Sir Alex Ferguson congratulated Manchester City after they won a maiden Premier League title in the most dramatic of circumstances.
Manchester United were on course to claim their 20th title with just two minutes of injury time left on the clock at the Etihad after Wayne Rooney’s goal gave the Red Devils a narrow win over Sunderland.
However, two strikes at the death from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero gave City a 3-2 win over QPR, ending their 44-year-wait for English football’s ultimate prize as they clinched the title on goal difference.
Ferguson admitted he was stunned by the scenes at the Etihad Stadium, but congratulated his side’s arch rivals for clinching their maiden Premier League crown.
He told BBC Final Score: “I don’t think anyone was expecting that [the finish].
“Everyone expected City to win, they had to do it against 10 men for half an hour and they had five minutes of added time too.
“I congratulate City on winning the league, it’s not an easy week to win it. Anyone who wins it deserves it.”
Proceedings at the Stadium of Light were brought to a close with United believing they had done enough to win it, until the dramatic final moments elsewhere in Manchester.
The Scot revealed it was the reaction of the fans on Wearside which told him and his players that the title had been snatched from their grasp.
“I don’t think the players actually knew [what happened], the reaction of the fans told them,” he said. “I don’t think they knew at the end of the game.
“I didn’t know either until the Sunderland fans started cheering, then I knew we were in trouble.”
Ferguson conceded his players were left devastated after the news from the Etihad filtered through, but insists he remains happy with the way his side have performed during the season despite them being denied their 20th title at the death.
“They are disappointed, glad to say they are very, very disappointed, so they should be,” the 70-year-old added.
“They have conducted themselves well today, played really good football and but for the Sunderland goalkeeper it could have been six or seven.
“I’m pleased with the performance this season, 89 points would have been enough in most seasons. It wasn’t our turn today.”