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Premier League

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 22:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 47435
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FT
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Live Commentary

  • I think it's time for me, for you and, by looks of it, Mancini to go lie down! One of the craziest second halves in Premier League history ended with unparralled jubilant scenes, and I'm still speechless from Sergio Aguero's winner. Those final moments were very Man United v Bayern Munich 1999. Stick around on Goal.com for all the reaction to this incredible Premier League season. The Champions League final has a lot to live up to next weekend after that match!
  • ..Vincent Kompany lifts the trophy high above his head and the team burst into celebration with Mancini grinning like a 5-year-old on Christmas beside them. Top scenes.
  • And finally, Vincent Kompany gets his medal..and then...
  • Roberto Mancini is given his medal then followed by Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott (looking mighty relieved after his mistake led to QPR's first goal, Micah Richards and co. Plenty of players are wearing flags of their respective countries.
  • Haha, brilliant. Roberto Mancini sports an Italian flag as a cape as he exits the tunnel with his team in tow. The crowd cheer their heroes back onto the pitch. Wow, how these scenes could have been different if it weren't for Dzeko and Aguero's painfully late goals!
  • David Platt, Brian Kidd and the rest of Mancini's backroom staff come next, waving to fans and soaking in the atmosphere.
  • Manchester City league winners from 1968 jog from the tunnel as though they're still professional footballers ahead of the Blues players who wait impatiently in the tunnel.
  • The Man City players are leaping about in the tunnel wearing t-shirts adorning "CHAMPION" with the number 12. Heart warming stuff unless you're a Man Utd fan, in which it could probably induce illness.
  • Surprised Mancini doesn't keep churning on his "we're not favourites still" line, just instinctively...
  • Mancini just told BBC Final Score: "I think that this was a great performance. It’s difficult, three minutes from the end we were 2-1 down and one minute we scored two goals. We wanted this title and we deserved to win this title. This is for all our supporters, for all our supports in Abu Dhabi, for the chairman, for the owner. It’s difficult to say what my feelings were (at 2-1 down) I thought we could score two gaols. I think this is the perfect final for a crazy season. We beat United twice in one season, we deserved to win."
  • The league competition is a marathon (unlike cup comps), but Man City made this match a sprint with that finish. To be honest, I'm still recovering, and I'm not even a Blues fan! I can't even comprehend the joy City fans must be experiencing after that unbelievable finish. And the equally strong misery of Man Utd fans.
  • The 44-year wait is almost over, the City players will soon be lifting the trophy. The fans are still going wild, and after what they went through in those 97 minutes, they deserve it!
  • Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany to Sky Sports: "You want to say it's the best moment of your life, but please, never again this way""
  • Poor Manchester United. When their match finished at Sunderland they were still set to be champions of the Premier League - fast forward 60 seconds and their runners-up to their "noisy neighbours". Well, Sir Alex, they're going to be even noiser now I'm guessing. Maybe stay out of earshot from the Etihad for a good couple of weeks, yeah?
  • A reminder that QPR survive because Bolton drew 2-2 at the Britannia Stadium. My goodness, the twists and turns this afternoon have been mad beyond belief. Arsenal finish third, Tottenham finish fourth and Newcastle finish fifth. Liverpool finish eighth, one position behind Everton and level on points with Fulham.
  • You could not make this stuff up. A pitch invasion happened within moments of the final whistle and can you blame them? They thought, when the stoppage time board went up, that two goals must have been beyond their reach. But they replicated their two late goals they scored in their 3-3 draw with Sunderland to spark scenes of ecstacy around the Etihad Stadium. Theater at its finest.
  • 90' + 7'
    The end! Manchester City 3-2 QPR. A truly magnificent end to the Premier League season. A Joey Barton red card. A Hoops fightback. The two Blues stoppage time goals to steal the title from the hands of Manchester United.
  • 90' + 6'
    Greg Stobart from the Etihad Stadium: "Never, ever have I seen anything like this. Sergio Aguero wins the title for Manchester City deep into added time, smashing home at the near-post after picking up a loose ball in the penalty area. Two goals in stoppage time and the title goes to the blue side of Manchester. The players and supporters here went absolutely insane."
