until they won the FA Cup last season, will feel an age away with victory against QPR and former manager Mark Hughes next week.

City's fans will, of course, still fear the worst and QPR's own plight ensures a scrap, but they are in a position they will have dreamed about. One home win equals the title for a team that has only dropped two points (to Sunderland) on their own territory this season.

The trip to Newcastle was meant to be the big obstacle, the test of nerve that told us whether Mancini's man had what potential champions need. It was an examination passed in the most impressive fashion with great credit to players and their manager.

In the back of all City minds would have been the knowledge that a draw was always likely to push the door open just enough for United to burst through and claim title number 20.

The first half brought frustration as City enjoyed possession but could not create workable opportunities against Alan Pardew's fine Newcastle team, who have brought an added element of surprise to this Premier League season.

As the second half ticked away, City could have been forgiven for rushing their work in the increasingly urgency to secure the goal they needed. The fact that they did not, that they remained utterly composed, showed the confidence resulting in recovery from a position where their title hopes looked snuffed out after defeat at Arsenal in early April which left United with an eight-point advantage.

And leadership came from the sidelines as well as on the pitch as Mancini made a crucial tactical adjustment that gave Yaya Toure the licence and freedom to score the goals that mean City are almost at their destination.

The removal of Samir Nasri for Nigel de Jong just after the hour could have been construed as a negative move. It was anything but, the Netherlands midfield man anchoring things as Toure, a superb footballer and supreme athlete, did the damage.

The nerve and thought processes of Mancini remained as clear as that of his players. No panic, simply the passing and probing that brought the thoroughly deserved and desired result.

Mancini has had his doubters but he has held City together with great experience and wisdom in these closing weeks, despite pushing the bounds of credibility with his constant assurances that United remain title favourites. Indeed that record is so stuck it may take some breaking if City do win against QPR.

The wild card has been United's own unexpected collapse, losing at Wigan Athletic and conceding a two-goal lead in the last seven minutes to draw 4-4 at home to Everton before City won what looks to be that defining derby last Monday.

Mancini had to keep City's mood high enough to be in a position to take advantage of any slips. He did.

Toure's precise finish from 25 yards and another from close in sent City's supporters, tucked away in a corner of the giant stadium, into ecstasy as all nerves were soothed - at least until they started to ponder what may unfold at the Etihad next Sunday.

Toure was epitome of the power that saw City through while Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott once again proved their pedigree by giving Newcastle's front men of Demba Ba and the prolific Papiss Cisse nothing to bite on.

The Etihad will be an emotional place next Sunday - an outpouring that has been building for 44 years could be released, although no-one dare underestimate QPR.

And it is also the day City's Abu Dhabi owners had in their minds when they embarked on the petrodollars-fuelled refit of this great old club.

Old fears and suspicions will nag away at the back of those who have known plenty of suffering at the hands of their beloved City since the greats such as Summerbee, Francis Lee, Mike Doyle, Neil Young and Colin Bell lifted the championship all those years ago.

It is in City's hands now. And the manner of victory at Newcastle was that of a team that knew its moment had arrived.

Comments

Page 1 of 10

  • Comment number 1.

    nice to see the Blog up early .

  • Comment number 2.

    i imagine the red half of manchester will be quite silent from now on.

    the bragging at last ends.

  • Comment number 3.

    Biggest chequebook has almost won...I'm shocked!

  • Comment number 4.

    The ManU fanoys are almost done for the season

  • Comment number 5.

    #4
    Really should have gone to Specsavers!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Man City deserve to win the league, they have been playing excellent in their last few matches while United have been poor and choking under the pressure from City and dropping valuable points. City have the better quality players than United and it has been shown in the last few crucial matches. This could be the start of City dominating winning the premier league for years to come.

  • Comment number 7.

    it is of course still possible QPR could cause a very big upset, i somehow doubt it.

    lets face it, the whole Country and most of the World are grateful to see united get what they deserve which of course is

    jack.


    lets face it a team that gets 11 penalties in one season, most of which were at home, and still go on to loose the title don't really deserve to be champions do they.

  • Comment number 8.

    considering Arsenal Sunderland Spurs the only teams not to have received a penalty at home for the whole season makes a mockery of the rubbish;

    " things even themselves out during the course of the season "

    for those interested in reading more on the subject of penalties:

    http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_Penalty_Statistics.html

  • Comment number 9.

    Yoonited and other bitters weren't talking about City's money when City were 8 points behind!
    What a season!!
    [not that we've won it yet of course]

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    £300 million title. fair play to em, they played better at certain points this season, so if they're top at the end of it, it wasn't a complete bust of a sheikh's fortune. And when Citeeh were 8 points behind, of course everyone was still talking about the money, only then we were taking the p!$$

  • Comment number 12.

    I'd wait until 4:55 pm next Sunday before I blogged, Phil.

    Not that Citeh are likely to bottle it as such, nor that Sunderland will roll over v us, either.

