Late Aguero winner secures historic league title
By Tom Smart
|Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe|
The game began with a tense start to such a huge game for the blue half of Manchester. City dominated the early exchanges, but were unable to find a way through despite a variety of clever moves that resulted in shots from Aguero and Tevez that kept keeper Paddy Kenny on his toes. It wasn’t until the 38th minute that City were able to break the deadlock and calm the nerves that filled the atmosphere within the stadium. Pablo Zabaleta engineered an opening for himself before striking the ball. The effort took a deflection before Kenny palmed it to what initially looked out of play over the bar. However, Kenny’s weaker touch on the ball resulted in the ball dipping behind him, striking against the post and bouncing over the line. It was finally the reward for a first half performance that saw City edge closer to the title, but how it was all about to change.
The second half began with City appearing in a confident and relaxed mood with many believing that the goal just before half time would be enough to calm the nerves that can so often get the better of sides in the final stages of the season. Although it appeared ‘Typical City’ had come back to haunt the home side once more as a lofted ball over the top by ex-City player Shaun Wright-Phillips was poorly dealt with by Lescott, allowing Djibril Cisse to break through unopposed on goal and smash the ball home beyond Hart. It was the worst start to the 2nd half City could have hoped for. The City team reacted well after allowing QPR to equalise so quickly after the break and began to set up camp once again in the opposition half.
The 54th minute saw a bizarre moment when Carlos Tevez and ex-City midfielder Joey Barton collided when waiting for a through ball to be played through. Replays have since shown that Barton elbowed Tevez in the face in reaction to the collision with Carlos Tevez who went to ground as a result of the reaction. The linesman on the far side flagged for the foul and Barton was deservedly sent off, but not before kicking Sergio Aguero in the back of the leg thus causing a reaction from Vincent Kompany. It was Kompany that then Barton attempted to headbutt on his way off the pitch but was held back by ex-team mate Micah Richards before being dragged off the pitch after having words with Mario Balotelli.
It appeared to be the key that meant City could go on and play football against QPR. However, this wasn’t before City made the game much harder in a way that only Manchester City could. The 65th minute saw the ten men of QPR drive forward with substitute Armand Traore sprinting down the left past Vincent Kompany and whipping in a cross finding Jamie Mackie with a diving header, before rebounding over Joleon Lescott and into the net. It looked as if the ‘Typical City’ that had disturbed and haunted fans for years was back for one more match. News had filtered through earlier in the afternoon that Manchester United were leading at Sunderland 1-0 through a Wayne Rooney header and the result currently at the Etihad Stadium meaning arch-rivals Manchester United would win the Premier League if results stayed the same.
Fans within the ground began to realise that the clubs 1st Premier League title in 44 years was now becoming a distant dream that was slipping away from them second after second. City continued to hammer at the door of the Queen’s Park Ranger’s goal with substitutes Edin Dzeko & Mario Balotelli coming extremely close but to no prevail as Paddy Kenny and his resilient defence stood strong. The announcement of 5 added minutes boomed onto the pitch and as time seemed to pass so quickly City forced another corner in the 91st minute. David Silva sent in his best corner of the match and Dzeko rose above the QPR defence and headed the ball down and into the net. City with a glimmer of hope with less than 4 minutes remaining of injury time.
|And it's Aguero!!!|
Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe
The ball was cleared away in the 94th minute but only so far by the QPR defence before being played into the middle of the park by Nigel De Jong. Aguero picked the ball up mid-way through the QPR half and slotted a ball into the feet of Balotelli. With all of seconds remaining Balotelli messily returned the ball back to Aguero, The Argentinean took one touch to push the ball past Onouha before leathering the ball home, sending the Etihad Stadium into a state of ecstacy and disbelief. Fans began to run onto the pitch before the whistle as an hour of celebration and madness descended at Eastlands. It was the moment that all City fans had waited their lives to see and ensured that for the first time in 44 years the Premier League Title was coming to Manchester City.
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(c) The Sky Blue View 2012