Race for the title
The 2013/14 Premier League title race has been a fascinating battle between Manchester City, Liverpool Chelsea and, for at least half the season, Arsenal but how does it compare to previous classics?
By Lewis Kavanagh
Last Updated: 09/05/14 10:36am
The 2011/12 fight between Manchester United and Manchester City had arguably the most exciting finish to a Premier League title race.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men, who were reigning Premier League champions and were also favourites for the title. Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi United Group had pumped millions into the City team. But the question remained whether Roberto Mancini could make his group of talented individuals gel into a title-winning side.
City started the season brightly, scoring 12 goals in their first three Premier League games, with a 5-1 away win at Tottenham being a stand-out game. United replied by taking apart Arsenal in a 8-2 win, sending a clear statement of intent to City.
A huge turning point in the season was when City took on United at Old Trafford when the visitors caused a major shock with a 6-1 win. Jonny Evans' sending off early in the second half contributed to City's dominance but the result was still United's worst home defeat since 1955 and put Mancini's side five points clear at the top of the table.
The two sides stayed extremely close to each other in the table over the middle months of the season. But in March, City dropped some valuable points after winning only two out of five games.
When City lost to Arsenal in April, United went eight points clear at the top of the league. United travelled to Wigan, in a game that was seen as an easy three points. However, Roberto Martinez's side beat United 1-0 to give City a glimmer of hope.
City still needed some results to go their way and, when Everton scored two late goals to snatch a 4-4 draw at Old Trafford, it seemed the Red Devils were losing their grip on the title. With three games to go, City were three points behind United and there was the derby still to come at the Etihad Stadium. A captain's goal from Vincent Kompany secured a 1-0 win for City who now moved above United at the top on goal difference.
Both teams won their penultimate games 2-0, as City overcame Newcastle United away from home and United beat Swansea at Old Trafford.
On the final day of the season, City entertained a QPR side fighting for Premier League survival, while United took on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
United took the early advantage, Wayne Rooney scoring in the 20th minute before City scored in the 39th minute as they looked on track to take the title. QPR's Djibril Cisse equalised early in the second half, but then Joey Barton was sent off not long after. With QPR down to 10 men, a goal to seal the game seemed like an easy target for Mancini's team.
However, this game didn't seem to follow the script and QPR's Jamie Mackie scored on the break to make it 2-1. By the time it got to 90 minutes, United look certain to win the Premier League for a 20th time. In the 92nd minute, Edin Dzeko equalised for City but they still needed a goal for title as United waited nervously on Wearside after closing out their win.
With seconds left at the Etihad, Sergio Aguero picked up the ball in the box and smashed a shot past Paddy Kenny to clinch the title. An extraordinary season with a dramatic finale resulted in City taking their first top division title in 44 years by virtue of a superior goal difference to United.
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