    Just, with the sort of season this has been, who knows? Do you think QPR will gamble on Bolton not winning at Stoke to stay up, or might they try & get something at the Etihad instead.

    As I said, wait until it's over before you hail anybody, Phil, because you have an unfortunate habit of getting egg on your face-maybe I ought to thank you for blogging now!!!!!

    and #9, plenty of people have been on all season about your petrodollars, regardless of where you were.

  • Comment number 13.

    To all the bitter, bitter Man U fans who think that Man City have just bought the league, a few stats for you.

    From the Man City starting 11 against Newcastle, and the Man Utd starting 11 against Swansea:

    each team had only 1 home grown player (Hart & Scholes). all the other players were bought.

    the total cost of Man Utds starting 11 was £167m, the starting 11 of Man C was £187m. a difference of £20m you might say... well yes but whilst man C had a lot of money sitting on the bench, so did man U with berbatov and Nani.

    so Man U, get over it... it's fair game I say and don't forget to find your chequebook before the start of next season.

  • Comment number 14.

    Sky done the same thing today, spreading an attitude that showed they were speaking as if City won it today. No bias media? Nah, not in Britain.
    QPR's late winner will buoy them for next week to scrap with City, but as a United fan (and I do mean this, even though they have bought the league), well done to them. We threw those 8 points away, and sealed it with a shocking, lackluster performance at Eastlands. So yes, well done City.

  • Comment number 15.

    Too right, weve definately deserve it this year, been the best team and played the best football, just glad a poor united side dont overachieve and win the league again and justice is done next sunday. We were superb today, the performance of Champions, well done Roberto and the club!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    12.At 18:53 6th May 2012, kickoutthejams wrote:
    plenty of people have been on all season about your petrodollars, regardless of where you were.
    _____________________________

    I am confused ???
    It is well documented that Man Utd are the richest club in the world , what do they do with their money ?

  • Comment number 17.

    "i imagine the red half of manchester will be quite silent from now on.

    the bragging at last ends"

    Not really. When they have 20 we'll stop bragging. And anyway, they've just bought this title. What's so special about that? You could have given that amount of money to any club in the league and they'd have won the title. Nothing special about it. Still just a small time club, only now with a very big chequebook. They'll win it this year, maybe next year too... but then they'll just do what Chelsea have done and fade back to 4th or 5th.

    Let the baby have its bottle. It won't last.

  • Comment number 18.

    "so Man U, get over it... it's fair game I say and don't forget to find your chequebook before the start of next season."

    Except United's signings have been made over a period of years. City's have all been bought recently with the express purpose of winning the title. However you dress it up, City have simply bought the title. They've come from mid-table obscurity to the top of the league BECAUSE they have a big chequebook. Anyone can do that. Literally anyone.

    What with Chelsea and now City simply buying their way to the championship, I think I've finally lost interest in football. It's just the biggest bank balance wins now. Where's the fun in that?

  • Comment number 19.

    13.At 18:57 6th May 2012, aliensnatcher wrote:
    To all the bitter, bitter Man U fans who think that Man City have just bought the league, a few stats for you.

    From the Man City starting 11 against Newcastle, and the Man Utd starting 11 against Swansea:

    each team had only 1 home grown player (Hart & Scholes). all the other players were bought.

    the total cost of Man Utds starting 11 was £167m, the starting 11 of Man C was £187m. a difference of £20m you might say... well yes but whilst man C had a lot of money sitting on the bench, so did man U with berbatov and Nani.

    so Man U, get over it... it's fair game I say and don't forget to find your chequebook before the start of next season.

    -----

    good post, definately being united fans crying themselves to sleep but theyve overachieved for the last few years and I'm sure most football fans will be overjoyed at their failure this season, if not the press who can't stand the Sky4 being broken up

  • Comment number 20.

    Charade you talk a lot mate.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    Makes me laugh after the press were making reference to team's collapsing like Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle in the title race and comparing City's likeness to them. Well United were 8 points clear with 6 to play and that tops any collapse of Rafa Benitez. Know its not over but I'm sure we won't hear stories of United's problems in the media, just bitterness.

    P.S. Nice to hear the cheers at the Reebok and other grounds when news of Yaya's goal spread and also Liverpool look likely to end the season with more trophies than United despite the stick theyve took from supporters with their poor form, but come on you bluess!!

  • Comment number 23.

    @13 Hart was bought from Shrewsbury. Not having a pop, just pointing it out.

  • Comment number 24.

    And so begins a series of posters who will talk about money, Man U ''relaxing their grip' after Man City 'bottled it' under pressure, penalties that should have been given at Newcastle, injuries, a desperate turn to Tevez....have I missed anything, I'm sure it will be within the next 6 pages if I have.

    Seriously though it's been a much closer season than by rights it should have been and huge credit has to go to Ferguson for getting the very best out of his squad and to Scholes who wins best cameo of the season. It's still not over yet but there surely can't be any mistakes now can there?

