Sergio Aguero will forever be associated with the final day of the 2011/12 Premier League season.
On May 13, 2012, the Argentine striker scored a late, late goal to win Manchester City their first ever Premier League title, capping a remarkable 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers, having trailed as the clock hit 90 minutes.
Aguero’s title-winning strike, better known as the 93:20 goal, is arguably the most famous, dramatic and inspiring moment in City’s 128-year history. It was a moment that freed City from the ‘typical City’ curse, kickstarted an era of dominance and reduced grown men to tears.
However, Aguero was not the only hero that day. Without the understated contributions of others, Aguero would never have got the chance to write his name about him into football folklore. MEN Sport looks at those unsung stars of 2011/12:
READMORE:Dressing room hiding, Mancini’s curses and the star who invaded the pitch: the inside story of Sergio Aguero’s earth-shaking Man City goal
It felt like Mario Balotelli had put the nail in the coffin of City’s title hopes when he was sent off at Arsenal, with the Blues going on to lose 1-0 and fall eight points behind Manchester United.
But the frustrating Italian, loved regardless by City fans, more than made up for his lack of discipline. Balotelli only assisted one goal in his entire City career — but he couldn’t have picked a better time to do it.
Receiving the ball from Aguero with his back to goal, the striker did brilliantly to hold off the challenge of Anton Ferdinand and stretch to prod the ball back into the path of his teammate. We all know what happened next, but without Balotelli’s sense of timing, selflessness and determination to not lose the ball, it might never have happened.
It was Nigel de Jong who carried the ball forward from the City half, and passed to Aguero who had dropped deep in an attempt to make something happen.
But that moment aside, the Dutch midfielder made a number of crucial tackles and interceptions in the closing stages to prevent QPR from finishing City off. The most important of these came in the 88th minute. After Jamie Mackie had out-muscled Joleon Lescott on the right wing, the Scott cut inside looking for his side’s third goal.
With City’s defense looking stretched he laid the ball off in the direction of former City man Shaun Wright Phillips, but — as the song goes — De Jong went sliding in to nick the ball away from a dangerous situation. Six minutes later City’s comeback was complete.
Everyone talks about Aguero’s winner, but Edin Dzeko’s equalizer was just as important. It was a goal that actually angered some City fans, making them think he had just given them false hope, but it no doubt gave his teammates belief that a comeback was possible.
Dzeko is a strange figure in City history, a striker spoken about more fondly in hindsight than when he was actually playing in sky blue.
Some viewed him as perhaps not running or working as hard on the pitch as he should have done, but there was no doubting his desire and hunger when he rose highest to head home arguably the most important non-decisive goal in history.
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