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Last day dramas....

zaba goal

zaba goal

City travel to Swansea on Sunday looking for the point that will secure Champions League football next season.

The Blues have had numerous last-day dramas over the years, whether it is to win the title, qualify for Europe, win promotion or avoid relegation – it’s been woven into the Club’s DNA over the years!

Will the visit to The Liberty Stadium rank high on this list in years to come, or will everything go seamlessly?

Here are 10 occasions when City ensured nails were bitten and pulses raced with kind of finales you couldn’t make up…

2000 v Blackburn

Needing a draw to secure back-to-back promotions, City travelled to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers.

The hosts were determined to spoil the party and an estimated 15,000 travelling fans watched on as Rovers went ahead and proceeded to hit the woodwork several times as the Blues rode their luck.

It was unbearable to watch, but Joe Royle’s side weathered the storm and roared back to win 4-1 after the break to secure promotion.

1999 v Gillingham

Just 12 months before the Blackburn clash, City pushed the nerves of the 40,000 fans that had travelled to Wembley for the 1999 Division Two play-off final to the absolute limit.

Trailing 2-0 and with 90 minutes almost up, Kevin Horlock pulled back what seemed to be a consolation goal before the board went up with an additional five minutes.

With almost the lack kick of the game, Paul Dickov scored to make it 2-2 to send one end of Wembley crazy and with Gillingham stunned, there was only ever going to be one winner in the ensuing penalty shoot-out…

1968 v Newcastle

A win for City would clinch the Division One title but anything less and Manchester United would surely nip in and take the glory.

The teams went into the last day level on points but the Blues had a better goal average – but Joe Mercer’s side were away to Newcastle and United were at home to Sunderland.

In a tense game, the teams were level at 2-2 but Neil Young and Francis Lee scored after the break to give City breathing space – even then the Magpies pulled one back and then struck the bar – but the Blues held on to win 4-3 and take the title.

2005 v Middlesbrough

City and Middlesbrough were locked in a battle for the final UEFA Cup spot with the Blues knowing a win would be enough.

With City sporting a navy blue away kit as a preview to next season’s offering, it was a little surreal to say the least.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink powered Boro ahead with a typically ferocious shot but Kiki Musampa levelled after the break.

Stuart Pearce put goalkeeper David James up front for the final minutes as a desperate ploy to win the match and it almost worked as an injury time penalty was awarded for City – only for Robbie Fowler to shoot tamely at Mark Schwarzer and the 1-1 draw was enough for Boro to qualify at the Blues’ expense.

1989 v Bradford City

City had looked set for promotion back to the top-flight a week earlier when, needing a win to go up in the penultimate game the Blues raced into a 3-0 lead over Bournemouth at Maine Road.

That game somehow ended 3-3 meaning a point was still required from the final game away to Bradford.

City fans crammed into Valley Parade but it was the Bantams who held the lead until the 86th-minute when David White’s cross was slid home by Trevor Morley and the 1-1 draw proved enough.

1985 v Charlton Athletic

City were locked on the same points as Portsmouth going into the last day but with a better goal difference – for once, the Blues read the script and the party started well before the final minutes.

Two goals to the good against Charlton by the break, the Blues then added three more in a frantic five-minute spell with little more than an hour played and a crowd of more than 47,000 enjoyed every minute as City again returned to the top flight.

2012 v QPR

One of the Premier League’s greatest games and a match that had everything.

City needed to win or at least match United’s result at Sunderland and when Pablo Zabaleta gave Roberto Mancini’s side a 1-0 lead at the break, all seemed to be going to plan.

But when Rangers levelled, had a man sent off and then still went 2-1 up, the distraught home fans watched on in disbelief as City gradually ran out of ideas.

With 90 minutes on the clock and injury time being played, Edin Dzeko levelled the score from a corner.

Time ticked on and news came through United had won – just as Sergio Aguero played a one-two with Mario Balotelli before bursting into the box past two challenges and slamming home the winner to send the Etihad Stadium into a frenzy.

1983 v Luton Town

One of the rare occasions when things didn’t go according to plan as City, needing a draw to relegate Luton Town, looked to be heading towards a draw.

Then, the visitors stole an unlikely 83rd-minute winner through Raddy Antic to ensure they survived and the Blues went down to the second tier for the first time in 17 years.

2014 v West Ham

City had somehow clawed their way back into the title race as leaders Liverpool fell away in the final few games.

It meant that victory over the Hammers would secure a second title in three years and the result was never really in any doubt with Samir Nasri settling the nerves with a goal before the break and Vincent Kompany securing the win in the second-half.

2011 v Bolton

Not so dramatic but City clinched a ticket to the Champions League group stages with a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.

Goals from Joleon Lescott and Edin Dzeko secured three points that also gave City their highest finish in the top flight for 34 years.

2004 v Everton

Another game not as dramatic as some of the above but enjoyable nonetheless as the Blues ended their first campaign at the-then named City of Manchester Stadium.

Two goals from Paulo Wanchope plus further efforts from Nicolas Anelka, Antoine Sibierski and Shaun Wright-Phillips completed a 5-1 rout over David Moyes’ men and secured only a fifth home win that season.

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