  • Comment number 25.

    22 see post #21

    it was all too easy for United, not too hard

    it's criminal the way they've let City off the hook but it's hardly a choke. UNited didn't deserve to be 8pts ahead in the first place but City don't deserve it any more than them.

  • Comment number 26.

    City don't not deserve to be on the brink of the title
    ------------

    A tainted title?

  • Comment number 27.

    City didn't buy the league. Look at #13. Its about a squad who perform over 38 games. We're gonna win it on merit. The table doesn't lie. We had to perform on the pitch which we have done in the last few weeks after our blip and most of the season.
    It's United who choked, Ferguson who lost out on the mind games and team selection. How sweet does that sound and the fact that the 6-1 at OT has probably sealed it for us makes it the sweetest feeling in the word.
    The blue moon is rising and rising. Long may it last

  • Comment number 28.

    WOWWWW!! CANNOT beleive the bitterness, of the man utd fans!!
    I am in no way a fan of man city, but credit where its due, theyve been great! As someone said above 11 penalties, aswell as the majority of desicions goin utds way most of the time. ROONEY 1 booking all season (howw??) ASHley tom daley young.

    LIKE, come on, humble yourselves and accept city deserve to be where theyre at. HOWEVER, its true, its not over yet. i cant relly see QPR doing much, but they way this seasons gone, u never know!!

  • Comment number 29.

    #18 Yottskry

    These days yes it is the biggest bank balance that wins, which is why Man U are still up at the top.

    I don't deny that Man C have bought the title but you can't say that man u over the last few years haven't done the same thing. Its been a good few years since fergies fledglings. when was the last time man u brought a player through their youth system that made an impact on the team?

    i think that you should actually now be more interested in football as for the next few years as it seems that more teams will be on a level playing field with man u and the race for the title will be closer and will require teams to actually play well all season.

    it's a typical glory hunting man u fan who gives up watching when things are not so easy....

  • Comment number 30.

    #23
    fair enough, so of the two teams, scholes is the only player come through the youth... whilst a great player, he's not exactly the future of Man U is he

  • Comment number 31.

    What is the first thing that ALL Man U fans will be saying after the season is over if they fail to win anything other than the CS this season? "We need to buy a few players" - how ironic after a few years of whinging about money.It's a fact of football - clubs need to spend to win, be it gradually or in a rush. Assuming City beat QPR (no foregone conclusion) it can be said that Man Utd threw it away in the same fashion Newcastle did.

  • Comment number 32.

    So many were saying how city were going to choke, and a month ago i thought they had. But wow 8 points clear and a much easier fixture list, that is a choke to end all chokes.

  • Comment number 33.

    City have been the better team this season and Fergie has got to hold his hands up and admit HE cost Utd the title, a very very poor team selection against city but the Everton draw was the turning point. Yes city will win the league this year and will most likely start as favourites for next season, But we have seen off Chelsea and we will be back again. Has the balance of power shifted, no, just the balance of money. United will always be there and always be the bigger club. The debt is getting smaller and with the float back on will almost be wiped out. Once Utd are free of debt then we can match City in the spending stakes without fear of the FFP rules. BUT for a Utd team regarded as one of the worst Fergie has had we haven't done too badly have we.

  • Comment number 34.

    And another point> city bought the title - ABSOULTE NAFF!!! utd and city spent roughly the same this year.

    UTD - jones, de gea, young - 50-60 mil
    CITY - Aguero, nasri Clichy - 50-60 mil aswell!

    Fair enough they spent big last season, but so do utd. Hart has been truly immense this season, best GK in the world for me.
    Kompany has been a beast!! puts the like of ferdinand terry skrtel dawson vermaelen etc to sleep.
    AAAND yaya toure, best midfeilder of his mould since vieria!!
    HATS OFF to city, i really hope u go on and win it!! JUST to see fergie and co go trophyless this season!!

  • Comment number 35.

    #21

    How can a title race be too close to call from the start?

  • Comment number 36.

    28 the bitterness oozes from your post.

    fwiw United have had at least one clear penalty turned down in 6 of their last 7 league games - Blackburn, QPR, Wigan, Villa, Everton and again today against Swansea.

  • Comment number 37.

    Great thing about the league is that the best team wins it, unlike cup competitions, but with it looking like its coming down to goal difference there will be a lot of what ifs from us!
    As a Utd fan I don't really like all this "you bought the title, you don't deserve it" stuff from Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal fans(hopefully no Chelsea fans would be silly enough to say it!) because the league was getting monopolised from the champions league money in the favour of the "big 4" and you could argue that we were at a constant monetary advantage from the rest, just like its very difficult in Spain to oust Real and Barca. (I accept the argument from fans of other clubs but sadly there wasn't much other way of a club outside the 'big 4' winning the title)

  • Comment number 38.

