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Tears of triumph for Manchester City

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Phil McNulty | 22:30 UK time, Sunday, 13 May 2012

At Etihad Stadium

The group of Manchester City fans standing on Joe Mercer Way were smiling but silent. It was as if they could not find the words to articulate what they had just witnessed.

They were not alone.

Manchester City's history suggested they might put their supporters through late dramas before ending a 44-year wait to be crowned champions.

Nothing, however, could have prepared anyone for this as City threatened to collapse in a manner that would have haunted them forever before winning the Premier League just as dramatically as they had threatened to lose it.

With City, needing to beat Queen's Park Rangers to lift the title, trailing 2-1 as five minutes of stoppage time began, some tearful fans upped and left rather than experience the suffering they feared referee Mike Dean's final whistle would bring them as it looked like the crown would remain at Manchester United as they beat Sunderland.

They will harbour regrets of a different kind after missing the moments that will be carved into Manchester City's history forever.

For those who stayed, tears of despair had been replaced by tears of triumph in the space of two minutes of the most enthralling, nerve-shredding theatre produced in the Premier League's 20 seasons.

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Manchester City lift the Premier League trophy

Michael Thomas's pre-Premier League goal that won Arsenal the title at Liverpool in 1989 was dramatic enough. This was something else. It was a victory plucked from the depths of improbability, not just on Sunday but from the moment in early April when defeat at Emirates Stadium left City trailing United by eight points.

Edin Dzeko headed City level after 92 minutes and then, with QPR goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock racing around his technical area in celebration of their survival after confirming Stoke City had held Bolton, redemption arrived for the club that has spent so long in the shadow of their neighbours.

Sergio Aguero broke into the QPR area and showed commendable composure and sense of purpose amid the tumult to fire past keeper Paddy Kenny. In that moment the title was won, a cloud lifted.

The scenes that followed bordered on hysteria as the Argentine swirled his shirt before being submerged by team-mates, many of whom were also in tears according to City's great inspiration, captain Vincent Kompany.

Mancini had long since lost his cool, raging at his players consistently from the sidelines in those excruciating final phases when they could not breach QPR's barrier. Now he took off, accompanied by substitutes and assorted backroom staff including as Brian Kidd and David Platt, in undiluted ecstasy.

The whole stadium was a seething, swaying mass of celebration.

It was as if a valve had been opened to release the years of suffering for City and for that famously good-natured support who have been sustained through the lean years by some of the game's finest dark humour.

Those final seconds before the triumph was confirmed passed in a blur for just about everybody inside the Etihad. City were champions, QPR were safe - everyone a winner.

City once helped themselves win promotion to the First Division with two late, late goals from Kevin Horlock and Paul Dickov in a Wembley play-off with Gillingham in 1999.

The instant feeling here was that this was their Nou Camp moment, on a scale of importance to this particular club that could be compared with Manchester United's last-gasp comeback to win the Champions League against Bayern Munich in the same year.

It was an afternoon fuelled by the best and worst of football's emotions, the latter illustrated by the behaviour of Joey Barton, sent off for clashing with Carlos Tevez but not shy of giving Aguero a sly kick from behind on the way off for good measure.

Luckily for Barton, he did not cost QPR their Premier League status but manager Mark Hughes may not wish to take the risk with this flawed personality next season.

The best was reserved for City, nourished by the petrodollars pumped into the club by their Abu Dhabi owners. Sheikh Mansour was not tempted to travel for the day he will have envisaged in his master plans when City were renewed by his investment in 2008 but he will surely have watched at home with great satisfaction.

The cynics will suggest this was the day City proved the Premier League was something money could buy, but the outpouring of emotion on the pitch and in the stands when Aguero's shot hit the back of Kenny's net was the product of the old glory of the game not financial rewards, as captain Kompany was keen to point out.

The great old City names were there to share in the triumph, with their last title-winning captain Tony Book and the great champion of all the club's causes Mike Summerbee bringing the trophy on for a tumultuous presentation ceremony with those two greats Francis Lee and Colin Bell in close attendance.

In so many ways this is a new club but a conscious effort is made to keep in touch with its past - the mantle of champions bring a fresh start for City because history and expectation was also altered in the time it took Aguero to score that landmark goal.

The footballing landscape in Manchester and beyond has changed. Mancini, vindicated with the FA Cup last year and the title this, will now look for more improvements next season. The Champions League is there to be conquered, or at least handled more effectively than their uncertain first steps this season.

The balance of power has shifted in Manchester but not by much because United - with a squad not regarded as vintage quality - still came within two minutes of title number 20 and the decisive margin came down to goal difference.

But the building blocks so effectively put in place by Mancini, and lest we forget also the man in the nearby dug-out yesterday Mark Hughes, will now be strengthened by the confidence of champions.

Joe Hart is an outstanding keeper, Kompany arguably the Premier League's finest central defender while Yaya Toure is the supreme combination of footballer and athlete. It was no coincidence City were far less impressive after he went off injured.

And in attack, irrespective of what may happen next with Tevez, City can count on the tireless and potent Aguero and the elegance of David Silva.

The worry for United and the rest of the Premier League is that those events in the final minutes will provide new impetus for City. It is a challenge, however, that Sir Alex Ferguson insists he and his club are ready to meet.

That is for another day. It will take City some time to come down from the emotional high of this victory, not least because of the fashion in which it was achieved.

"We have changed the history of this club," said Mancini, draped in the Italian flag and sipping a well-deserved glass of champagne.

The new era begins on Monday. If you are going to end a 44-year wait for a title then you might as well make it spectacular - and it does not get much more spectacular than that which was seen on Sunday.

