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Offshore drilling, England: at Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 2

May 13, 2012, 12:28 PM EDT

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Se Getty Images

Man of the Match: Giving this honor to the player who scores the winning goal is often a cop-out, but when it’s a title-winning goal that completes one of the most memorable comebacks in Premier League history, there’s a bit more justification. Besides, the work Sergio Agüero put in on the final goal went beyond the final strike. He made his way along the edge of defense until he retrieved the ball, moved around Taye Taiwo, and won City their first Premier League title.

Packaged for takeaway:

  • It’s hard to overstate the drama. Manchester City scored twice in second half stoppage time after a disastrous second half that saw them give up their 1-0 lead and carry the title to Manchester United’s doorstep.
  • It looked good early, with City breaking through before halftime against a QPR side that played 10 behind the ball from the opening kickoff.
  • That goal was a gift, though. Pablo Zabaleta blasted a shot from 12 yards, but it was right at Paddy Kenny, who let the ball get through his hands and, after going off the far post, into goal. Kenny otherwise had a great game, but his first goal allowed was one put over the bar almost every other time you see it.
  • On the same play, City lost Yaya Touré, an absence that seemed huge as City chased in the second half. Touré had seemingly pulled a right hamstring half-way through the first, but he persisted, contributing on the opening goal. As his team celebrated, Touré sat on the turf, to be immediately replaced by Nigel de Jong.
  • With QPR playing so conservatively in the first, there was little reason to think they’d make a game of it in the second. City, however, condescended to help, with a erroneous header by Joleon Lescott off a looping ball by Shaun Wright-Phillips putting Djibil Cissé alone on goal. Equalizing only three minutes into the half, QPR barely had to come out of their shell.
  • And that stance persisted even after Joey Barton played the fool once again. Responding to some mild jostling from Carlos Tévez after cutting off his run, Barton swung a right elbow at the City attacker, connecting just under the jaw. It wasn’t a hard elbow, so Tevez was fine, but it was an obvious red card. As he was leaving the field, Barton kneed Agüero from behind and otherwise tried to fight any City player who confronted him (including Mario Balotelli, who tried to come off the bench to escalate affairs).
  • Twelve minutes later, Jamie Mackie put QPR on top, an unbelievable turn of events. Barton’s sending off almost seemed an appropriate end to an unimpressive Rangers’ campaign, but with 24 minutes left in their season, they were about to survive, hand City their first home loss of the season, snatch the title from City and hand it to Manchester United.
  • And until the end of the 90 minutes, QPR looked like they would hold out. City had their chances, but they were always through narrow channels easily blocked by Kenny. As stoppage time came, you’d convinced yourself that Manchester United would again, almost unimaginably, be champions. How could this possibly be happening? City, when all they had to do was beat QPR – a 10-man QPR – gives away the title?
  • After Edin Dzeko put home David Silva’s corner early in added time, you wanted the comeback to come true. Though they stumbled their way into an embarrassing spot (and brought tears to their fans’ eyes while doing so), a two-goal comeback in stoppage time is irresistable.
  • And ultimately, the title could not resist City. Their Sunday comeback completes a rebound that started weeks ago, when the Citizens were eight points back of a Manchester United side that need only close out a 4-2 home lead against Everton to start planning their victory celebrations. Instead, Manchester City claims their first Premier League title – the first time they’ve stood atop the first division since 1966.
  • Just as Manchester United’s comeback against Bayern Munich in 1999 will be remembered as a (possibly the) quintessential Champions League moment, City’s comeback to dethrone United may eventually be recalled as the title-clincher to shame all title-clinchers. It is extremely rare the the excitement of a knockout competition manifests in league, but for City, it was do-or-day come the 94th minute. And do, they did.
  1. ndnut - May 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Naaaa-Naa-Naa-Na-Na-Na-Naa-Na-Na-Na-Naa CI-TY!!!!!!!!

  2. d214tx - May 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    WOW That is FOOTBALL ladies and gentleman no other sport compares to it. Congrats to City.

  3. footballer4ever - May 13, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    My prediction that QPR was going to pull play spoilers almost became true. What a dramatic Premiership title finish that was. I am a ManU fan, but congratulations to ManCity, enjoy it while it lasts because ManUnited still rules Manchester and the Premier League in the end. (wink)

  4. ndnut - May 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM


    You embody the best part of the game in America, my friend. The rivalries are passionate, but friendly and willing to show sportsmanship and class.
    p.s. The Blue Moon is rising and is here to stay!

  5. jucam1 - May 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Eat it Sir Alex… City!!! What a team, what a season, title winners!!!!

  6. footballer4ever - May 13, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    @ ndnut

    Thanks and your welcome, i guess.

    Realistically speaking, Mancity had a better season even with all the hiccups. United did too, but having lost in a humiliating way to ManCity at home and not to beat Mancity at their home was a big missed chance to prove they would be worthy champions. This Premiership title loss is not all bad considering ManU has experienced a lot of success before. It will only help to reinforce and evaluate the need to make themselves better at every level.

    United has/is/will continue to be a force to reckon with in the Premiership and in Europe. ManCity, enjoy your spotlight as we have enjoyed ours in the past. Long live United!

  7. slxc - May 13, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Oh Spectacular Final, spectacular Game. Greath football

  8. firewolf777 - May 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    CITY BOYS!!!!

  9. wustlgrad - May 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    It didn’t take long lads–look at all the new Citeh supporters coming out of the woodwork! It’s one title in 44 bloody years for F-sake! Do give it a rest. Act like you’ve been there before! Err, right…YOU HAVEN’T! We lost the title you lot didn’t win it. All that spending and an injury riddled Utd side finished even on points with you. If SAF would have had your squad the title would have been done and dusted by then end of March. It’s not your money and the spending that bothers me. Or, your Gallagher bros. speaking twaddle on the Beeb after every match you play. Or, the new glory hunter fans you’ve got coming out of every stinking hole…

    *Its the fact you pay Tevez and Balotelli insane wages. Two players who United would never put up with. Tevez goes to play golf back home whilst waving two fingers in the air and you happily take him back! And, you said, “He will never play for us again!” BOLLOCKS!!! The difference between your side and us is a little thing known as CLASS & HONOUR! Something you know nothing about. Enjoy this now because next season that blue moon will have a a red tint to it! We will never die–keep the RED flag flying high!

  10. footballer4ever - May 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    @ wustlgrad- Bravo! (Applause)

    That was a serious and in your face piece of work. Nothing sugarcoated, yet not insulting and spoken with certainty.
    Time will let ManCity know who rules the Premiership and on Manchester. That’s why i ‘ve said it before, enjoy it while it lasts!

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