Man City's Blue Moon rises
Roberto Mancini slumped heavily in his seat and puffed out his cheeks in relief before finally breaking into a smile. And he has only been trying to bring a trophy to Manchester City for 17 months.
Those who have lived every moment of the 35 years since Newcastle United were beaten in the 1976 League Cup Final were flying even higher on emotions all the money in Abu Dhabi would find it hard to buy.
Wembley was awash with symbolism as Carlos Tevez lifted the FA Cup after a deserved victory against Stoke City. The long and painful wait was over, the Blue Moon was rising over Wembley and a small corner of Old Trafford could no longer be draped in the infamous banner mocking Manchester City's barren years.
Mancini put the significance of Manchester City's win in context as he announced it was about "changing the history of the club" while the outstanding defender Vincent Kompany said: "We have laid down the first brick. Now we can build a house on it."
It will, no doubt, be the most expensive accommodation around but it is highly unlikely it will be another 35 years before the next piece of silverware goes on show.
It was Francis Lee, part of Manchester City's last FA Cup-winning side against Leicester City in 1969, who famously observed that if cups were "awarded for cock-ups" their trophy cabinet would be bulging under the sheer weight of honours.
After winning numerous trophies as a player and manager in Italy, Roberto Mancini celebrates his first trophy in England - photo: AFP.
Yaya Toure's goal, 16 minutes from the end of a final Manchester City dominated, means the jokes can stop and a club too closely associated with the self-destruct button in the past can look forward to a golden future.
The image of Dennis Tueart's famous overhead kick that won their last major honour will never fade, but Toure's thundered finish beyond Stoke's heroic goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen can allow it to become just a little more blurred.
Toure can now take his place in Manchester City folklore after the giant Ivory Coast midfield man added an FA Cup Final winner to the goal that decided the Wembley semi-final against Manchester United.
And the sweet satisfaction of this success could not be soured even by rivals United clinching a record 19th domestic title with a draw at Blackburn Rovers minutes before kick-off at Wembley.
Mancini has been criticised this season, occasionally here it should be said, but a place in the Champions League and an FA Cup in the trophy cabinet represents a job well done, no matter how much has been spent on achieving it.
The Italian naturally wears a cloak of conservatism tactically, a trait that is still treated with suspicion even by some of his own supporters, but Manchester City will accept success in any form after a starvation diet and two major objectives have been achieved.
Mancini's lavish transfer budget makes him a target when Manchester City fail to deliver, so it is only right he receives the credit due to him after fashioning their first serious success since the mid-70s.
The quality that has arrived at Eastlands was obvious against a Stoke City side that sadly allowed the day to pass them by, Sorensen and Jermaine Pennant apart.
And with Champions League qualification assured, Mancini appeared to release the handbrake just a little with an attacking line-up that included Mario Balotelli alongside Tevez and more of an attacking emphasis to set alongside the usual defensive resilience.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis, thoroughly dignified and gracious in defeat, studied "the bigger picture" for solace after an uncharacteristically timid slide to defeat from players who have previously appeared fearless in the face of any challenge.
Whereas Mancini's decision to go with Tevez after a month out with hamstring problems was fully vindicated, Pulis' gamble on Matthew Etherington looked ill-fated long before he was substituted just after the hour.
Etherington, normally a figure of such influence for Stoke, drifted on Wembley's margins to little effect and was clearly way short of full itness, a flaw always likely to exposed in this unforgiving environment.
Stoke, their manager and their supporters - truly magnificent before, during and after this FA Cup Final - can rightly be proud of their progression this season but this will not be a day for happy memories on the field.
Only Sorensen stood between Manchester City and a more emphatic winning margin and as Mancini savoured the taste of victory, a victory he insisted would not be toasted by alcohol with work still to be done this season, he was already looking forward.
He said: "The FA Cup is an important trophy and we have learned a lot this season as a team. I think we need to improve more and take another step but it was important to start winning. The first trophy, the start, is so important."
As Manchester City's players paraded in front of their joyous supporters turning the tables on Manchester United's taunts with a banner emblazoned with "00 Years", Mancini heard the sound of acceptance sweep around Wembley as his name rang out.
Yaya Toure also scored at Wembley against Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final - photo: AP.
And for the maverick Balotelli, praise at last as he gave a performance that went a little way towards answering the question Mancini has apparently posed since he arrived at Eastlands, namely: "Why did I buy you?"
The evidence was here in flashes, helped by Mancini's revelation after the game that he had warned young Mario that his FA Cup Final might be one of the shortest since records began if he acted up at Wembley.
Balotelli brought a magnificent stop - "the save of the season" according to Pulis - from Sorensen and played a part in Toure's goal. There was even one of the first recorded sightings of him chasing back with genuine enthusiasm to help with defensive duties in the first half. He looked a player.
Mancini is believed to be targeting four high-profile signings to ensure this landmark day in Manchester City's history is not an isolated incident, with a growing sense that Tevez's hoisting of the trophy will be one of his last memorable acts at the club.
The consolation for Manchester City is that if the Argentine does indeed leave, Mancini will have the muscle to claim a large fee, with £50m likely to be the demand, and the capacity to invest even more on his replacement.
And with the pressure lifted by the first silverware under the Abu Dhabi ownership, Mancini can work the markets as Manchester City move towards higher goals.
With a flourish of Yaya Toure's left foot 35 years of agony disappeared in an instant and Manchester City's Blue Moon is officially on the rise.