Eight years ago, Roberto Mancini’s team won the most dramatic finish line ever, but the seeds of success were sown the previous summer
Eight years ago today, injury time winner Sergio Aguero on the last day of the season won the title of the Manchester red team into the blue half at the most extraordinary end of the season ever.
How do you celebrate the biggest moment in the history of the Premier League?
“I am out for five days in a row,” City defender and title winner Micah Richards said Aim. “I’m not a big drinker. But I might sleep two hours per night. I really drink everything because I don’t believe it.”
Manchester City have won three Premier League titles since and each of them has been remembered in their own way; pipping Liverpool on the last day of 2014 and last year, the style and arrogance of the Centurions campaign that broke Pep Guardiola’s extraordinary record in 2018. But the drama and emotions of success in 2012 will always be the most special for many fans.
With only six matches left, City are eight points behind United. The derby victory thanks to Vincent Kompany’s goal put City in an advantageous position, but they almost threw it away on the final day against relegation-threatened Queens Park. Rangers.
That was until Aguero’s victory in the 94th minute.
The City side is full of stars, including Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva. But for Richards, who had joined as a teenager long before Sheikh Mansour sank millions of dollars into the club, that success was sweet when City ended their 44-year wait for victory.
“Not respecting them, Yaya and Silva – they will always win something,” Richards said. “But when you are a young player who comes through the youth team at the age of 14, to win the Premier League … you cannot describe it. Really extraordinary.
“I went out with my friends. I remember a few years before Man Utd and Rio [Ferdinand] and they all walk around with their Premier League medals. So I went out that night, and made sure my Premier League medal was visible to everyone. “
City troops headed to Manchester City Hall that night to celebrate with celebrity guests, including Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and former welterweight champion Ricky Hatton, before moving to a secretly arranged party until 4am and an open-eyed open-air bus parade. the next day.
Maverick striker Mario Balotelli, of course, does things himself, celebrating at his favorite Italian restaurant San Carlo in the city center.
But City are a very close team, and Richards believes the glamor and excitement of the pre-season tour to Los Angeles 10 months earlier helped unite them and set them up for the first title.
“I think it all started when we were in LA,” he recalled. “We just have a tightly knit group. Usually in pre-season you are not in the best place and all the time after training, you just want to go back to your room and relax – watch some movies or whatever.
“But because we were in Los Angeles, we traveled and got closer as a group. It really helped us to go and win the Premier League.
“It certainly helps that we win FA Cup the previous year, but we trust each other more than preseason because we know each other better as people who are not just in the field. “
Richards’ contribution to the season was huge – starting almost two-thirds of the season’s matches. But Pablo Zabaleta was preferred for the last game as they overhauled United – beating them 1-0 in a tense and second-final home match of the season.
City boss Roberto Mancini is superstitious and doesn’t like to change anything when his team is successful. The Italian was also religious, praying that City won the title the night before and carrying the prayer beads in his jacket pocket at the Etihad Stadium. But that didn’t stop him screaming “F * ck you! F * ck you! “To the players when they were 2-1 out of 10 players QPR.
“Everyone sees a clip of himself swearing at everyone!” Richards joke. “Everything is going right and he is only waiting for one moment against the team, which we may have to beat 6 or 7-0.
“We had about 20 corners in the match, and we could not reach the target. So everyone is like ‘we lost the game’. I felt it on the bench when I was there.
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“I was like: ‘I don’t believe this. Will this be a typical old town again? ‘Everything moves slowly. “
Of course everything will turn out well in the end. Edin Dzeko equalized in injury time and while United fans began celebrating after the final whistle in their 1-0 win over Sunderland, Aguero made an unforgettable intervention.
“I swear you will never see anything like this again,” TV commentator Martin Tyler shouted famously. We haven’t done it.
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