    As a United fan I'm actually happy we don't look like winning the title this season.
    We don't deserve it.
    The current squad is shockingly short of inventive,progressive players and i feared winning the league this year would paper over the cracks that are becoming more pronounced and dangerous with each game.
    How many world class players have United in the squad?
    Man City had more playing on the pitch today than United have in the whole squad.
    Feguson's embarrassing ranting at Mancini on the sidelines Monday night was pathetic and he should have quietly accepted Mancini has a better team.

    I think it's time for Ferguson to go.
    No one person is bigger than the club.. as he is so often fond of saying..this should include the manager who lest we forget has done nothing to bridge the ever growing gap in class between United and Barcelona,Athletico Bilbao etc etc etc

    Today felt like the end of an era..the Ferguson era..i just hope he has the good grace to accept his days as a top manager are over.

  • Comment number 39.

    Obviously from my username I am not a Manchester City fan, but well done Manchester City. They never gave up, even though less than a month ago they were 8 points behind Manchester United. United choked and City took advantage. Tevez coming back has all but won them the title. And the way United blew it couldn't happen to a better team. The United fans started singing 20 too early, but karma came round for Ashley Young's diving and City stole a march onto the title. The arrogance of Manchester United itself a few weeks ago, how they acted like the title was their's makes the current situation we are in all the sweeter. To all Manchester United fans laughing at us, we could (will) finish the season with more trophies than you....

  • Comment number 40.

    In my opinion, Man City thoroughly deserve the league this season. They have played the best football, with only Tottenham rivaling them up until February. Simply put, City have the best squad and the best players in the league and Mancini has done an amazing job making them play as a team, which many deemed to be full of over-paid stars with big egos. So what, if they spent a fortune, every top team needs to do that in order to succeed, and all top teams have, except for the fact that City have done it over a period of 2 years, while many others do it over a longer span (Being an Arsenal fan, I would love if Wenger spent some money himself, and I don't think anybody would complain if this was their own team). I'm just amazed that Ferguson, with what I believe has been the weakest United side in terms of quality and of course injuries for years, has managed to keep his side still level on points with a formidable Man City team like this! He truly deserves respect for that. If City do win the title, and I think they will, I really believe they will dominate for years to come. It pains for me to say that, but the quality and financial power they have is unmatchable, unless of course the financial fair-play rules are effectively implemented. Its probably about time Man City rose from their neighbor's shadow, and rightfully so this season by winning the league.

  • Comment number 41.

    @36

    how many do you require in a season, you've already had 11 given to you, and you say you should have had another 6 ? i know your well behind on goal difference, buts taking the biscuit.

    and care to enlighten me on how you and many of your red brigade conclude that
    the decisions " equal themselves out during the course of the season "

    being given 11 penalties in one campaign when others have had zero to 3
    has blown that old chestnut into the bullchite book.

  • Comment number 42.

    Well here's a few facts for ALL those who said detrimental things about City earlier in the season including Nani, Kuyt, all my Utd mates. the Dutch coach at OT René Meulensteen.. all of 'em...

    1 When they said "you can't buy success" well yes you can and yes we did

    2 Man City have been PACE SETTERS for Man U throughout the season, there is no way on this earth Utd would be challenging for the title with the (over achievers) squad they have

    3 Man U cannot and will not compete in the transfer market with City or anybody else next season , because they just don't have the money. It's wishful thinking by Man U by being linked to players like Eden Hazard, Modric etc.. they will buy lower league bargains similar to Smalling and Jones and hope they will come through.. it didn't work this season and won't in the future

    4 Utd are a spent force.. their status as a top four team is over..

  • Comment number 43.

    @13

    I'm a neutral fan as I am a Leeds supporter with maybe a slight preference on the ribbons on the title to be blue over red but to say City haven't bought the title is ludicrous to be honest. Over the past couple of seasons as Man City have climbed to the pinnacle of the league, the amount of money they have spent has been extraordinary and unparalleled. The money they have spent in the past few seasons is on the high side of £250 million. Whereas the amount of money Utd have spent in the same amount of time is roughly £90 million. I'm not sure about your calculations, I may be wrong on the figures and I may have missed some players out on both clubs but here's how I see it;

    Cities player expenditure;

    Aguero - £38 million
    Dzeko - £27 million
    Nasri - £25 million
    Y. Toure - £24 million
    Silva - £24 million
    Lescott - £22 million
    De Jong - £18 million
    K. Toure - £18 million
    Balotelli - £18 million
    Kolarov - £16 million
    Milner - £16 million
    Barry - £12 million
    Clichy - £7 million


    Uniteds Player expenditure.

    Berbatov - £30 million
    De Gea - £18 million
    Jones - 16.5 million
    Valencia - £16 million
    Young - 8 million
    Evra - £5.5 million




    To counter that it could be argues that Man Utd have also bought there way to previous titles but not so much output in so little time, so I feel that as sore as it may feel City have bought it. However, on the pitch City were outstanding today, Yaya for player of the season (for City) and have deserved to win the title on the performances on the pitch as well.

  • Comment number 44.