Comments

Page 1 of 8

  • Comment number 1.

    1st one..best finale

  • Comment number 2.

    That was tense, and City certainly left it late....congratulations are in order !

    Joey Barton is a disgrace , he excuse for his behavior was that he trying to get a Man City player to react to provocation so they would be sent off as well !

  • Comment number 3.

    The good, the bad and the ugly. Wonderful win just when it looked to be out of reach.

    An awful elbow.

    An admittance that Barton then tried to get a Man City player sent off by kneeing Aguero. Awful person and sportsman.

    Overall a game that will live long in the memory. Congratulations!

  • Comment number 4.

    city have have an abundance of world-class players and united probably have a handful with the current crop and yet all that separated the two teams was goal difference, not a vintage united team and yet i feel that with a few young signings such as shinji kagawa, nico gaitan and possibly hazard united will be alot stronger next season. Great season for city and yet they will probably have to raise their game to retain the title next season and they are bound to do better in the champions league and being able to perform every week with the burden of fighting on all fronts may pose a challenge that city will struggle to deal with, whereas for United and chelsea will be able to handle the pressures as they have been consistently coping with for the past few seasons

  • Comment number 5.

    Congratulations City

    not to gutted as expected them to win today bring on next season

  • Comment number 6.

    Congratulations to Man City. One of the most exciting final days of the season I can remember. I also have to thank Man Utd for playing their part also. It should make the tussle between both teams next season very interesting.

    I always feel a little sad for the teams who go down too ...

  • Comment number 7.

    4.At 23:03 13th May 2012, footballismylife wrote:
    not a vintage united team and yet i feel that with a few young signings such as shinji kagawa, nico gaitan and possibly hazard united will be alot stronger next season
    ________________________________

    Will they get any of those players on a 20m-30m transfer budget ?
    Maybe one of them.

  • Comment number 8.

    What a poetic way for City to win the title, in Fergie time!

  • Comment number 9.

    Fantastic drama, the scenes of the United players on the pitch and Jones/Ferguson's confusion and then deflation will surely be a lasting image. Not sure it beats the '89 finale purely because that required Arsenal to go and win by 2 goals at Anfield which was no mean feat in those days, as dramatic as today was City won the game because they remembered how to finish from inside the 6 yard box and actually put together a decent passing move.

    Have to say that QPR kicking the ball from the kick-off into the corner at 3-2 and not pressing Hart at all was disgraceful given that they were comfortably safe, them staying up is an unfortunate product of the day. I'm also not willing to waste words on Barton, one look at his Twitter account shows all he wants is to be talked about, the look in his eyes when he kneed Aguero says it all about him as a person.

  • Comment number 10.

     
    Ironically, a good day for City and Q.P.R.


    Bolton fans are the big losers today.

  • Comment number 11.

    10.At 23:16 13th May 2012, Scotch Git wrote:
    Bolton fans are the big losers today.
    _______________________________

    Bolton got mugged !
    How the hell was Stoke´s first goal allowed to stand ?

  • Comment number 12.

    Congratulations City deserved winners, what a game full of typical city drama.

  • Comment number 13.

    #12 The Stoke first goal proved how poor the refereeing is in this country. Talk about goal line technology all you like, but if referees make blatant decisions it does make you question what the point of using technology is.
    Congrats to Man City. I tipped Man Utd to win at the beginning of the season but I think City have been the best team this year and had a fantastic end to the season. As for Utd I think most people would accept that there needs to be more quality added but as one of the richest clubs in the world they will buy better players and win it again. Can the media please stop telling us now they always finish strongly because for the 2time in 3 years they blew it against their title challengers. Just like to say congrats to Wenger as well. Arsenal certainly dont have the third best squad in the league so to finish third with that team is credit to the manager.

  • Comment number 14.

    did hansen really just call united an average team and say that city will dominate the next ten years? and he gets paid by us to chat this stuff as well - money for old rope...

    wonder if tevez will still be at city to serve the retrospective ban he should get for lashing out at barton that they just showed - but forgot to mention - on MotD :rolleyes:

  • Comment number 15.

    After his performance at the Britannia against Spurs I thought the FA would have more sense than appointing Chris Foy to the Arsenal game there. Luckily the match passed with relatively little incident other than failing to award Arsenal a penalty that he should have, but then he was unfathomably chosen to officiate there again today and let Walters push Bogdan into the net and awarded a phantom penalty to relegate Bolton.

  • Comment number 16.

    What a great advert for the Premier League!

    Predictably the press and fans will now spend the coming months with all sorts of hyperbole about "shift of balance of power" yet Utd somehow came within 2 minutes of #20 despite all the injuries, having the "worst side in years" etc.

    Highlights what a crazy season it's been! Had Barton stayed on the pitch or Bolton scored another would it all have been different?! What an amazing day, sad to see QPR stay up at the cost of Bolton

  • Comment number 17.

    14.At 23:33 13th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:
    did hansen really just call united an average team
    _____________________________


    I believe Gordon Strachen dis as well !

  • Comment number 18.

    #14 ABU undertone aside, I whole-heartedly agree that some of the 'pundits' on the BBC are shocking. Mark Bright predicted Carroll to spearhead LFC to a title before the season started, and week-by-week Lawrenson probably predicted them to accumulate in excess of 90 points. Granted they are not gamblers or stockbrokers or anything of the kind, but you'd think that these 'experts' repeatedly making fools out of themselves on a regular basis with ridiculous predictions would be under some pressure? It's difficult to think of other professions where wildly inaccurate predictions have absolutely no repercussions.

  • Comment number 19.

