"It’s been Z to A! Zabaleta to Aguero with a touch of Dzeko thrown in the middle. Just incredible!"
Another classic line in one of the most famous commentaries in Man City’s history.
To celebrate the five-year anniversary of our thrilling first Premier League title win, we take an alphabetical look at some of the subplots from that legendary victory over Queens Park Rangers…
An unlikely hero but a hero nonetheless. The man that bleeds Manchester City, the self-proclaimed ‘adopted Mancunian’ Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium, collecting Yaya Toure’s through-ball and firing in off the post, despite Paddy Kenny’s attempts to save.
The Ivorian had played a key role in helping to keep City’s title hopes alive, bagging a brace the previous week in the crucial 2-0 victory at Newcastle. Panic ensued when the big man suffered a hamstring injury but he was able to set up Zabaleta for the opener before being replaced just before half-time by fellow fans’ favourite Nigel De Jong.
Locked at 1-1, thanks to Djibril Cisse’s leveller, the game seemed to take a turn in City’s favour when former Blue Joey Barton was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Carlos Tevez. Unhappy with the decision, the midfielder then kicked out at Sergio Aguero in some unsavoury scenes.
Another City Academy graduate featured for QPR, with hero Shaun Wright-Phillips donning red and white. Cries of “Argh, Shaun!” filled the Etihad when the winger raced away with the ball as the Blues were on the attack. The resulting throw-in would be key…
With United leading at Sunderland, nothing less than three points would be enough for City to win the title.
A total of 3million people tuned in to witness how one of the most exciting Premier League finales panned out…
“We never do things the easy way!” Trailing with minutes to go – a familiar tale! It had been the case at Wembley against Gillingham in 1999 and it would be so again. Why always us?!
Another iconic line from Martin Tyler’s television commentary, uttered before former Blue Niall Quinn purred: “The greatest moment I’ve seen in Premier League football!”
It wasn’t just City’s title hopes that were on the line. QPR needed Stoke to avoid defeat against Bolton for the Rs to extend their top flight stay.
The Londoners avoided the drop, as the Wanderers could only manage a 2-2 draw at the Britannia Stadium.
Premier League dreams
City had never lifted the Premier League trophy. They would become only the fifth team to do so with victory…
Yet another former Blue in the QPR ranks: Nedum Onuoha!
Man United were the only other side that could win the title, needing a win at Sunderland. Wayne Rooney handed the Reds a 1-0 triumph and as the final whistle blew at the Stadium of Light, the Reds stood to claim the league crown…
Roberto Mancini had already made history with City, leading the Blues to their first major trophy success in 35 years with an FA Cup triumph, plus a place in the Champions League for the first time.
Joleon Lescott’s influence in this game will be remembered… but not for the right reasons! The defender misjudged a header to allow QPR to equalise, directing it straight into the path of Cisse to convert. Imagine he was quite relieved afterwards!
City through and through, it was fitting that Vincent Kompany would skipper the Blues on this day, and be the first to lift the trophy.
Fans are generally discouraged from entering the pitch but having endured such a rollercoaster of emotion (over a period of decades – not 95 minutes!), there was a natural outpour of elation and the fans joined in the on-the-field celebrations with their Blue heroes.
Five minutes of added time. We’ve heard that before… five minutes to score twice. COME ON!
History (44 years)
It had been 44 years since City were crowned English champions.
City and United headed into the game locked on 89 points but separated on goal difference, with the Blues having scored eight more. The Reds had to better their neighbour’s result to lift the title…
As was the case in 1999, some fans had seen enough with minutes to go, having given up hope of witnessing what would be a miracle. Some headed for the exits, others prayed…
Excitement, anticipation, enjoyment, joy, anxiety, despair, sorrow, hope, ecstasy, relief, pride… The whole Club experienced every emotion possible from kick-off to final whistle.
Scorer of ‘the forgotten goal’… the header that heralded hope. The Bosnian, who had enjoyed a fruitful campaign, rose highest to meet a corner level the score…
One goal needed to win the title. One goal. Could City achieve the impossible and score twice in injury time… again?!
The ball reaches the QPR penalty area for what seems the millionth time as Sergio Aguero pokes through to Mario Balotelli. No, he’s slipping, the chance is lost… but he’s stuck a foot out… it falls perfectly into Aguero’s path, as the perfect give and go…
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! SERGIO AGUERO HAS SCORED!!!!! THE STRIKER TAKES A TOUCH BEFORE SMASHING THE BALL PAST PADDY KENNY INTO THE NEAR POST!!!
THE ETIHAD STADIUKM ERUPTS, THE PLAYERS PILE ONTO AGUERO, THE STAFF ARE ON THE PITCH.
CITY ARE THE CHAMPIONS.