    As the Utd fans put it about the last McNulty blog !

    Now we have a "lets all laugh at Man Utd blog"

    The worrying thing for Man Utd is that Giggs, Scholes, and Rio are now past their sell by date and no money to bring in replacements.

    What are the odds of Rooney jumping ship in the summer ?

  • Comment number 45.

    I think it's time for Ferguson to go.
    ------------

    Definition of a gloryhunter?

  • Comment number 46.

    Only 2 things to add to a very well informed reply at 42

    1. Phil Jones - "City will crumble" Was that Apple or Rhubarb Phil?

    2. Rooney - "That was a lesson in football" Well yes it did turn out that way Wayne!!

  • Comment number 47.

    What are the odds of Rooney jumping ship in the summer ?
    --------------------------

    Is he good enough to play for City?

  • Comment number 48.

    #34

    And how much did Citeh spend in the previous two years-350 million.

    And how much more can they pay anybody in wages-£50-100k a week.

    Mostly with the Sheik's pocket-money, NOT earned by the club through the gate, etc. Unlike Utd & Arsenal.

    Again, that's not to say, if you win the Title, you players haven't deserved it.

    It does rather help, though, to be able to rotate effectively, because you hardly have an injury, either. One reason why several of our lot have looked jaded in recent weeks-not enough fit or quality players to make changes.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    43.At 19:37 6th May 2012, Chris1204 wrote:
    _________________________________

    But Man Utd are the richest club in the world mate !

  • Comment number 51.

    38 in case it has escaped your attention, Danny Welbeck missed today's game as a direct result of the challenge that Ferguson was angry about. The argument he then had with Mancini was caused by Mancini, not by Ferguson.

  • Comment number 52.

    7.
    At 19:41 6th May 2012, Rob04 wrote:

    What are the odds of Rooney jumping ship in the summer ?
    --------------------------

    Is he good enough to play for City?

    _______________________________

    I would bet he will ask for another pay rise :)

  • Comment number 53.

    48.At 19:42 6th May 2012, kickoutthejams wrote:
    #34

    And how much did Citeh spend in the previous two years-350 million.

    And how much more can they pay anybody in wages-£50-100k a week.

    Mostly with the Sheik's pocket-money, NOT earned by the club through the gate, etc. Unlike Utd & Arsenal.

    Again, that's not to say, if you win the Title, you players haven't deserved it.

    It does rather help, though, to be able to rotate effectively, because you hardly have an injury, either. One reason why several of our lot have looked jaded in recent weeks-not enough fit or quality players to make changes.

    -------------------------

    weve had african cup of nations for yaya, suspensions for vk, and balo half the time, injuries too, it was even one of lee dixons five points as to why we'd lost the title, just glad there was another twist, hope their isnt a final one :)

  • Comment number 54.

    yarbyar wrote: "Utd are a spent force.. their status as a top four team is over.."

    I'll quote Kipling for you..."and treat those two imposters just the same." City deserve the title. I accept that. But to assume Utd are a spent force simply because we couldn't match City's oil fuelled millions really is a very silly comment. Actually, I'm rather relieved, the pressure's off. We've got a great squad of youngsters, many of whom will play regularly for England in the future, who will learn greatly from this season. Cleverley's performance today showed just how we missed him through injury this season. We'll be back. Of that you can make no mistake!

  • Comment number 55.

    Player for player City are streets ahead of United, but give some credit to Ferguson for making it an exciting climax. If United hadn't punched above their weight the title would have been City's weeks ago. Nobody wants to see the league over in Feb but we need Arsenal Chelsea Spurs to make more of a challenge or else it could become really boring. Well done City, thats another team who will have won the premier league before Liverpool get a sniff.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just a quick bit of fact for everyone going on about united buying the league in previous seasons...since the start of the premiership (20 years ago) city chelsea and Liverpool have all spent more with spurs only about 9 mil behind so to say we've bought success is ridiculous I mean city have spent like 250mil more since the start of the prem and they haven't even been in it all season so that's that one sort of blown out really.

    So yes well done city for managing to beat a weak united side on probably goal difference with all your millions (although I'm praying for a miracle by sparky) but just wait until your mercenaries start to kick off about being on the bench or being underpaid and come back in a few more years when you've made a squad not just bought a team

  • Comment number 57.

    48.At 19:42 6th May 2012, kickoutthejams wrote:
    and how much did Citeh spend in the previous two years-350 million.
    ______________________________________

    But Man Utd are the richest club in the world !

  • Comment number 58.

    51.At 19:45 6th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:
    38 in case it has escaped your attention, Danny Welbeck missed today's game as a direct result of the challenge that Ferguson was angry about. The argument he then had with Mancini was caused by Mancini, not by Ferguson.