    @14 this is the same Hansen that has been saying every season for the last 20 years that Liverpool will win the league. Most overrated pundit there is, just make up a sentence and insert "grit and determination" and that's his weekly pay packet!

    Utd are a CM and full back away from a very good team for the next 5 years. The difference in City without Toure is staggering, I don't think they can buy a back up anything like him though!

  • Comment number 20.

    13 United won 11 out of 12 between jan and april and 14 of the last 18 matches

  • Comment number 21.

    Definitely over the course of the season, I do believe the best team overall won the title.
    After saying that, Europe next season, judged on what we have seen from the top four this season, dramatic improvement is needed by all of them to get anywhere near to challenging.

  • Comment number 22.

    20.At 23:40 13th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:
    United won 11 out of 12 between jan and april and 14 of the last 18 matches
    ______________________________________

    That was then , this is now !

  • Comment number 23.

    I have to be honest and say I thought United had just done enough today but I always felt at 1-3 down, that if City scored once, they would get the second.

    As a United fan, I haven't felt this type of passionate reaction since that day in 1999 when we beat Bayern Munich, but obviously we got the short end of the stick today.

    The test now for City will be to see if they can continue this success and win multiple titles much in the same way that Liverpool and Man Utd have done.

    Man City had the better squad through the whole season and deserve the title. Despite United's point haul they just weren't good enough to beat their rivals on a day when the 6-1 loss at home to City, became the decider.

    http://www.soccerlimeyinamerica.com/?p=3782

  • Comment number 24.

    18 great point. reality is that instead of people like hansen being shipped out they just seem to sign more jobs for the boys like shearer who's even duller and savage who, likable enough though he is, is even more useless as a pundit. let's get it right, hansen knows his onions as far as how football tends to go. but in terms of tactical or psychological insight he adds absolutely nothing. gary neville this season has given more to the media coverage of football than any of the BBC regulars have - bar lee dixon imo - between them in a long long time. it'll be interesting to see how much the BBC manage to dumb klinsman and seedorf is it down by the end of the euros - desailly and leonardo were superb in the germany world cup but have hardly been seen on the BBC since - no doubt by their own choice!

  • Comment number 25.

    @ 14 The Bawler
    wonder if tevez will still be at city to serve the retrospective ban he should get for lashing out at barton that they just showed - but forgot to mention - on MotD :rolleyes:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It was mentioned, perhaps you had City's cheers still ringing in your ears and never heard it.
    Hope this doesn't help.

  • Comment number 26.

    14. Hansen actually clarified what he said by adding 'it's average for a United side'. Personally I can't stand the bloke, but he's right, the team is too reliant on the likes of Giggs and Scholes and it does need strengthening in midfield. The Glazers need to stump up the cash to get the likes of Hazard and one other.

    The table doesn't lie, the best side wins the title (just!). Phenomenal end to a season.

  • Comment number 27.

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOMG BEST EVER F----------G EPL DAY EVERRRRRRRRRRRR, SORRY I CARE NOT OF ANY ADMINS, THIS IS A ROCKERRRR DAYY MOMENTUSSSSSSSSSSSS!

  • Comment number 28.

    @22 - Utd have finished strongly but City have finisher stronger that's the only difference. Both managers knew points would be dropped and they were

  • Comment number 29.

    Royalty in the premiership @13
    Can the media please stop telling us now they always finish strongly because for the 2time in 3 years they blew it against their title challengers.

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

    Yes it's a myth, over the years Utd's points tally, first half to the second half of the season does not show a team suddenly improving greatly.

    The answer is they usually stay the course better than the rest, in other words other teams feel the pressure and drop points.

    It could be argued that Utd are currently not at the same level of a few seasons back. I've no doubt they will come again because they have the management and means to achieve success.

  • Comment number 30.

    19.At 23:39 13th May 2012, Guernsey Red wrote:
    Utd are a CM and full back away from a very good team for the next 5 years.
    ____________________________________________________

    Probably 2 full backs and 2 central midfield players.
    Probaly central defenders as well. A lot of people think that Vidic will be off to Juventus. Also will Rio be happy in taking a 40% pay cut ?

  • Comment number 31.

    Calm down people, i'm fairly sure Hansen just meant that compared to past United teams, this one is distinctly average, which is completely true, the title shouldn't even have gone to the last day.

  • Comment number 32.

    Seeing as City are only going to add to the quality they already have, United need a RB and 2 CM at least to be competitive next season

  • Comment number 33.

    23 City had the fitter squad, not the better squad. united's captain only started 5 or 6 league games for a start off/ 3 or their 4 main central midfielders all missed at least half the season (Anderson started 8 games, Fletcher 7 and Cleverley just 5). their first choice RB missed half the season. they had a novice keeper as well. and the key man Valencia also missed nearly half the season.

    people have banged on all season about City's array of world class players - well, like who? they have 3 or 4 maybe but no more than that. both teams picked up 89pts and the season when literally to the wire. there was virtually nothing to separate the sides over 38 games and whilst the 6-1 game may be a symbolic moment for City fans to point to forever and a day, the reality is that it was simply a freak result that did not actually affect the 2nd half of the season - United were 7 minutes away from virtually wrapping up the league against Everton the other week and today they were 1 and half minutes away from being champions yet again.

    City can rightly say they deserve to be champions, but next season they will hope to win it a bit more convincingly, and there is nothing at all to say that they will - other than hansen who apparently thinks a title win on goal difference from a team like united marks the start of a decade of domination.

  • Comment number 34.

