Late drama ends 44-year title wait for City13/05/2012 - 17:28:44
Sergio Aguero ended Manchester City’s 44-year search for a title in extraordinary fashion as two goals in injury-time gave Roberto Mancini’s men a scarcely-believable 3-2 win over 10-man QPR.
The title looked certain to be heading for the red side of Manchester for the 20th time as Wayne Rooney gave United a 1-0 win at Sunderland and City trailed 2-1 heading into the last minute.
But substitute Edin Dzeko headed an equaliser with 91 minutes on the clock then Aguero fired home three minutes later to send a disbelieving Etihad Stadium into rapture.
Knowing a win would almost certainly be enough to end their long wait, City went ahead through Pablo Zabaleta’s 39th-minute strike before the home side were stunned by a 48th-minute equaliser from Djibril Cisse.
Despite the sending-off of former City man Joey Barton on 55 minutes, QPR went ahead through Jamie Mackie in the 66th minute – and looked set to cling on for the points until the injury-time drama.
To add to the air of celebration, relegation-threatened Rangers survived as Bolton’s 2-2 draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium consigned Owen Coyle’s side to the npower Championship in their place.
Mark Davies and Kevin Davies had given their side hope after Jonathan Walters’ early opener for the home side, but Walters’ second from the penalty spot was enough to send the visitors down.
Arsenal held on to third place and a guaranteed UEFA Champions League place with a 3-2 win at West Bromwich Albion, who waved farewell to their England-bound boss Roy Hodgson.
Yossi Benayoun’s early opener was cancelled out by goals from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans, before Andre Santos struck a long-range equaliser and Laurent Koscielny’s 55th minute effort proved enough.
Tottenham must wait and hope Chelsea lose next week’s Champions League final in order to book their place in Europe’s top competition, as their 2-0 win at Fulham proved in vain. Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe scored for Harry Redknapp’s men.
Newcastle’s fine season ended on a low note as they were forced to settle for fifth place after a 3-1 loss at Everton. Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic and Johnny Heitinga scored for the hosts before a Tony Hibbert own-goal late on.
Chelsea warmed up for their date with Bayern Munich with a 2-1 win over already doomed Blackburn. John Terry and Raul Meireles put them 2-0 up at half-time and Yakubu grabbed a second half consolation.
Danny Graham ensured Swansea’s season ended on a high with the only goal of the game at home to Liverpool, while Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson goals gave Norwich a 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Wigan celebrated their survival with a 3-2 win over bottom club Wolves. Matt Jarvis gave the visitors an early lead before the Latics replied through Franco Di Santo and two from Emmerson Boyce. Steven Fletcher got a late consolation.