Man City claim their first English title in 44 years in barely believable circumstances, as stoppage time goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero snatch a 3-2 home victory over Queens Park Rangers.
With Manchester United’s players still on the pitch at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light after a 1-0 victory, it looked as though they were about to celebrate a 20th Premier League title with City still trailing 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Dzeko’s header made it 2-2, and in almost unbearable tension Aguero burst into the area to angle a shot past Paddy Kenny, sparking wild celebrations as City became top dogs for the first time since 1968.
“Five minutes from the end I did not think we could win this game. We deserved to win this championship,” said City manager Roberto Mancini. “But we deserved to win this and deserved to win the title. We were on top for 20 games.
You want to say it’s the best moment of your life. But if I’m honest – please, never again this way! Vincent Kompany, Manchester City captain
“I think for us it was really important to start winning this championship, Manchester City can have a big future now.”
City captain Vincent Kompany admitted the dramatic ending was almost too much for him. “You want to say it’s the best moment of your life. But, if I’m honest – please never again this way,” he said.
“Even though the first half was really good, we just couldn’t get through.”
Kompany insists he never lost faith though. “I never stopped believing. When Edin scored that goal, it reminded me of so many other moments during the season when we’ve done this before. There was no reason not to believe.
“It’s not sunk in yet. I don’t know what happened at the end, it was just a huge mess.
“I’m so happy for the guys cos they’ve given so much this season. We’ve dreamed of this all our lives and now we’re champions. See the fans and how happy they are – unbelievable.”
City and United both finished on 89 points, with City’s better goal difference settling the most gripping title race since Arsenal edged out Liverpool on the final day of the 1988-89 campaign.
City had only needed a win against the London strugglers to prevail, but after taking a first-half lead through Pablo Zabaleta the celebrations turned to disbelief as QPR hit back after the break with goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie.
We deserved this win and deserved to win the title. We were on top for 20 games. Roberto Mancini, Manchester City manager
To add some dynamite to an already explosive afternoon, former City player Joey Barton was sent off for QPR after an off the ball elbow on Carlos Tevez.
It did not prove too costly, however, as QPR retained their Premier League status at the expense of Bolton Wanderers, who were relegated after a 2-2 draw at Stoke city.
In a free-scoring climax to the English season Arsenal finished third, coming from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at the Hawthorns, edging Totetnham Hotspur into fourth after their north London rivals beat Fulham 2-0.
Arsenal will join City and United in the Champions League group phase while Spurs face an anxious wait to see if they get a crack at a Champions League qualifying tie.
Should Chelsea win the Champions League, they would demote Tottenham to the Europa League.