    31.At 23:53 13th May 2012, sam wrote:
    i'm fairly sure Hansen just meant that compared to past United teams, this one is distinctly average,
    __________________________
    That was the general consensus of opinion amongst all the pundits.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 30 Perhaps on the CM point but I only think one in the Paul Scholes model is needed. I think players like Carrick/Fletcher are vastly underrated for the job that they do. LB certainly needed, RB depends on whether Fergie has had enough of Rafael's inability to defend and may be slightly skewed by Jones' cross to Rooney today!

    I think City will look for a one/two pacy wingers in the summer. Against 10 men (like Barca v Chelsea) they seemed to have no width and couldn't take advantage as they should have.

    Don't think Vidic will leave (has been rumoured for 2/3 years) though would be a disaster if he did. I don't think anyone will pay Rio's wages with his back problems, he'll have another on/off year for the transition to Evans/Smalling/Jones

  • Comment number 36.

    33. At 23:56 13th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:

    City definitly had the better squad, Hart, Kompany, Toure, Silva, Aguero are all world class. Plus the likes of Lescott, Richards, Tevez on his day, Nasri, Clichy, who are all good players.

    Its obvious to everyone that Uniteds lack of class in centre midfield has been they're downfall. Scholes and Giggs are touching 40, and the rest (Anderson, Fletcher, Cleverly, Carrick) although they are decent cannot in any way be considered top premier league midfielders, nevermind world class.

    Serious investment is needed in the squad next season, and i hope they get it as i'd love a replay of the drama there was today!

  • Comment number 37.

    @33 - Be interesting to see how City get on next year with the confidence/expectation of being champions. Without Toure they look a different team and I honestly can't see them keeping Tevez/Balo in summer....enter Robin Van Persie.

  • Comment number 38.

    33.At 23:56 13th May 2012, TheTrawler wrote:
    today they were 1 and half minutes away from being champions
    _______________________________________

    Actually it was about 30 secs , which makes it more sweet !
    As Roy said , just take you medicine :)

  • Comment number 39.

    All the analysees, whatever, that's fine. But this is a script allright. (I think I've calmed down now)

    So strange, after that match and those final minutes, City are always deserving of all success they get, what a story. Wow, and to think I wanted to do the lawnmowing today instead of yesterday =D

    Massive congrats, and *Thank you* ManC for the best EPL for probably 6 years (quite a long time).

  • Comment number 40.

    @36 but then when you have prospects like Cleverley and Anderson who Fergie rightly should give a chance before buying, you can't account for injuries to both and to Fletcher. That said, why pay over the odds fees and ridiculous salaries just because City will for players that are just "very good" rather than world class i.e. Nasri

  • Comment number 41.

    ***Some people were leaving the stands,, they think it's all over,,,,,,,,,,,,,,***

  • Comment number 42.

    40.At 00:06 14th May 2012, Guernsey Red wrote:
    but then when you have prospects like Cleverley and Anderson
    ___________________________________

    Anderson will be offered in the package for Gaitan (who is a left winger )
    Cleverley is nothing special !

  • Comment number 43.

    Congrats to Manchester City and what a finale to the season.

    I wonder why Tevez wasnt given a red card as well though? Even more bizarre is no mention of his kick and swing at Barton in the first place from either BBC or Sky!

    Congratulations to Queens Park Rangers too for staying up. After wins against Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham they deserved it.

    I wonder if that greedy little man at Bolton Wanderers, Phil Gartside will be so vociferous in his repeated requests for no relegation from the Premier League or his advocacy of a Premier League 1 and 2 now they are in the Championship?

  • Comment number 44.

    #24 To be fair Neville has surprised most (including me) this year, and Dixon is in my view the best pundit at the BBC. Most of the others are rubbish, how people like Andy Townsend have carved careers out of punditry is beyond me, Dwight Yorke can barely formulate a coherent sentence and yet he appears regularly on our screens. It's a dream job that I would imagine most footballers who haven't gone into coaching would be desperate to do, it's a farce to end up with such a sorry cast on MOTD and other programmes. It's also bizarre when Sky will choose an ex-pro for a one-off match purely on the basis that he's played for both clubs. Don't be surprised to see Mido offering his expert views when Spurs take on Wigan next season.

    An unfortunate by-product of today is Nasri tasting success. Probably even more annoying is Clichy, comfortably the worst regular full-back Arsenal had in the last two decades and would have lost his place long ago had Gibbs not displayed a unique ability to get injured at the faintest touch, now he's a PL winner.

  • Comment number 45.

    42: Gaitan won't happen as a left winger isn't needed and he's not that good! Anderson has never blown me away but I stand to be corrected, I think Cleverley/Pogba have got potential.

    Think Baines would be a good signing for Utd, I don't think they'll go for the 'big names' as City will distort the wages and fees. Be interested to see if Sigurdsson gets an offer or possibly Modric

  • Comment number 46.

    33

    Trawler is right.

  • Comment number 47.

    @33 "whilst the 6-1 game may be a symbolic moment for City fans to point to forever and a day, the reality is that it was simply a freak result that did not actually affect the 2nd half of the season "

    How can you say that when Man City won on goal difference when there was a 10 goal shift in that one game. It also clearly affected Feguson in the match at the Etihad where he was oviously scared stiff of being overrun in midfield as had happened at OT and put out a negative team to play for a draw.

    Man Utd dropped an 8point lead in the business end this season. Two years ago they did the same against Chelsea when like this year they had the easier run in hence it's not true they always finish strongly yet time and time again Hansen et al tell us "they know how to get over the line" or "know how to win" as if results from Steve Bruces team Roy Keanes somehow affects todays games.

    Man Utd lost home and away against Man City but could still have won the title. Instead they choked against Everton and for the second time in two seasons blew a two goal lead against the Merseyside club.

