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Monday, May 14, 2012

Manchester City Win Premier League Title: The Blue Moon Rises after 44 Years!

Two goals in the last two minutes of the 2011-12 Barclays Premier League season secured Manchester City their first title in 44 years. And who else to rob it from than the ‘quite’ neighbours, Manchester United?

The Citizens looked like they were going to blow off a chance of securing their maiden title in the Premier League era against a Queens Park Rangers side that was in itself fighting to avoid the drop until Bosnian Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero popped out with two last minute goals that gave City a 3-2 win and brought to a climax the most dramatic title race in the world’s strongest league history.

With just 2 of 5 minutes added time remaining, Roberto Mancini’s side were trailing 2-1. They needed to score two goals to stop Sir Alex Ferguson, whose Manchester United had partly completed their work with Wayne Rooney’s solitary goal against Sunderland, from reading his acceptance speech of a 13th Premier League title. Man City looked desperate (and rightly so) especially given that they had three prolific strikers in Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotteli upfront. They had all fired blanks against Mark Hughes’ QPR side who had built a 10-man defensive wall that had repelled all but City’s single shot that had gone in in the first half.

Then came the 92nd minute and second half substitute Edin Dzeko rose above the rest to head in past Paddy Kenny and make it 2-2. Still not enough. However, there was hope with just two more minutes remaining.

But it seems it had been written and so it had to be done. With the clock hitting 94 minutes, City engineered one last move. The one to make it or break it. The one that would see the Blue moon rising and red mist surround the red-half of Manchester. Or not. The one that would deny United their record 20th Premier League title. And how would Liverpool fans love that!

Sergio Aguero, collecting the ball inside the box must have whispered to himself, “It’s now or never El Kun, your father-in-law, the great Diego Armando Maradona is watching, all those in white and blue are watching, damn it, everyone in the world is watching! This is it! You can do it son!!” Not that he had the time to say all that. But he must have said something he can never remember as he dodged what looked like a million reddish boots desperately trying to rob him the ball before hitting it without a shred of doubt and into the back of the net. City had done it!

I celebrated. And am not, has never been and will never be a City fan. But on Sunday evening, I had to be one. And one, I was.

Meanwhile, Bolton's 17-year reign in the English topflight came to a crushing end as they joined Blackburn and Wolverhampton in relegation. The Trotters needed to win their game at Stoke City and hope Man City beat QPR. But while the latter happened, Jonathan Walters struck a 77th minute penalty that ensured the game ended 2-2 leading to Bolton's relegation with 36 points, one less than QPR.

Arsenal secured the automatic Champions League berth coming from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 in Roy Hodgson's last game in charge of the West Midlands club before he takes over as England national team manager. Tottenham secured the fourth spot to put them in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League but they will be praying that Chelsea lose the Champions League final to Bayern Munich on May 19.

Swansea's Danny Graham scored an 86th minute winner that condemned Liverpool to their 14th loss of the season as Kenny Dalglish's side finished a position below their Merseyside rivals Everton for the first time since 2004-05 season. David Moyes' side dashed Newcastle United's hopes of qualifying for Champions League with a 3-1 win.

But the day belonged to Manchester City. Will they dominate next season? And beyond? Roll on!

And That's thesteifmastertake!!