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Friday 21 December 2012

2012 Barclays Premier League review: May

In the fifth of our 2012 Days of Christmas review, the title is not decided until the very last

  • Manchester United were denied retaining the title in the last five minutes of the season

  • Sergio Aguero scores the goal that won the title for City

  • Bolton were relegated after a 15-year stay in the division

  • Yossi Benayoun helped Arsenal secure third spot from Tottenham

  • Reading, Southampton and West Ham were promoted from the Championship

MAY 2012

The excitement, quality of football and passion that the Barclays Premier League had enjoyed over the season was epitomised in the final five frenetic minutes of the 2011/12 campaign, as Sergio Aguero’s injury-time goal ensured that Manchester City got their hands on their first Premier League title.

In a thrilling climax fitting of the best Premier League campaign, as voted in the “20 Seasons Awards” that were held in the month, City needed only to match Manchester United’s result away to Sunderland to win their first championship title in 44 years.

After taking an early lead against a Queens Park Rangers side who needed a win to avoid relegation, City went 2-1 down, despite QPR having been reduced to ten men early in the second half with the sending-off of Joey Barton. Meanwhile at the Stadium of Light United had won 1-0 and as things stood were going to retain their title, but were forced to wait for the final whistle in Manchester.

Roberto Mancini’s men equalised in stoppage time when Edin Dzeko headed in a David Silva corner. Three minutes later, the ball fell to Sergio Aguero, who calmly stroked it past QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny to unleash delirium in Etihad Stadium. The stadium erupted and the Blues became the fifth club to win the Premier League in its 20 season history.

The race for the UEFA Champions League places was also decided on the final day as Arsenal recovered from going a goal behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2 at The Hawthorns to secure third place.

Tottenham Hotspur finished fourth but lost out when Chelsea grabbed the final qualifying spot by stunning Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League Final. The victory, which was sealed by Didier Drogba from the spot was the fourth time a Barclays Premier League club had one the trophy and the first time for Chelsea. Roberto Di Matteo’s side completed a cup double when they defeated Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup Final at Wembley.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew steered his side to fifth and Europa League football in the following season.

At the bottom, Bolton Wanderers’ failure to beat Stoke City on the final day meant that QPR were guaranteed safety, despite their loss to City. After 15 years in the Premier League, Bolton dropped out along with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers, whose fate was sealed with a 1-0 defeat by Wigan Athletic in the penultimate matchweek of the season in the relegation zone.

QPR’s survival meant that all three promoted clubs survived the drop. Swansea City and Norwich City finished the season with victories, and consequently finished 11th and 12th respectively. Reading, Southampton and West Ham United completed the Premier League line-up for the 2012/13 campaign. Reading won the npower Championship, with Southampton sealing second spot with a final-day win over Coventry City. West Ham United edged Blackpool in the play-off Final at Wembley Stadium.

Key quotes

"This is an incredible moment. We wanted this title and we deserved to win this title. This is for all our supporters, the club, the chairman and the owner. This is the perfect finale for a crazy season. We dominated this season for 28 games, but when we beat a team like United twice in one season we deserve this." - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini after his side won the Barclays Premier League title.

“I want to say it is the best moment of my life but if I’m honest then I would say please never again this way." - Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.

“I congratulate City on winning the league. Anybody who wins it deserves it, because it’s a long haul. At the end of our game our players didn’t actually know the results. Now they’re really disappointed, I’m glad to say. 89 points would win most leagues. It wasn’t our turn today." - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It has been a fantastic season to finish fourth and in a Champions League place. I’d be a liar if I stood here and said otherwise [that I didn’t want Bayern Munich to beat Chelsea]. I want Tottenham to finish in the Champions League and it’s now up to Bayern Munich to finish the job. What will be will be." - Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

Barclays Premier League awards

Player of the Season: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

Manager of the Season: Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)

How they stood

Table on 1 Apr 2012  In full here       Final table in full here

    P GD Pts     P GD Pts
1 Man City 36 61 83   Man City 38 64 89
2 Man Utd 36 53 83   Man Utd 38 56 89
3 Arsenal 36 24 66   Arsenal 38 25 70
4 Tottenham 35 20 62   Tottenham 38 25 69
5 Newcastle 35 7 62   Newcastle 38 5 65
16 Wigan 36 -22 37   Aston Villa 38 -16 38
17 QPR 36 -23 34   QPR 38 -23 37
18 Bolton 35 -28 34   Bolton 38 -31 36
19 Blackburn 36 -28 31   Blackburn 38 -30 31
20 R-Wolves 36 -41 24   Wolves 38 -42 25


    P GD Pts     P GD Pts
1 Man City 30 47 73   Man City 36 61 83
2 Man Utd 31 50 71   Man Utd 36 53 83
3 Arsenal 31 21 58   Arsenal 36 24 66
4 Tottenham 30 18 55   Tottenham 35 20 62
5 Chelsea 31 17 53   Newcastle 35 7 62
16 Bolton 30 -24 29   Wigan 36 -22 37
17 Blackburn 30 -19 28   QPR 36 -23 34
18 QPR 31 -19 28   Bolton 35 -28 34
19 Wigan 31 -26 28   Blackburn 36 -28 31
20 Wolves 31 -35 22   Wolves 36 -41 24


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Key Points

  • Manchester City seal the Barclays Premier League title with an injury-time winner against QPR
  • Bolton and Blackburn join Wolves in getting relegated
  • Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League after a penalty shootout