  • Comment number 48.

    @47 Over the course of 38 games that's just an easy result to point to though isn't it? I'm sure there's at least 10 games where Utd could have scored an additional goal which would have changed things. Had Newcastle not got that penalty at OT they shouldn't have etc

    You could just as much use the loss of Vidic as a statistic i.e. in the last 3 years I think Utd had conceded 3 times only a handful of times yet without vidic I think they conceded 3 or more 6 times in half a season (may just be a coincidence?!).

    In any case it's all hindsight and nothing can be done now, City are champions and whatever Utd's shortcomings it shouldn't be forgotten they took 55/57 points at home which is no small feat!

  • Comment number 49.

    @37

    You think? Surely he's staying loyal at least until the January window?

  • Comment number 50.

    although i was trying to be neutral (fat chance of that happening), I was jumping with joy when city won. My wife, said imagine what you would have done if arsenal had won the league.
    this was by far the best final day of the league i have ever witnessed. was happy for the man city fans. after all with so many Arsenal players, city feels like my second club.

  • Comment number 51.

    @49. Ominous comments after the game today and he's at the wrong end of his 20's to continue with Arsene's 'project'. He can get a massive 5 year contract at City, possibility of CL and likely a premier league or two. Don't see any reason Barca or Real would want/need him and Italy seems to not even be a consideration anymore

  • Comment number 52.

    @50 you mean EX Arsenal players?!

  • Comment number 53.

    Firstly, congratulations to City and their fans. Enjoy!

    For me it's been a season marked by marked over and under achievers.

    Over achievers for me include;
    Man Utd - Not the quality of squad they've had in the past but to push to the final day, and amass 89 points despite being a good rather than great team is testament to their winning mentality

    Arsenal - much as i hate to say it as a Spurs fan, much respect to the Gooners for that run they put together after beating us 5-2. Ok, with a bit better form from Spurs that 3rd place shouldn't have even been up for grabs, but everybody has the same amount of points to go for and Arsenal kept winningh. Grudging congratulations.

    Norwich and Swansea - testament to the fact that clubs that are well run and stick to their principles of playing good football can succeed in the Prem.

    Shout out to West Brom too. Top 10 finish. Let's hope Roy's a wizard with the national team too.

    Underachievers in my opinion;

    Aston Villa - the loss of Bent? the effect of Petrov's illness (best wishes there by the way -hope the man pulls through). Alas not - negative negative tactics. The Villa used to be a team you could rely on to at least cause an upset here or there. Not this year.

    Chelsea and Liverpool - Testament to the effect of turmoil behind the scenes transferring to on field performances. I'd say the same for Wolves and Blackburn too but they were always going to be in the relegation mix...

  • Comment number 54.

    Of I had spent all that money I would expect the title to be in the bag before the last 3 minutes of the season against some pretty poor opposition. ManU were dire on occaision and the rest of the pack worse at times.
    It's an untenable position from a financial point of view and without foreign money city would never have this title.
    Yes, it sounds bitter but for all the joy of the fans it is not good for football, that is the majority of clubs who cannot afford such luxuries.

  • Comment number 55.

    @34

    Tbh, it is basically a script- I meen do viewers want to be served up with an in depth, true 'Pub discussion' style analysis, or quick summaries of events with all the generalisations and clichés that go with it?

  • Comment number 56.

    @54

    But what's exactly 'not good for football'? The financial aspect, the club model ethos?

    Was Greece winning Euro2004 good or bad? I didn't really enjoy that, but my Greek friend certainly did!

  • Comment number 57.

    Has anyone asked Phil Gartside if he is still in favour of no relegation from the Premier League yet?

  • Comment number 58.

    @ 52 Once a gooner, always a gooner.

    I have no qualms against the likes of Toure, Clichy and even Nasri. They had served our club well and we made good money out of them. Only Adebayor was an idiot as is demonstrated by his nomadic life. Would be interesting to see if Tottenham buys him in the summer.
    Would be the ultimate irony if Chelsea win the champions league and poor spurs are left sucking melons...

  • Comment number 59.

    @53

    Yes, let's not forget that this season also had it's fair share of sad/shocking events (wouldn't want to give details here). Wishing all the best for Petrov too, plus very happy for Muamba. The club's relegation worries are true, but a loyal player's good recovery does ease the pain.

  • Comment number 60.

    Poor old Trawler. You really are betraying your bitterness tonight. Man up like your manager and congratualte City. You're embarassing yourself lad. :Rollseyes: Clown

  • Comment number 61.

    @ 59

    Agreed. I just didn't want to be mawkish about it.

    I also forgot to mention Newcastle having an excellent season too

  • Comment number 62.

    Best moment of my life, CTID!!

  • Comment number 63.

    "But what's exactly 'not good for football'? The financial aspect, the club model ethos?"

    Yes both.
    Nothing wrong with Greece winning euro 2004, what's your point?

  • Comment number 64.

    @61

    =] Yep, thanks, but we'll probably get a good old battering from the European neighbours in due time. Probably Bilbao on the first draw =D

  • Comment number 65.

    Thoroughly deserved title for city. Would have been injustice if man utd had won. Man utd have been dashed at least 15 points by referees dis season thru undeserved penalties and dubious red cards. Over 10 penalties and 10 red cards against opponents is unbelievable. Arsenal had no penalties at the emirates all season. As for Arsenal, it's massive overachievement to finish 3rd after an atrocious start to the season. Hats off for Arsene Wenger for that. The biggest shock of the season however, is Liverpool finishing 8th. Hats off for Kennysaurus Dinoglish for that as well.

