Man City win League after 44 years

Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time to be crowned champions for the first time in 44 years as they beat Queen's Park Rangers to win the Premier League on goal difference from Manchester United.

In scenes of near bedlam, City looked to be suffering a dramatic collapse as QPR - safe after Stoke City drew with Bolton - held on to an unlikely advantage with United leading at Sunderland.

With some City fans already leaving the stadium in tears, Edin Dzeko equalised in the second of five minutes of stoppage time before Sergio Aguero scored the goal that won the title.

City's players and supporters travelled from one end of the emotional scale to the other in those vital seconds, providing a truly remarkable piece of football theatre and the most dramatic conclusion to a season in Premier League history.

Roberto Mancini's side needed victory to clinch the prize that has eluded them since 1968 and took the lead through Pablo Zabaleta shortly before the interval.

Djibril Cisse levelled for QPR soon after the restart before the visitors lost Joey Barton when he was shown a red card against his former club following a clash with Carlos Tevez.

QPR shrugged off their numerical disadvantage to reduce the Etihad to stunned silence when Jamie Mackie gave them the lead with a far-post header in the 66th minute.

City set up permanent camp in QPR territory but appeared condemned to their worst nightmare of losing the title to arch rivals United in the most painful circumstances as keeper Paddy Kenny rode his luck to produce a string of saves to ensure they held firm in the face of an onslaught.

Then, as the clocked started to tick into those added minutes and United were in sight of a 20th title, City and their supporters were transported from the depths of despondency to the highest high in the space of two minutes.

Dzeko rose to head the equaliser before Argentine Aguero showed great clarity of thought and composure amid the mayhem to drive into the area and beat Kenny with a powerful low finish.

The Etihad was a sky-blue explosion of joy and relief in an outpouring of 44 years of frustration as Aguero wheeled his shirt above his head in celebration and Mancini, who cut an increasingly frantic figure as time ran out, raced on to the pitch - accompanied by backroom staff including Brian Kidd and David Platt - in ecstasy.

As Mike Dean's final whistle blew, the reality dawned on City as they capped a run of form that has seen them overturn United's eight-point advantage in the space of five weeks.


Wednesday 16-05-2012
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