Manchester City win EPL title after 44 years
Manchester City secured a 3-2 victory over QPR as they scored twice in injury-time to win their first league championship in 44 years at the expense of neighbours and defending champions United.
Manchester City secured a 3-2 victory over QPR as they scored twice in injury-time to win their first league championship in 44 years at the expense of neighbours and defending champions United. (All AFP and AP Images)
The celebrations that followed were full of joy and dibelief.
United were left dejected despite defeating Sunderland 1-0 as City took the title on goal difference.
Wayne Rooney's early goal in the 20th minute seemed to have been enough for United to add to their record 19 league titles but a late fightback from City turned things around.
City manager Roberto Mancini had plenty of anxious moments in the match but in the end had the last laugh over United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
City had ample support from the crowd as the match was played at their home ground.
Pablo Zabaleta's strike in the 39th minute seemed to have put City on course for their first league title since 1968.
However, City were hurt by an injury to midfielder Yaya Toure who has been so influential all season. Manager Roberto Mancini replaced Toure with Nigel de Jong in the 45th minute.
After the restart it didn't take long for a momentum shift as Djibril Cisse capitalised on an error by defender Joleon Lescott to put QPR level with City three minutes into the second half.
QPR and Cisse were overjoyed at the reversal.
The tide, however, again swung in City's favour as QPR captain Joey Barton, known for his volatile nature, was sent off in the 54th minute for elbowing Carlos Tevez.
Left with only 10 men, QPR manager Mark Hughes was forced to replace the dangerous Cisse with defender Armand Traore. The substitution turned out to be an inspired one as Traore provided the deep cross that was headed in for a goal by Jamie Mackie to give the 10-man QPR a 2-1 lead.
City made many attempts to find the net after that and finally found it when Edin Dzeko scored in the second minute of stoppage time.
Despite Dzeko's goal City looked reclined to suffer a heartbreaking loss in the title race but Sergio Aguero's strike sealed a stunning fightback and title for the blues.
Despite the defeat QPR survived relegation at the cost of Bolton.
At the end of the match both parties - Manchester City's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak (R) and QPR chairman Tony Fernandes (L) - had reasons to be pleased as one team won the title while the other survived the drop.