  • 90' + 6'
    Scenes of pure jubilation at the Etihad Stadium. The most incredible title win for Manchester City and league survival for QPR. I'm speechless. Just speechless.
  • 90' + 5'
    Yellow Card Sergio Agüero
  • 90' + 4'
    Assist Mario Balotelli
  • 90' + 4'
    Goal Sergio Agüero
    GOAL!! OH. MY WORD. Manchester City have won the Premier League title thanks to a superb individual goal from Sergio Aguero. He dribbled from left-to-right inside the box and smashed it past Kenny. Manchester City 3-2 QPR!!
  • 90' + 2'
    Assist David Silva
  • 90' + 2'
    Goal Edin Dzeko
    GOAL!! The three millionth corner finally results in a Blues goal!! Edin Dzeko nods in the corner from the right to level the scoreline with three minutes of stoppage time remaining! Can they do it?!?! Manchester City 2-2 QPR.
  • 90' + 1'
    How has that not gone in??? Balotelli wins a super header at the back post from a corner on the City right flank, but Kenny palms away the header and then the rebound. That keeper may not understand the concept of keeping hold of a shot, but he's showing he's class at parrying at least!
  • 90'
    Balotelli wins a corner when former team-mate Onuoha blocks his shot wide and over.
  • 89'
    Greg Stobart reports from the Etihad Stadium: "Three minutes to go and Roberto Mancini is going absolutely ballistic on the touchline. He's just told Vincent Kompany to play up front. City are running out of time."
  • 88'
    QPR have spent a minute inside the City half, their longest spell all half! The visiting fans "wheyyy" every successful pass.
  • 88'
    A flurry of City corners remains unable to break through the QPR back line of nine men and a keeper.
  • 87'
    GOAL UPDATE: Wigan 3-2 Wolves (Fletcher). Stoke 2-2 Bolton (Jerome). It looks like Bolton are relegated now and QPR have survived.
  • 86'
    If this scores stays this way it could match the ridiculousness of that Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea semi-final last month and with similar coincidences! Could we see the same scoreline?
  • 85'
    Balotelli smacked both shots - his free-kick and then the rebound - into the QPR wall. the crowd are full of faces of disbelief. How have they managed to throw this second half away?
  • 84'
    City have a corner. Corner cleared. City have a free-kick, 30 yards from goal now. It's all City, as you can evidently see.
  • 83'
    Mancini is a picture of pure fury on the sideline now, yelling at any of his players that look even slightly like they're not focused.
  • 82'
    Clichy's whipped ball from the left wing is way overdone and it's a goal-kick to the visitors.
  • 81'
    Ha, check this stat out: the ball has spent 5% of the time in this second half in Man City's final third. It shows that QPR really made the most of their rare chances! Nine minutes of normal time remain.
  • 79'
    Balotelli whips a shot in from a position where one ought to be crossing, but it's a good one, and Kenny's parry just avoids the waiting feet of City players in the QPR box.
  • 78'
    Edin Dzeko sends the home fans cheering with a poked shot from five yards but Kenny's body pushes the ball millimetres wide of his right upright. So close. So, so close.
  • 77'
    Yellow Card Jay Bothroyd
  • 76'
    Substitution B. Zamora Jay Bothroyd
  • 76'
    Substitution Carlos Tévez Mario Balotelli
  • 76'
    The away fans are in heaven now they have heard Stoke equalised. Even if they conceded twice they would survive at this rate.
  • 75'
    GOAL UPDATE: Everton 3-1 Newcastle (Hibbert og). Stoke (Walters) 2-2 Bolton.
  • 74'
    21 attempts the Blues have had this afternoon. Tevez could be about to come off for Balotelli who is being given tactical instructions on the sidelines. The Argentine has not had a very good game today and it might be the right decision to remove him from play.
  • 73'
    The QPR goal looks like a parked bus and so it should. At the moment they are set to become the first team to win at the Etihad Stadium in the league this season with the worst away form in the division. It's a cliche, I know, but you just can not script this stuff.
  • 72'
    Tevez places a header beyond the back post on target but Kenny gets his fingertips on it to tip it wide.