    ------------

    fergie not causing an incident on the side?? Unheard off, when hes not got his watch out he's either smiling with the fourth official or having a go at him depending on the score, mancini was speaking to the fourth official in a much less aggressive manner than fergie does each game and fergie caused their argument, glad roberto didnt back down and gave fergie what was coming to him, loved his sarcasm in the press interviews after about fergie and the incident

  • Comment number 59.

    #43 Chris1204

    mate, i'm a leeds fan too, so i will admit that i'm biased and anti man U. Your calculations are prob about right, but don't forget rooney (27) ferdinand (30), nani (13), carrick (18), smalling (10), and young was 18 not 8.
    I never said that Man C haven't bought the league. it just annoys me that man U fans use it as a dig that they have when they themselves have a squad of expensively assembled players. in my view City are just playing catch up and now the league will be a bit more competitive over the next few years

  • Comment number 60.

    City have played well this season, no doubt the best team, and should go on to win the title next week. But here is the thing, they should win it due to the amount they have spent in such a short space of time, which only makes for a hollow victory, just like the Chelsea & Blackburn titles in years gone by, hollow!
    As for the arguement that Utd, Arsenal etc have also brought title, it just does not wash. They buy 1-2 players each summer to compliment already successful teams or replace older players or players who have left, and yes, sometimes these players have cost £30 million odd, but this money is revenue generated from previous success, hard earned, fought for money. And that is the differnce between Utd & Arsenals genuine success and the fake hollow success of the likes of City & Chelsea. So thanks City & Chelsea for ripping the soul out of football!!!!!!

  • Comment number 61.

    54.At 19:47 6th May 2012, lancandmanc wrote:
    Cleverley's performance today showed just how we missed him through injury this season. We'll be back.
    ______________________

    But Scholes keep him out of the team next season ?

  • Comment number 62.

    Any team that can get the same number of points as United over 37 games is doing something right on the pitch.

    One Kompany header from a corner looks like deciding the entire season, but anyone who looks beyond United soft-peddling at home to Everton as the key moment is a fool.

  • Comment number 63.

    @44---

    Oooh i like that!! lets all laugh at man utd blog!

    i dont think rooney will jump off the ship, but true say ferdinand is weellll past it! scholes coming back was desperate giggss can not possibly go on any longer, and phil "o.g" jones, smalling, mistake prone rafael, and 1 hit wonder javier hernandez, are just over hyped.

    I just hope man city win next week, win the title and hopefully it will usher in a new more fair and exciting premier league from now on. enough of this annoying united dominance. It was a good run u had fergie, but do the right thing and move on!

  • Comment number 64.

    Toon fan here. Still a bit mistified how Man Utd are going to finish on 86-89 points. We have played both at home since the turn of the year and City were far superior in every aspect (we won 3-0 v Utd in January and, obviously, lost to City today). Even Mancini's tactics were better i.e. bringing on De Jong and pushing Toure forward at exactly the right time in the match. I think without the Tevez stuff the title race could have been over long before now.

  • Comment number 65.

    56.At 19:48 6th May 2012, Chris2708 wrote:
    ______________________________

    But Man Utd are the richest club in the world !

  • Comment number 66.

    Anyone who thinks ManU are not getting a lot of help from refs should have a look on ManU performance in Europe this season, where the refs were neutral. They played 10 games: won 3, drew 3 and lost 4. 1.2 point per game. Tells you something doesn't it?

  • Comment number 67.

    "Anyone who thinks ManU are not getting a lot of help from refs should have a look on ManU performance in Europe this season, where the refs were neutral. They played 10 games: won 3, drew 3 and lost 4. 1.2 point per game. Tells you something doesn't it?"

    What would that be then?

  • Comment number 68.

    As a City fan, I can only agree with the United fans comments about how egregious it is that we won the league by carrying out such immoral tactics as 'buying players', using money provided so unethically by "the owner of the business".

    It would be far sweeter to compete at the top year after year based on being the best team at a time when English football became a global force, and thus exploiting millions of 'fans' from all over the world who've as much connection to Manchester as an Abu Dhabi oil sheikh. Then we could bleat about how unfair it is that the cartel we've created at the top was disrupted in the only way possible.

    Unfortunately I've just got to stick with how bitter this chance of success tastes. Why couldn't we have got into a title-winning position like all those other teams who spent no money!

    Oh, the injustice....

  • Comment number 69.

    There are some bizarre comments on here. At the end of the day, the team who is top after the season deserve to win the league. Money can be spent but is it well spent? And even if it is, can the manager make the difference? I for one would say that the Ferg has managed this team to within an inch of the title despite it not being the strongest squad and the Mancini has dealt with both Tevez and Balotelli and still kept the squad focused. Alas, despite the point accumulated they are still far behind the top 3 sides in Europe.

    HAs the league been won yet or lost yet, who knows?

  • Comment number 70.

    67: That teams in European competition tend to have better teams than in England.

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Phil,
    Glad to see that you are magnanimous in defeat. Man Utd have won the press plaudits for years, even up to the shanked over head kick which won 'Best premiership goal' despite many other more desrving goals.

