Yesterday had it all, drama, delerium, suspense and every other emotion possible throughout the entire Premier league as we all experienced the climax of the 2011/12 season. With the bottom three still not confirmed, the title yet to be decided and european qualification still in the balance it was all still very much to play for.
Manchester City hosted Queens Park Ranger's, the home side needing a victory to garauntee the title from Manchester United's grip. The away side needing a win or praying that Bolton Wanderers would slip up away at Stoke City to ensure survival for the R's. Manchester United faced an away trip to Sunderland, without anything to play for and with United expected to take all three points the pressure mounted on Mancini's men.
Tottenham, after a recent blip, were looking to get fourth place sewn up at the expense of Newcastle with their home tie against fellow Londoner's Fulham. The Magpie's on the other hand were away to in-form Everton.
Manchester City began brightly against QPR and Pablo Zabaleta broke in from the right with a shot too powerful for QPR 'keeper Paddy Kenny to hold with the ball looping into the net via the far post producing scenes that hadn't been witnessed since the 1999 play-off final with City's promotion to the first division (now of course, Championship).
Meanwhile on Wearside, Wayne Rooney managed to latch on to Phil Jones's cross and nod United ahead, the fan's prayers now were that City would slip up. Half time came and went and soon the United fan's prayers were answered when Djibril Cisse capitalised on a Jolean Lescott mistake and lashed the ball past the helpless Joe Hart, the away end sent into raptures and City were reeling. News of the goal soon travelled north as United fan's belief escalated and joy spread throughout the away section.
In the day's other games, a controversial first-goal for Stoke City looked to send Bolton ever-closer to the Championship as Jonathan Walters barged into 'keeper Adam Bogdan to send the ball over the line to the astonishment of Owen Coyle and the Bolton faithful. A bizarre leveller for Bolton soon followed as Stoke defender Roberth Huth cleared the ball against Andy Wilkinson to rebound past Thomas Sorensen, a lifeline for the away side. The lifeline soon disappeared when Peter Crouch tumbled over a seemingly innocuous challenge from Bogdan allowing Walters to despatch the resulting spot-kick and send Bolton down.
Everton wasted no time in putting Newcastle to the sword with goal's coming from Stephen Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic early on, swiftly followed by a third in the second half from Johnny Heitinga. Tottenham meanwhile had took the lead against Fulham with a fine finish from Adebayor before Jermaine Defoe prodded in the winner to seal fourth spot for Spur's. Newcastle eventually going down 3-0 to Everton.
Back at the Etihad more drama followed when Joey Barton clashed with Carlos Tevez in an off the ball incident witnessed by linesman Andy Garrett. A tangle of legs between the two players resulted in Barton throwing an elbow to the throat of Tevez, flooring the Man City striker and leaving the referee Mike Dean no alternative but to issue Barton a red card. Barton then went on to lash out at Sergio Aguero and throw a headbutt in the direction of Vincent Kompany, eventually being dragged off the pitch by a combination of Keith Curle and Micah Richards. A lengthy ban is the least that is expected after the incident.
The man disadvantage did little to damage QPR's resiliance and soon after half-time a cross from the left eluded the City defenders in the centre and no-one picked up Jamie Mackie who headed the ball firmly into the ground and past Hart to give the away side an incredible 2-1 lead. The United end at Sunderland by this point was bouncing, with City needing two goals and with under half an hour left to play, the tension soon became unbearable for those in blue. 5 minutes of stoppage time were indicated at the Etihad, the final whistle had blown at the stadium of light with United none the wiser on the destination of the Premiership trophy.
After a succession of 17 corners the moment arrived, Edin Dzeko towered above the QPR defence to nod in the equalizer past Kenny, who up to then had seemed unbeatable, City fan's belief began to come back....as the minutes ticked by an exchange of passes on the edge of the area released Aguero who feigned his first shot.....took breath......and sent the ball past Kenny into the net. What followed was sheer elation, Mancini breaking his cool and jumping into the arm's of Brian Kidd and David Platt, Aguero swamped by his team mates and the fan's with tears in their eyes, they had waited since the 1960's for this moment. After years and years of United dominance and City heartache the balance of power finally switched as the majestic Vincent Kompany held the Barclays Premier League trophy aloft.
They often say money can't buy you love, so its a good thing that the love for Manchester City Football Club was already there before the millions poured in to create this dream team. United fan's were visibly crushed and in a sadistic way i'm sure Manchester City fan's will take great delight in the false hope they gave to the neighbours before snatching away their prized trophy. It's been a truly memorable season with everything you could ever wish to witness in this great sport.