  • 70'
    Manchester City fans are silenced at the moment, stunned that their team - who looked fso in control and confident in the first half - are struggling to equalise against a team with one less man than them.
  • 69'
    Substitution Gareth Barry Edin Dzeko
  • 68'
    QPR are back in numbers now that they have their lead and can you blame them? Mark Hughes may have just done his former club - Manchester United - a HUGE favour.
  • 66'
    Assist Armand Traoré
  • 66'
    Goal Jamie Mackie
    GOAL!! Well, my laptop has nearly frozen such is the frenzied excitement at my end - QPR have gone ahead!! Jamie Mackie loops in, unmarked, to the back post to head in Armand Traore's cross from the left wing. A superb headed finish that could have just thrown a spanner and a half in the title race. Manchester City 1-2 QPR.
  • 64'
    Mario Balotelli is warming up on the sidelines, can he come on and make himself the first Italian to ever pick up a Premier League winners' medal.
  • 63'
    Mancini is crouched on the sidelines, not quite knowing what on earth he can do to get past this QPR team.
  • 62'
    Barton is claiming in the tunnel that he was merely retaliating to Tevez striking him first. Shut it, Joey, that's no excuse. Turns out it was Aguero he kneed and Vincent Kompany he tried to headbutt on his way off the pitch.
  • 61'
    GOAL UPDATE: Tottenham (Defoe) 2-0 Fulham.
  • 60'
    No QPR players are higher than their own 25 yard line except for goal-kicks.
  • 60'
    Kenny might have been a villain-of-sorts in the City goal but he saves their bacon now. Tevez hammers a shot in from the left edge of the box which Kenny saves, then he pounnces on a thunderous effort from mere yards from goal. QPR are hanging on by the thinnest of threads.
  • 59'
    Substitution Djibril Cissé Armand Traoré
  • 58'
    Manchester City had a free-kick in the utter madness that was that sending off of Joey Barton, which clipped off the ball a pinged around the box and off numerous players before being hoofed clear.
  • 57'
    Stupid stuff from Barton. He kicks out at opposition players as he reacts to the sending off, and has to be restled from the pitch by his own coaches. His players are trying to have nothing to do with him. Could he have just played a major part in the relegation of his own team?
  • 55'
    Red Card Joey Barton
  • 55'
    It looks like Barton elbowed Carlos Tevez off the ball in the face off the ball but replays aren't conclusive. It looked like some sort of unecessary contact was made, for sure.
  • 54'
    Silly, silly Joey Barton. The QPR captain sees red from Mike Dean, who has sent off more than any other player. More info in a second.
  • 54'
    GOAL UPDATE: West Brom 2-3 Arsenal (Koscielny).
  • 53'
    QPR fans are tentaive to celebrate too hard in the goal's aftermath as they know that another City goal is possible, which would launch them right back in the deep end.
  • 52'
    Sergio Aguero and Lescott (my my my, what mistake he might have made) scupper an opportunity at the left post after Nigel de Jong fires a shot in from 35 yards after a semi-cleared corner.
  • 51'
    David Silva sprints down the right and crosses, Clint Hill almost parrying the ball into his own goal. Edgy stuff from the visitors.
  • 50'
    The cat is among the proverbial pigeons now isn't it. Man United now top the table, two points ahead of City. The home support look defalted as their players try to pour forward.
  • 48'
    Goal Djibril Cissé
    GOAL!! The title race is back on!! A horrendous headed mistake from Joleon Lescott who nods a harmless cross backwards 30 yards from goal into the path of Djibril Cisse. The striker takes a couple of touches towards the waiting Joe Hart before lashing it to the Blues goalkeeper's left to level the scoreline. Incredible stuff! Manchester City 1-1 QPR!
  • 47'
    Nasri whips a free-kick from 30 yards out over the bar, not testing Kenny. The Hoops goalkeeper is getting a lot of abuse/love (from City fans) on Twitter for his attempted save for Pablo Zabaleta.
  • 47'
    Gael Clichy whips a ball in from the left wing and Samir Nasri's flick-on at the front post is saved by Paddy Kenny for a Manchester City corner.