    Man City are now the big noise in Manchester :-D and many reds will no doubt be out buying the new light blue shirt for 2012. Geat I say.

    Now back to other things: I expect the 'Goal" that wasnt in the cup final was the topic of amusement in the press corps, but the strory seems to have been squashed somehow (unsurprisingly) especially by the S*n. Goal line technology? Fine for every occasion, but not when Liverpool are involved?

    Come on Phil. Lets have a meaningful blog on that incident. No? :-D

  • Comment number 72.

    This talk that utd are a spent force is inaccurate id say! BUt they sure are on the decline. everyone keeps talking about sheikh mansours millions but thats just UTD being sour grapes becuase someelse did better (despite all the reffereeing deseicon etc). Utd fan keep using thsi MONEYBAGS excuse for everything, well WHAT ABOUT beiing discarded from a champs league group containing basle, galati and (another team i forget). WHAT ABOUT being knocked out by the mighty crystal palace in the carling cup. WHAT ABOUT being comprehensively knocked the FA cup by liverpool. WHAT ABOUT being outclassed and outshone by the team who are 7th or 8th in ther own league(BILBAO)??????

    Does the "MONEY" excuse work for all of that? i dont think so!


    UTD FANS - stop being jealous little pests, and give some credit to man city.

    The Blue moon is up!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    @59

    yeah I was just thinking about the last 2 or 3 seasons in terms of buying players (or the same amount of time that the sheikhs have been involved) but I'm not a Man City expert so don't really know for sure. Personally if anything I hope that City do pull through, as Utd / Fergie have had it their way for way too long. Slightly off topic but it's been one of the best seasons in a while now and a lot of praise has to go to City for the excitement.

  • Comment number 74.

    Philosophically and rather stoically, as a Utd fan, I'm just happy that the silverware is staying in my beloved Lancashire.

  • Comment number 75.

    66. At 19:58 6th May 2012, kaknikul wrote:
    Anyone who thinks ManU are not getting a lot of help from refs should have a look on ManU performance in Europe this season, where the refs were neutral. They played 10 games: won 3, drew 3 and lost 4. 1.2 point per game. Tells you something doesn't it?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, it tells me that the Premier League is a poor league, nothing about refereeing being in United's favour.

    Though I do agree that United benefit from favourable decisions a bizarrely high number of times, I think they would still average at least 2 points per game in the league if poor refereeing in their favour was eliminated.

  • Comment number 76.

    64 the thing you should really be mystified by is how on earth your lot escaped OT without being on the end of a cricket score - United absolutely batterd Newcastle that day and could easily have had at least the 5 or 6 we 'usually' 'get against the Geordies

  • Comment number 77.

    Its not over until the fat lady sings, I support neither Manchester club but next week aint a done deal by a LONG WAY

    First goal on the afternoon going to United will crank up the pressure, and given the way the season has gone, you just think there is another twist.

    Remember 1995, Remember 1989..................... last day dramas of the unexpected

  • Comment number 78.

    I said it before and saying it again that SIR ROBERTO MANCINI IS A CLASS ACT the guy is a tactical genius I know it's not over yet but there is no stoping Man City now

  • Comment number 79.

  • Comment number 80.

    For those peddling "title buying" argument. You really need a reality check of what professional football is these days.

    Every team, in every division, starts the season with a target. Whether that be promotion, avoid relegation, get into Europe, good cup run, or challenge for the league. And all, bar none, do so with a budget. They spend to achieve their goals. So we can say Liverpool bought the League Cup, Chelsea bought the FA Cup and Reading have just bought promotion.

    Are we just talking a matter of scale? Everyone spends big in the Prem but City spent more and there isn't a fan in the country who wouldn't welcome investment in their club. Complaining about it just smacks of sour grapes.

    Where does all the sheikh's money go? Yes they've spent a lot but a huge proportion is now at other premier league clubs. Arsenal turned a profit of £49m this year doing things "the correct way" but without the over inflated transfer fees (£100m+) they received from City and Barcelona these past three years they could be in real financial trouble with a massive mortgage on that lovely stadium to finance. Likewise Villa (Barry and Milner) Where's the money gone? or Everton (Lescott).

    You can't have it both ways. Inflate your prices, take the money, don't reinvest then whinge about City spending money. I'm sure City would have been quite happy to rebuild their squad for less but as soon as they go in for a player the price doubles.

  • Comment number 81.

    71.At 20:02 6th May 2012, Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) wrote:
    up to the shanked over head kick which won 'Best premiership goal' despite many other more desrving goals.
    __________________________

    That got a good laugh in mainland Europe when they heard the EPL voted their best goal ever to be a miss hit bicycle kick.
    Maybe all the voters were under 16 years old ?

  • Comment number 82.

    Trawler, you do realise that website is only for fun don't you.

  • Comment number 83.

    City haven't won it yet, but if they do... Bought the title? MMMmmmmm.

