13th May 2012: The day that defined Manchester City

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March 16, 2014 by backofthenetjl

mcfcBeing a blue has been tough at times, but nowadays it’s relatively satisfying to see us doing so well, and competing for trophies. There have been some key moments on our history, but nothing will ever beat 13th May 2012. So here I re-live a truly unforgettable day for City fans, and what it meant to me.

It all came down to this. And by that I did not merely mean the season which was closely coming to an end, my life had prepared for this moment as soon as I arrived – it was destined to happen at some point. Having supported City ever since birth, there had been too many disappointing memories; with our minor achievements massively overshadowed by that of our arch-rivals Manchester United. However, things had changed a bit since then; the influx of money and talent had meant there was a shift in power in Manchester, and one which I duly welcomed. I like many others had always held the belief that God was a Blue; on the 13th May 2012 at the Etihad Stadium, that statement was well and truly confirmed to me.

The glaring sun beamed down on Manchester; a glorious day for football indeed. It seemed as if everything was perfect for the all-important season finale: all City had to do was match or better the result of neighbours United, who were up against Sunderland – and England’s most dearest and precious prize would be ours. The Premier League crown was well within our grasp; I could almost smell the expensive Champagne the players would be sipping on; the title was mightily close, with our impeccable home record in the league, you may have thought it was a relatively straightforward task. But at Manchester City, we don’t do things the easy way. The continuous ray of light appeared to be an indication that the dark, dull days were over and there was a bright, positive future ahead of us. As much as that was important to me, all I really cared about was getting the business done and securing our first ever Premier League title. What followed was miraculous and utterly extradionary – it would be remembered by all for years to come.

My father, a staunch City supporter himself, had been there to witness the dark days in the blue side of Manchester, yet he still remained loyal and faithful; if anyone deserved this success after all the troubled times, it was the blue contingent. Season-tickets ready, the silk bag containing sweets was packed, scarf wrapped tightly around my neck: all set to go. We set off nice and early to calm the growing nerves in my body; then made our way to the ground. I recall my Uncle saying: “Whatever happens today, it won’t be easy. I’ve got a feeling about it.” There is a certain feeling you get when on the way to a game; on this particular occasion I could feel it more than ever. As the blue sky became increasingly visible, the players arrived and were greeted with a warm applause and welcome: the atmosphere was building up.

Kick-off was vastly approaching, as the nerves kicked in. All the odds were stacked in our favour; it seemed too good to be true. How on earth could this not go to plan? Precipitously, the teams emerged from the tunnel, with their neat, smart retro jackets. The crowd roared ferociously, fully behind their team. 90 minutes from sweet success. Our Argentinian deadly duo of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero got the game under-way, and City made a prompt start. Every tackle cheered, every pass applauded, the twelfth man was perhaps our most vital asset in these circumstances. Patience is a virtue; all the patience and pressure City applied payed dividends – City finally making the break-through in the 39th minute, through Zabaleta. The fans waving their scarves and flags vigorously could breathe a sigh of relief. But not for long.

Soon the referee confidently brought his whistle to his mouth, signalling the teams that half-time had arrived. He was greeted by deafening cheers from the Blues faithful, who at this stage had been mistaken for feeling that the game was complete. This is a football, a complex game in which a moment of pure madness or brilliance can be the mightily small difference between victory and defeat. It was far from over. All we needed to do was continue where we left off, truly asserting our control and stamp on the game. The moment we all feared would happen, did occur. Moments into the half, a rare QPR attack seemingly broke down, that was until Joleon Lescott made a calamitous error, his way-ward header finding visiting striker Djibril Cisse, who was as cool as a cucumber and finished emphatically.

Even at 1-1, we were in a good position, until Jamie Mackie burst into the box from nowhere to head home a second goal for Queens Park Rangers, giving them an unlikely lead. The Etihad fell silent, in total shock and disappointment. It was all going wrong. Time was running out, with City throwing everything but ultimately failing to produce the required touch. With 4 minutes of stoppage time awarded, City had a corner. The flamboyant magician known more commonly as David Silva swung in a corner which was met by Edin Dzeko to give City a glimmer of hope. Suddenly, as time ticked and disappointment neared ever closer, the elegant Aguero picked up the ball and after a ricochet or two the ball arrived back in his path. Time stopped for a second, the whole world watching. Then it happened, ‘Kun’ drove the ball into the back of the net and wheeled away in celebration. The Stadium erupted like a violent volcano and tears flowed freely down my cheek. ‘Lovebites and everything.” We’d done it in most dramatic fashion. This was Blue heaven.

By Josh Lawless

Follow me on twitter: @PjanicButton

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