  • Comment number 66.

    Today's events for the title race summed up the whole season. Absolute mad! This season has to be the craziest ever season ever in the premier league history. What a season it has been as a whole. There has been loads of high scoring matches and thrilling matches over this season. City deserve to win the title, they have been playing the best football this season and got the results during the crucial periods while United have choked in their final few matches of the season.

    City have now laid the foundation for future success and expect City to win more silverware over the next few seasons. City will be getting stronger over the summer and can attract new players and will become even harder to beat next season. The tide has now turned from the red side of Manchester to the blue side of Manchester in the premier league. United's domination of the premier league has now ended and now is the start of City's domination of the premier league for the years to come.

  • Comment number 67.

    it's karma, utd deserve it cause ashley young was content to cheat and con the ref by diving in the box. Most amusing thing to watch as a neutral to see Utd have the title snatched away like that in the final moments, I can only imagine the look on the faces when it went Aguero scored....

  • Comment number 68.

    Well, well,......... Manchester City Premier League Champions 2011 -12.

    Sometimes football becomes a drama with a greater plot and with more passion than any West End thriller........ and we witnessed that today.

    It meant so much to so many Mancs to see City crowned Champions.........
    perhaps too much to some ....but all of us in the ground today will never have a feeling like that again.....never.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a Scotsman, I think it is a great pity that there was not a single Scottish player involved in any of these games in contrast to the good old days of yore. (OK, I know that was a long time ago but leave me with my dreams.)

    It has not even been good for our managers - Ferguson losing, (albeit only on goal average) and Owen Coyle and Steve Kean relegated. Sic transit gloria!

  • Comment number 70.

    cliveeta

    So Manchester United winning the title by 19 points would have been good for football, would it? Following last season where they had won it pretty much unchallenged as well? I personally think the season was made considerably more exciting by the element of a title race, and a very close and exciting title race at that. If City's money made that possible, I can't find it in me to look upon City's money as a bad thing. I am not a hater of United (quite like their style at times and they never give up), but seeing them winning titles unopposed is dull unless you support them.

  • Comment number 71.

    An amazing climax to an amazing season.

    Hansen never said Man U were average. He said they were average by their standards. Most people would agree that they do not have a vintage squad. So it was actually a compliment that they got so close to becoming champions again without an all-star cast. Congratulations to Man C, especially those supporters that have really been there through the dark times.

    I feel for the Bolton fans. (Didn't Nat Lofthouse win them the cup with a Walters-style goal in the days before barging into the keeper was a foul?) But someone has to go, and if Clint Hill's header had been given at the Reebok they would have already been down.

    Bring on the Euros

  • Comment number 72.

    @66

    The tide has now turned from the red side of Manchester to the blue side of Manchester in the premier league. United's domination of the premier league has now ended and now is the start of City's domination of the premier league for the years to come.


    You really think so? That's quite a sweeping statement to make. is it perhaps more of a case that City are now just another very strong team in the mix. Not that I'm a defender of Man Utd in any way, just stating what we all know - their leanest period over the last 20 years was 2004-6 - Arsenal's Invincibles and Mourinho's Chelsea - yet Utd came back...and they're still here...dislike them by all means, hope for their downfall why not? but don't write them off

  • Comment number 73.

    #51 No reason to want/need him, are you serious? If the bloke can do as well as he has this season with the quality of service and turbulence around him imagine him in one of those sides. What was clear from Barcelona's ties against Chelsea and Madrid is that they lack a focal point up front without Villa, and even when fit I don't think he's been the player they'd hoped. Van Persie would be perfect for them as he's a clever footballer capable of dropping slightly deeper and creating chances as well as lethal finishing, and he has pace and strength in abundance. I haven't seen as much of Real Madrid but he would be a serious asset to any squad in the world, a lack of suitors won't be a problem. I would be more disappointed if he chose to join City, yes they're champions and will be a force in years to come but would still probably get thumped by either Barca or Real. We can't offer him the money or success that the other clubs can, I just hope that if he chooses to go it's for the latter.

    Van Persie seems to have decided to leave, can't begrudge him for it, he has been phenomenal and more importantly given 100% all season unlike certain players whose heads were turned too early last year (Fabregas and co). Still clinging on hope to him merely holding out for investment and actual commitment to improvement (as he did last time) before signing, as well as him being settled in the area with a young family and loving his role at Arsenal, but common sense suggests he won't stay and risk wasting the rest of his career.

  • Comment number 74.

    Firstly, congrats to City from a Utd fan. The best team ALWAYS wins the league, and taking 6 points off of us this season only proves this (although we beat you in CS & FA cup so small mercies)

    But mainly, what an advert for the Premier League today was! Apart from Barton/Tevez and a few bad decisions I hear at Stoke, the drama was incredible. Considering we've had to listen in the press about the decline of the PL, certainly didn't feel like it today

    So, congrats to City, but we'll be back next year....
    Mancini are you listening, you better keep out trophy glistening. Coz we'll be back in May, to take it away. Walking in a Fergie wonderland

  • Comment number 75.

    I have no idea why my comment got taken down but here's a 2nd shot at it.... Utd will struggle next season, I thought it was commendable effort to see them get 2nd place at least, but City were the better side throughout.

    See, anything that is anti-Utd will not get through as I found out earlier.

  • Comment number 76.

    The are too many bad losers on this forum. Try to be objective and not over emotional.

    Forget about next season for now, Man City deserved to win this season.
    Money has always been the major factor for success. Some teams get it from large sponsorships, marketing and large fan bases worldwide. Some teams have rich owners who want to put money into the team!!
    One thing City have done is ruffle up the premier league and make it more exciting. There is now a new team name on the cup, instead of the same old few.