  • 46'
    Manchester City, 45 minutes away from what could be their first Premier League title, get play back underway.
  • The players are back out on the pitch. Play is about to get back underway!
  • I'm catching a breather here before what could be another flurry of goals around England. Are your team winning/performing? I know many of you following this will be Manchester City fans and, I can assure you, should Hughes' side perform remotely like they did in the first half then you've got three point in the bag.
  • So, where does everyone stand. Well, Man City would win the title despite Man Utd winning in Sunderland. QPR would be relegated because Bolton are beating Stoke - they need to equalise if the score stays that way at the Britannia to survive. Tottenham will finish third, Arsenal fourth and Newcastle fifth in the race behind City and United. Oh, and Everton look like they'll finish above Liverpool for only the second time in the Premier League history.
  • A summary of the scores elsewhere then: Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn Rovers. Everton 2-0 Newcastle United. Norwich City 2-0 Aston Villa. Stoke City 1-2 Bolton. Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United. Swansea City 0-0 Liverpool. Tottenham 1-0 Fulham. West Brom 2-2 Arsenal. Wigan 2-1 Wolves.
  • Greg Stobart reports from the Etihad Stadium: "The half comes to a close at the Etihad and Manchester City have one hand on the Premier League trophy thanks to that Pablo Zabaleta strike in the 39th minute. Until then, Roberto Mancini’s side had struggled to create opportunities and the atmosphere around the ground was starting to become extremely tense. QPR defended with 10 men behind the ball but they were finally broken down as Paddy Kenny failed to get a strong hand on Zabaleta’s shot and the ball span over the line after hitting the post. It still feels like there is another twist in the game - especially with QPR now needing to score to avoid the drop - but City can put the champagne on ice."
  • 45' + 3'
    Half-time! Manchester City head into the tunnel with a one-goal lead at the break and leading the Premier League table in the final game of the season. QPR, contrastly, are staring down the barrel of Premier League survival. Mark Hughes will need to do one hell of a team talk at his former club's ground now. Manchester City 1-0 QPR.
  • 45' + 2'
    QPR are going to end this half in the same fashion they have played the majority of it: one the back foot and struggling to follow the mesmerising Man City possession.
  • 45'
    Substitution Yaya Touré Nigel De Jong
  • 45'
    GOAL UPDATE: Wow. Bolton have gone ahead at the Britannia Stadium, which would mean at this rate QPR are going down. At the Etihad Stadium, with QPR fans' faces dropping as they hear the bad news, Nigel De Jong replaces the injured Yaya Toure.
  • 44'
    Aguero has a crack but Kenny dives to his right and hols the attempt on goal. Kenny should have done better with the Zabaleta goal but he does well with that shot. Too little, too late perhaps.
  • 43'
    No sign of a comeback from the Hoops, but that might be because City are just casually passing it from side to side on their own pitch, not giving the visitors a smidgen of hope at even touching the ball.
  • 41'
    GOAL UPDATE: Now it's QPR's turn to bite their nails, as Bolton get a goal back at Stoke to make it 1-1.
  • 40'
    Bad news to go with the good: Yaya Toure looks like he is down for good with a hamstring injury now sadly. He's refusing to come off, however, what a workhorse!
  • 39'
    Assist Yaya Touré
  • 39'
    Goal Pablo Zabaleta
    GOAL!! How the mood has changed!! Manchester City go 1-0 up courtesy of Zabaleta, who works into the box after a pass from Yaya Toure and blasts at Kenny. The QPR keeper cannot palm the ball wide at it drips and drops into the top right-hand corner. Manchester City 1-0 QPR.
  • 38'
    Tevez and Pablo Zabaleta combine on the right but the QPR shirts are back in such numbers that the hosts are really struggling to play through the visitors.
  • 36'
    GOAL UPDATE: Chelsea (Meireles) 2-0 Blackburn. Honestly, we're bound to get one of these mythical goals at some point, aren't we?
  • 35'
    Yaya Toure is down for a bit with what could be a hamstring injury. He's down for a good few seconds before signalling to referee Mike Dean that he's fit to play on. Boos reverberate around the Etihad as Kenny takes an age with his goal-kick.
