Monday 13 May 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Manchester City won their first Barclays Premier League title with the last kick of the season as Sergio Aguero struck an extraordinary added-time winner at the Etihad Stadium.
Lying top of the standings at the start of the day on goal difference from Manchester United Roberto Mancini’s side went into the match knowing that their destiny in their own hands. To be crowned champions they needed to equal or better Manchester United’s result away at Sunderland in their final-day encounter at home against Mark Hughes’s relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers side. What followed was the most incredible match in the history of the Barclays Premier League.
Although Wayne Rooney provided a scare by giving United a 20th-minute lead at the Stadium of Light, Pablo Zabaleta settled the nerves of the home supporters by following suit for City six minutes before half-time. But thereafter it all threatened to go horribly wrong for the home side.
QPR equalised through Djibril Cisse three minutes after the interval and although the R’s were reduced to 10 men on 54 minutes when Joey Barton was dismissed, Jamie Mackie gave the visitors a shock lead on the break midway through the second half. Mancini’s side could find no way through and as United’s match finished 1-0 to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side it seemed as though the title was destined for the red half of Manchester.
City were still 2-1 down with 91 minutes played but in the second minute of added time Edin Dzeko provided a lifeline with a close-range header. The hosts now just needed one more goal to realise their title dream and as they poured forward in the fourth minute of time added they conjured one last chance.
Mario Balotelli slid a pass into Sergio Aguero’s path and as a nation held its breath, the Argentina forward took aim. His low right-footed shot sped past Paddy Kenny to spark scenes of delirium at the Etihad Stadium.
Rangers survived the drop by a point thanks to Stoke City’s 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers, who were relegated along with Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.