    ...and yes Man Utd's team was considered average, but I think he meant by their standards.

    Let's face it they have won NOTHING this year...how often do you say that?!?!?! I hope I will be saying it again, often. It will be nice to see new teams challenging for trophies.

  • Comment number 77.

    Liverpool finished 8th. Shocking! Thumbs up Kennysaurus Dinoglish..get better players. Heard he's chasing mohammed Diame from Wigan, £60,000 per week.Diame will turn liverpool to title contenders next season! Ride on Mr. Dinoglish

  • Comment number 78.

    @75 James_Band wrote:

    I have no idea why my comment got taken down but here's a 2nd shot at it.... Utd will struggle next season, I thought it was commendable effort to see them get 2nd place at least, but City were the better side throughout.

    See, anything that is anti-Utd will not get through as I found out earlier.

    ========================================================

    City should learn from their mistakes and be much stronger next season.

    Resting players for cup competitions is a must and should avoid the post Christmas dip in form. Crucially Mancini has great power now and the Balotelli/Tevez sagas will not happen again.

    Also can United achieve as many points again next season with this squad and with Giggs and Scholes still in the mix? I doubt it.

  • Comment number 79.

    I feel for the Bolton fans. (Didn't Nat Lofthouse win them the cup with a Walters-style goal in the days before barging into the keeper was a foul?) But someone has to go, and if Clint Hill's header had been given at the Reebok they would have already been down.

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

    Well, as a Bolton fan, I do feel we've been cheated but we deserve to go down imo, although I don't like it. However, saying that QPR diallowed goal at Reebok is karma doesn't make sense cause Cisse scored an offside goal in that game.... I've spoken to every non-Utd/City fan and they all wanted City to win, we neutrals were all City supporters today...

  • Comment number 80.

    Man U fan here offering my sincerest congrats to City. It was very hard to take today - 2 minutes left, believing again then all of a sudden gone. But many times we have been on the winning end and you on the other (44 years if I recall) so enjoy the feeling of success!

    To my united team: the fact that you were not the "vintage" team and took City to the last day and totalled the same points total, that is a great feat and thank you for your efforts all season.

    We'll be back next year and stronger: looking forward to #20 next season!

    Cheers.

  • Comment number 81.

    So the berties,as expected after Newcastle,are the Champions.
    Just a modern day Blackburn...a club who could'nt hack it on their own. Who had a new stadium built for them in return for a legoland,ramshackle ground from a different era. A club who were the original yo yo team.
    It's just a loan though.

  • Comment number 82.

    What a day.

    I thought I had seen it all, losing to Halifax Town in the cup, along with defeats to shrewsbury. Paul Powers free-kick at Villa park, Steve Mckenzies glorious volley in the final, followed by the wonder goal by Ricky Villa.

    Firstly: Bolton, I hope your back soon, my dad took me to Burden Park many times, sorry to see you go.

    QPR - It was like the Alamo and you had so many David Crockets out there, I'm glad yo stayed up. (Joey Barton, your finished, simples. You were provocked but kicking Aguero in the back and trying to head- butt Vinnie your done)

    UTD - You pushed us all the way, I believed you to be weaker than us but to me you showed character.

    Will we dominate?

    Don't really care, I can go to my grave happy, I was young win we last won it, now I'm ancient, but very, very happy.

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 83.

    Strange how a 3-1 or 4-1 result is regarded as convincing but a 6-1 victory a meaningless freak result........!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    81.
    At 01:44 14th May 2012, 1878onwards wrote:


    So the berties,as expected after Newcastle,are the Champions.
    Just a modern day Blackburn...a club who could'nt hack it on their own. Who had a new stadium built for them in return for a legoland,ramshackle ground from a different era. A club who were the original yo yo team.
    It's just a loan though.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Welcome the lads home for me.

    I can't get a flight in time.

    Cheers 1878 Onwards, the banter has been worth it!

  • Comment number 85.

    Manchester City, totally deserved every bit of this game. Qpr defended well under pressure for quiet sometime. But let it loose in the dying moments. Happy for the club. Now I just hope my club Chelsea lift the champions league trophy and reserve a place for next seasons cl.

  • Comment number 86.

    @79: I guess you are right, there are all kinds of contentious decisions over a year; I was just trying to say that mistakes earlier in the season are just as important as those at the end. The damage was done last week really, losing a two-goal lead at home just before Rangers' late winner must have been agonising, and as I said, I feel for you guys.
    Finincial arguments aside, United were solid and dogged this year, rather than spectacular. City played some beautiful attacking stuff, especially earlier in the year. Most non-Manc supporters I know are quite happy about the destination of this year's title.

  • Comment number 87.

    @81. 1878onwards wrote

    So the berties,as expected after Newcastle,are the Champions.
    Just a modern day Blackburn...a club who could'nt hack it on their own. Who had a new stadium built for them in return for a legoland,ramshackle ground from a different era. A club who were the original yo yo team.
    It's just a loan though.

    ==========================================================

    Its good to know you have had such a rewarding and pleasant day and good of you to offer the hand of friendship across this great city.

  • Comment number 88.

    Sams Town:

    Who do you think we will sign.

    I dont want Dzeko to go or Adam Johnson.

    What a day. It's 8:20 PM here in Texas and I'm getting merry.

  • Comment number 89.

