Eight Years Ago Today, Sergio Aguero Scored The Most Dramatic Goal In Premier League History
Exactly eight years ago today, the most dramatic moment in Premier League history took place.
Nothing will ever eclipse the moment that Sergio Aguero snatched the Premier League from the clutches of Manchester United in the dying embers of the final day of the 2011/12 season, and made sure the trophy was lifted on the blue side of Manchester.
With an impeccable home record, coupled with the fact that City were hosting relegation-threatened QPR, it should had been a routine final day.
Roberto Mancini's side had taken advantage of a couple of slip-ups from United to claw back an eight point deficit and lead the way on goal difference going into the final game, following a Yaya Toure-inspired 2-0 away win at Newcastle a week earlier.
Everything was set perfectly for the all-important season finale: all City had to do was match or better the result of neighbours United, who were up against Sunderland - and England's most dearest and precious prize would be in the hands of captain Vincent Kompany.
But at Manchester City they don't do things the easy way and the events on the 13th May 2012 are concrete evidence. What followed was miraculous and utterly extraordinary - and would be remembered by all for years to come.
With QPR barely offering anything in attack, and playing with all of their team behind the ball, City would need to be patiently wait for the openings, and one arrived in the 39th minute when Pablo Zabaleta was picked out by Toure and the Argentine's effort was spilled into the net by Paddy Kenny.
City were in cruise control but the moment City fans all feared occurred three minutes into the second half.
A rare QPR attack seemingly broke down when the ball was punted forward; that was until Joleon Lescott made a calamitous error.
The City defender had been exceptional for large parts of the season, but his wayward header found visiting striker Djibril Cisse, who was as cool as you like and finished emphatically past Joe Hart.
Even at 1-1, City were in a decent position; their situation helped when former blue, and QPR Joey Barton completely lost the plot; elbowing Tevez, kneeing Aguero and attempting to headbutt Kompany. Barton was deservedly given his marching orders and ushered off the pitch with the help of former teammate Micah Richards in the 66th minute.
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But the truth is that City did not benefit from the red card. QPR camped even further back in their half and had no intention of pushing forward.
Yet when substitute Armand Traore raced past Vincent Kompany down the left flank in what must have been QPR's second attack in the game, Jamie Mackie burst into the box from nowhere to head home a second goal for The Rs, giving them an unlikely lead.
The Etihad fell silent, in total shock and disappointment. It was all going wrong. Manchester United were winning 1-0 at Sunderland courtesy of a first-half goal from Wayne Rooney.
As for City, time was running out, with the Blues throwing everything but ultimately failing to produce the required touch. A team with such an array of attacking talent were lacking ideas; the physical and mental exhaustion there to see. Roberto Mancini was going mental on the touchline, his team were about to throw away the title.
But with four minutes of stoppage time awarded, City were given a lifeline. David Silva swung in a corner which was met powerfully by substitute Edin Dzeko to give City a glimmer of hope. 2-2 wasn't enough for City, they needed one more goal to come from somewhere. Enter Aguero.Suddenly, as time ticked over and disappointment neared ever closer, the former Atletico Madrid man dropped deep to collect a pass from Nigel De Jong.
After a one-two with Mario Balotelli, the ball arrived back in his path just inside the area. Time stopped for a second, the whole world watching. Then it happened.
'Kun' could well have gone down after being clipped by Taye Taiwo but instead stayed on his feet to drive the ball in at the near post before removing his shirt and wheeling away in celebration. The stadium erupted and tears flowed freely down the cheeks of City fans who had been tearing their hair out for most of the game.
It looked dead and buried but City found something within themselves in stoppage time to end a 44-year wait for a league title. The home fans, who had seen the dark days at the club, where City were playing second fiddle and had their achievements overshadowed by United for the most part, invaded the pitch in celebration as the final whistle blew.
Those who didn't have the privilege of being there at the game had the moment captured wonderfully by Martin Tyler, whose iconic commentary will forever be etched in the mind of City fans in the same way Phil Jones' golden facial expression is.
A special mention goes to Paul Merson, who lost his mind in the Soccer Saturday studio as the drama unfolded.
If you have the opportunity to choose how to win your first Premier League title, then there's no better way than winning it on goal difference with virtually the final kick of the season, beating your bitter rivals in the process.
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