Going into the last day Roberto Mancini’s men were locked on points with rivals Manchester United, but due to a superior goal difference only had to beat QPR at home to win the league.
The Red Devils knew that they had to beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light to stand any chance, and a Wayne Rooney header gave them a 1-0 lead in the first-half, which they held onto until full-time.
At the Etihad Stadium Pablo Zabaleta gave the Citizens the lead against Rangers, but two quick-fire goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie gave the relegation-threatened Londoners the lead.
Despite Joey Barton being sent-off, Mark Hughes’ men held onto their 2-1 advantage until injury time, when strikes from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero dramatically snatched the title away from United’s grasp.
Roberto Mancini was overjoyed in the aftermath of the last-gasp win, and feels that his side deserved to be crowned champions.
“It was incredible – they deserved this,” Mancini told Sky Sports.
“To win it like this is incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a finale like this. We didn’t deserve to lose, we had a lot of chances and we deserved to win the game and championship.
“It’s fantastic for the club and the supporters after 44 years. It’s been a crazy season and a crazy last minute,” he confessed.
Sir Alex Ferguson was very gracious in accepting second place, and congratulated United’s cross-town rivals.
“We’ve had some great moments. We’ve won the title three times on the last day, so today we nearly did it,” he admitted.
“I would like to say on behalf of Manchester United congratulations to our neighbours. It’s a fantastic achievement to win the Premier League. It’s the hardest league in the world and anyone who wins it deserves it.”
By Gareth McKnight