Belfast Telegraph

Manchester City clinch dramatic title

Manchester City 3-2 QPR: Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time to clinch a 3-2 victory over QPR and their first league title since 1968.

The Blues looked set to endure a disastrous afternoon when Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie overturned Pablo Zabaleta's first-half strike in between Joey Barton getting sent-off.

But Edin Dzeko rose to give the Blues fresh hope before Sergio Aguero drove home the goal that turned City into champions.

For 38 long minutes, the Blues could not find a way through their opponents' blanket defence.

It needed something a little bit different for City to open their opponents up and Zabaleta provided it. With a sense of anxiety gripping the stands as Manchester United took the lead against Sunderland, Zabaleta scorched in from the right flank. He kept advancing after laying a pass off to David Silva, who in turn fed Yaya Toure, who fed Zabaleta and the Argentinean fired home.

But Joleon Lescott then made a disastrous decision to head Shaun Wright-Phillips' hopeful lofted pass back to Joe Hart. Cisse read it and duly smashed a first-time shot into the bottom corner.

Barton was then dismissed for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the face, but surely there will be an additional sanction for his attack on Aguero, which was deliberate, as he was ushered from the field, the incident sparking a mass confrontation which substitute Mario Balotelli wanted to get involved in.

The drama had only just begun though. And when substitute Armand Traore skipped past Zabaleta on a rare foray forward, his far-post cross was perfect for Mackie, who launched himself at the ball with a diving header neither Hart nor Lescott could keep out.

But with the game entering five minutes of stoppage time, City produced a finish equally as memorable as that of Manchester United in the 1999 Champions League final.

That United should be denied just made the joy so much sweeter, as first Dzeko nodded the Blues level before Aguero collected Balotelli's return pass and drove home the goal that crowned City champions.

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