    Even if we forget the fact that the starting teams cost pretty much the same last week, and United are the richest club in the world, and the phrase, "if you can't beat them, buy them," was coined to fit United.....

    United were 8 points clear with 5 games to go, 4 of those games against teams that couldn't begin to get close to them financially, and they blew that lead. If it was just money, why aren't United 5 points clear of us now?

  • Comment number 84.

    Vimbly Big in the Game: "I said it before and saying it again that SIR ROBERTO MANCINI IS A CLASS ACT the guy is a tactical genius I know it's not over yet but there is no stoping Man City now"

    Hannibal was a tactical genius. So was Rommel. Both eventually got dumped on from a great height.

  • Comment number 85.

    *39 who ever finishes top deserves to be champions, & yes you will have won 1 more trophy than one of the manchester teams. but we will both be in the champions league next season. carling cup or champions league place?...um let me think?

  • Comment number 86.

    Anything's possible, especially this season but United have only 1% chance of winning the league this season, If we win the league next week then it's 'cause we've deserved it, people go on about the money we've spent but we've only gone out brought the players capable of winning the league and then they have to work for 38 games and see if they can win the league, they've come so close and to blow it now would be a disaster for all concerned at City, United did fantastic to get back in front but have done terrible to throw it away, the pressure was all on them and that's what helped us, we beat them twice this season and we've almost made it count for something, 90 minutes away from the league and that will drive the club on for more success!

  • Comment number 87.

    What a joke some United fans are- most of you probably aren't even from Manchester in the first place! As post 13 said, there wasn't a substantially different amount paid for the two starting XI's today. United pay £20-30 million on squad players and are complaining about City? The difference is that City mostly buy classy players while United will dish out £50 million to get Carrick and Berbatov! I'm not even a City fan, a Gooner like me should loathe the chequebook clubs, but all City, Chelsea and United have 'bought' their success in one way or another if that's how you look at it...

  • Comment number 88.

    72 I take it you are joking about the Liverpool FA Cup tie? Liverpool hardly got a kick that day and ended up winning it with a long punt up the pitch like Watford in the late 70s. On the other hand, you could say that in that one moment United's defensive frailties were exposed. Vidic usually sweeps behind Evra in much the same way that Kompany has swept behind his full-backs for much of this season. United's injuries have barely been mentioned in the mainstream, but no other side could be level at the top with so many injuries and none have been more telling than Vidic. Remember, for much of the first half of the season United had a novice keeper (whichever one they used) behind novice centre backs and a veteran with a bad back. That should put City's relative quality into perspective, given that both teams are still neck and neck after 37 matches.

  • Comment number 89.

    Andy 1959 - City have only rented the title for this year. But we'll be asking them to return it next year and be expecting no small amount of interest on the deal!

  • Comment number 90.

    The richest club in the world, complaining about another team having some money. Priceless.

  • Comment number 91.

    87 Carrick has 4 league titles and the CL.

    hope this helps.

  • Comment number 92.

    any fool would acknowledge man city brought the league, and in regards to man united's spending its justified as we cover it with our revenue whereas city are making gargantuan losses by excessively spending more than they make. I sincerely hope that financial fairplay penalises them in the future...

    but on the whole fair play to city, but just like how we saw off chelsea united will be back next year with vengeance fielding hopefully some new class additions plus pivotal players such as vidic who was sorely missed during this campaign. Everything will return back to normal next year, with united reigning supreme! start of dominance? pfft dont make me laugh, we'll see where city are when the money dries up and they return to being the championship side they really are :D

  • Comment number 93.

    13
    Its City's wages thats the problem, not the compensation. They bought, Tevez off United, Clichy, Nasri and Kolo Toure from Arsenal, (may be more but cannot think off top of my head) and Yaya Toure from Barcelona and doubled their wages to attract them to the club.

    But still, so happy that Manchester United and Fergie's diving academy win f all this year!

  • Comment number 94.

    @76 at end of the day we didn't concede 5 or 6. It just happens. The same as when you played Bilbao in the Europa League.

  • Comment number 95.

    84.At 20:10 6th May 2012, lancandmanc wrote:
    Hannibal was a tactical genius. So was Rommel. Both eventually got dumped on from a great height.
    ________________________

    Can we add SAF to the list ?

  • Comment number 96.

    Captain Hindsight....

    Unlike Arsenal - who have successfully purchased failure in spades for some years now.

  • Comment number 97.

    90
    United may be the richest in the world because of their fan base, but those stats do not include Sheik Mansour's £20 billion he has in his vault.

  • Comment number 98.

    91. At 20:14 6th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:
    87 Carrick has 4 league titles and the CL.

    hope this helps.

    Nope!!

  • Comment number 99.

    91, oh ok then- Ronaldo, Giggs, Scholes, Park... were just a sideshow to him. Helpful indeed.

  • Comment number 100.

    95
    I have lost count how mant times Ferguson has been tactically schooled and still won because of a silly penalty in fergie time or a sending off.

 

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