    Tactically, Mancini is fantastic, but as a person her is a no-go. The man raging on the sidelines, panicked and totally out of control was the man from Munich, the one who tried to destroyed Tevez's career and endangered the season after that night to begin with. When the big prize is slipping away, he loses his mind.
    Mancini can hardly stand the pressure of the premiere league, and he takes it out on his players, then tosses his hair at the cameras and blames the players.
    He will have to change his attitude if he wants to defend it; the man is a grind on any the mental strength of any player. Congrats City, you did it in spite of him.

  • Comment number 90.

    I guess you are right, there are all kinds of contentious decisions over a year; I was just trying to say that mistakes earlier in the season are just as important as those at the end. The damage was done last week really, losing a two-goal lead at home just before Rangers' late winner must have been agonising, and as I said, I feel for you guys.
    Finincial arguments aside, United were solid and dogged this year, rather than spectacular. City played some beautiful attacking stuff, especially earlier in the year. Most non-Manc supporters I know are quite happy about the destination of this year's title.

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

    So many what ifs, the ref has given us 2 blows to the head btw, I thought the 2nd goal was a dive imo (bit like Fabregas), looks a penalty but it really isn't. I really fancied our chances before Spurs (home game in hand), when we were level on points, but to be honest, the way we've gone down is so typical to the earlier stages of our season, it's unreal how Coyle and the players can let this happen!

    Anyway, I can only imagine what if Bolton had won at Stoke.... do you think QPR would have conceded at the end? It looked to me they gave up too easily knowing Bolton were drawing, but I dunno....

  • Comment number 91.

    Although man city won the title a deserved, is this becoming SPL like 3rd place 19 points adrift

  • Comment number 92.

    What high drama! I've never before witnessed anything even close. Who would have thought City could actually do it in a fragile 5 minutes of injury time when they had only been knocking their pedestrian, idealess heads against a blank wall for 90 minutes.

    Congratulations City. It would have been a travesty of footballing justice had ManU been allowed to piggyback it on an inspired performance by a floundering QPR.

    The game has amply shown that money alone is not adequate to highjack the beautiful game.

    Mike Dean and his staff were equal to the occasion.

  • Comment number 93.

    @88., Bertie Button

    ========================================================

    Hi Bertie....You can't match that can you, the stands were bouncing.

    Aguero what a touch and shot ....what a player

    Also Fergie complaining that City got too much 'Fergie Time' and he was 139 miles away..........brilliant.

    Would agree johnson to stay and also Dzeko for his height as shown today. We need another solid centreback and possibly a striker but hope Mancini keeps this squad together and then he will get the rewards of stability. Even without any new players we will be better next year.

    Enjoy the Texas night................weather forecast for Albert Square celebrations at 6.30pm tomorrow is 10c with sunshine, showers and a blue sky .........perfect.

    PS.....Got to get to work in a few hours just off Deansgate... but who cares...today changes everything.

  • Comment number 94.

    Good one lex!
    Summersiron, I see your point, that a tight title race is more interesting than one team winning most years. But I am thinking of the long term situation. Poeple are now talking about City buying more players to keep the title and win in Europe. They have reportedly offered van Persie a quarter of a million quid per week!
    a) what is the point of winning by just buying all the best players?
    b) won't that financial irresponsibility harm the rest of the clubs who don't have a sugar daddy?
    c) if these fiscal accountability rules actually are enforced then what will happen to City in a couple of years?

  • Comment number 95.

    congrats to city........like the season, it went right down to the wire

    as for Baton, he's an idiot and the only bigger idiots are those managers who keep believing in him

  • Comment number 96.

    Congrats to City, whoever finishes top after 38 games deserve to be called champions. Enjoy this season and your bragging rights, but the true test of great teams & managers is winning on a regular basis. The test for you will begin next season, here and in Europe, and until you show that ability you only have the right to be placed next to Blackburn in terms of EPL success. Can't help thinking that you should have had it wrapped up a long time ago, Utd were not great this season and blew it at the Etihad where Fergie made a big mistake in his team selection. You did play some great football though and were the better team over the season so credit where it's due., you beat us twice and for that i can't argue with your victory.
    To the Utd fans who are calling for Fergie to go, please be quiet. I'm guessing you only know your time as a Utd fan under Fergie and really have no idea of how he turned the club into what it is now & how much we owe this man. We were worse off than Liverpool are now, and all the success that we have achieved since he came is purely down to him. Our decline will only begin with his retirement, so don't go wishing too soon.

  • Comment number 97.

    All said and done, let's not forget Man-City did a double on Man-U; 6-1 at old trafford & 1-0 at Etihad, that makes them true Champions.

  • Comment number 98.

    City can have their day, can't argue that over the course of the season they deserve it. United didn't lose the title in injury time, we lost it at home to Blackburn, at DW, the last 10 minutes against Everton where two points were thrown away by getting complacent, not to mention both derbies, in both of which we had a shocker.

    United will come back stronger next season, no doubt this is a challenge Fergie relishes. After all the money City have spent, supposedly a 'weak' United squad only lost it on goal difference, so with a few signings you can bet we'll be fighting for it next season. But right now it's City's time.

  • Comment number 99.

    MC desrve the title . Enough of the saga of money can buy PL please... Its good for football and the PL that City won the title... this would drive MU to new borders as manifested by Furgeson's note that they would be ready to meet the challenge of city next season..

    Pundits! Get rid of Hanson for all Gods' sake!! Arrogant, pompous, bullier (of Lawranson) and talking rubbish. Lawro... very naive... trying hard to appease his bullier and talk of his 'predictions' hilarious!!! Lee Dixon is the most reasonable, articulate, knowledgeable and and respected of all.
    Fantastic season. All got what they deserve... the most honest league on earth.

  • Comment number 100.

    From here on in, Man City will dominate the Premier League- its all over now

 

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