Until We Meet Again Old Friend

Warning! This is another football related post, Computer Scientists are warned to take extreme caution whilst reading through this particular blog post.

Manchester City hosted Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Staduim, whilst simulatanously, Manchester United were hosting Sunderland at Old Trafford. The stage was set, and thanks to The Lawns’ internet being down I had to watch the Manchester City game, but to say that I was disappointed with my decision in the end would be lying.

A win for Manchester City would’ve guranteed them the League title, anything other than a win then Manchester United would be within a chance of winning the League title on goal difference, dependent on the fact that they beat Sunderland.

Manchester City’s game against QPR should have been a walk in the park for them, I remember the decimal odds of City to win before the game being close to 1.14, odds not even worth risking your money on. But nevertheless, this is the Premier League, the best league in the world, so it was inevitable that we weren’t going to have a quiet final day.
The first thing I saw at The Lawns Centre after 2 minutes was a goalflash, Adebayor had scored for Tottenham Hotspur, putting them upto 3rd place, however Arsenal soon changed this 2 minutes after Adebayor’s goal when Martin Fulop gifted Arsenal their first goal of the night. Needless to say things went from good to bad within a space of 4 minutes, after Shane Long and Graham Dorrans both scored, putting Arsenal’s Champions League future in doubt, not for the first time this season. Needless to say, I had kept my jacket zipped up until this stage, seeing as how I was the only Arsenal fan in the packed bar, and being honest, my stomach was turning.

Back onto the main focus of the day, the race for the League title. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the bar went absolutely ballistic when Rooney nodded in the simplest of goals that you’ll ever see Manchester United score. At this stage the top of the Premeir League looked something like this:

1. Manchester United – 89 points
2. Manchester City – 86 points
3. Tottenham Hotspur – 69 points
4. Arsenal – 67 points

It was also around this time that a goalflash came up on the screen and Andre Santos had equalised for Arsenal, and the shirt decided to make an appearance one last time, for pride’s sake. Back at the Etihad Staduim, and City had equalised through what I can only describe as an stupid goal, and it seemed that order had once again been restored in the Premier League, as the half time whistle was blown at all 10 games across the country. At the half way stage of the final day, the top 4 of the table looked like this:

1. Manchester City – 89 points
2. Manchester United – 89 points
3. Tottenham Hotspur – 69 points
4. Arsenal – 68 points

City had been given an extremely good run for their money, but 3 minutes after the start of the second half and it seemed as if the blue part of Manchester had just been swallowed up by hell itself. Djbiril Cisse got onto a hash of a header by John Lescott and with hair like his, there was no chance that he was going to miss from the edge of his box, and he didn’t. The atmosphere at Old Trafford once the fans got this news was electrifying to say the least.

Back in North London, Koscielny completed the Arsenal comeback, which, if the result stayed the way it currently was, would have guaranteed The Gunners a Champions League spot next year without having to hope that Chelsea lose to Bayern Munich this Saturday, or go through the qualifying rounds, and that was the end of that game, and they had qualified for a 16th consecutive season of Champions League football after Wenger’s 17th consecutive top-four finish, hats off to Le Prof. At the current point in time, the top 4 looked something like this:

1. Manchester United – 89 points
2. Manchester City – 87 points
3. Arsenal – 70 points
4. Tottenham Hotspur – 69 points

What else could follow this turn of events on the last day of the league? How about an even bigger turn of events, rollercoaster -style.At the Etihad stadium Aramand Traore has burst down the left wing and picks out an absolute gem of a cross which is met by a surging Jamie Mackie and his header sends the back past England’s number 1 Joe Hart and into the back of the net. Absolutely unbelievable Jeff! Various scenes of Manchester City fans crying were shown, and to be honest, I would have felt the same. Scenes of misery were unfolding across the country, for obvious reasons. At this stage, the Premier League table looked like this, with Manchester United currently holding a 3 point lead:
1. Manchester United – 89 points
2. Manchester City – 86 points
3. Arsenal – 70 points
4. Tottenham Hotspur – 69 points

Excuse the colloquial language/profanity, but what unfolded next was Joey Barton being a douche, and getting a straight red card for elbowing Tevez, then decided that he would knee Aguero and headbutt Kompany, what a lovely hat-trick. I honestly hope that the FA do something about him, QPR had been playing with 11 men then the fate of the League title might have been different, for QPR were able to hold their lead for 90 minutes.

Roberto Mancini decided to send on every striker that was available to him, if it was up to him I am sure that he would have substituted himself on. Edin Dzeko and Balotelli were both given 15 minutes to decide what colour Manchester would be that night, and to their credit they did precisely that, regardless of the fact that it occured in the dying minutes of injury time. Dzeko headed in the first goal in the build up to to the one the greatest moments in EPL history, and there were still 3 minutes to go. Then Balotelli, while falling onto the ground in the penalty box, was able to muster a pass to Sergio Aguero who struck that ball as hard as a poacher who sees the ball on the line, sent it into the back of the net and the Etihad Stadiuim in uproar in the final seconds of the match. In what was one of the most dramatic finishes ever witnessed in the English Premier League, Manchester City were able to hold old for the last few seconds of the game and hoist the trophy which had eluded them for over 40 years, 44 to be precise.
Manchester City players lifting the Barclays Premier League trophy a piece of silverware that had eluded them for 44 years

You could say that it was the ultimate triumph of the wealthy benefactor’s model, but in all honest Manchester City deserved to win the title, and although they will inevitably sign some more big names, (please not Van Persie, please not Van Persie, ) I just enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t Manchester United winning the league for once. Next season will be immense if it was anything like this, sometimes I wish that all 10 games were played on a single day, every week, but I can continue to dream.

This will be the last football post for some time, until the 18th of August at least, and there are the Euros to look forward to. I understand that when I created this blog it was intended based around my academic life at the University of Hull, but looking through the Hull Computer Science blog roll course, which is an excellent concept which I enjoy browsing through whenever I get the time, () but football and Arsenal F.C run through my blood, and it’s something which I am extremely passionate about, which is evident if you know me, and nothing could ever change that. I would rather post about something which I am passionate about and can write about in-depth for a great length of time, rather than make a simple two line post stating what I got in my most recent coursework. But that is just me, until next time. ()

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