  • 34'
    Silva strikes from 30 yards, keeps his shot low, but it dribbles at pace a fair few yards wide to the right of goal.
  • 33'
    Wright-Phillips gallops up the pitch for the Hoops on the left but loses the ball (as is standard for one of the most mediocre wingers in the league, in my opinion). City renew their choking-like pressure on the visitors' goal.
  • 32'
    GOAL UPDATE: West Brom 2-2 Arsenal (Santos) and Chelsea (Terry) 1-0 Blackburn.
  • 31'
    Tevez wastes a cross on the left to give away a QPR goal-kick. Sighs and grumbling echo around the stadium.
  • 30'
    The shots in that time period have been few and far between for the hosts however.
  • 29'
    City have had 80% possession so far this half. 80%. To say it's been a bombardment feels cheap and underwhelming...
  • 28'
    GOAL UPDATE: That early flurry has calmed down (thankfully, for my fingertips!), but Everton - thanks to Nikica Jelavic - have scored a second against Newcastle to make it 2-0 at Goodison Park.
  • 27'
    The longer the Blues take to score the more nervous this nail-biting match is going to be come for those in the stands and those on the pitch.
  • 26'
    Silva's set-piece shot cannons off the wall and away from the QPR box. For now.
  • 25'
    Nasri fires across the face of goal from the right and QPR block Silva's shot in the box. Shaun Wright-Phillips, another former City player, then handballs the ball 25 yards out as he tries to clear by diving at the ball. Man City free-kick.
  • 24'
    An excellent, driven free-kick from Cisse, whose shot skids under the wall and forces Hart into a low, diving save to his left. It's still City 0-0 Rangers.
  • 23'
    Another free-kick for the visitors, Gareth Barry stupidly diving into a tackle of Djibril Cisse's outstretched foot 30 yards from goal. Chance for QPR?
  • 22'
    QPR win a melee of sorts in their own box as Silva worms his way past a couple of stranded opponents, and win a free-kick 35 yards from their own goal.
  • 21'
    The home support have become a bit more subdued at that news eminates around the stadium, but City continue to edge forwards.
  • 20'
    GOAL UPDATE: Everton 1-0 Newcastle. But big, big, big news from the north east. Manchester United have taken the lead courtesy of Wayne Rooney at Sunderland. They now top the Premier League table with 70 minutes left of normal time in this match at the one at the Stadium of Light.
  • 19'
    Barton has a head injury after clashing with the back of Gareth Barry's noggin in an aerial challenge against his former club. A pause in play as Mancini explains some tactics to Samir Nasri on the sidelines.
  • 18'
    Silva drifts down the left wing and casually lofts the ball to the back post but Aguero can't quite reach it.
  • 17'
    Mackie is caught offside at one end while at the others Kenny looks in pain after saving Silva's shot a minute or two earlier. The Spaniard really did smash that attempt.
  • 16'
    Still goalless here, as you might have noticed! Silva forces a save at Paddy Kenny's right upright after dribbling into the box on the left and smashing a shot at the QPR keeper's feet/
  • 15'
    GOAL UPDATE: Wow, there are an absolute flurry of goals coming in at the moment! It's Wigan 2-1 Wolves now, and elswhere West Brom 2-1 Arsenal.
  • 14'
    Jamie Mackie leads the first foray into the City half on the right wing. Nedum Onuoha gets forward to take the throw-ins against his former club.
  • 12'
    The QPR fans are going mental here at the Etihad Stadium because...GOAL UPDATE: Stoke (Walters) 1-0 Bolton. That score would see the Hoops survive even if they lose today.
  • 11'
    GOAL UPDATE: Wigan 0-1 Wolves (Jarvis). Also West Brom (Long) 1 Arsenal (Benayoun). The visitors scored first before Roy Hodgson's men equalised in that latter fixture.
  • 10'
    Not too much going on here in Manchester. QPR are starting to see a little more possession but the Blues are pressuring their every touch.
  • 9'
    GOAL UPDATE: Norwich (Holt) 1-0 Aston Villa. The striker sounds like he's putting on a good show in last chance of proving why he deserves a place in the England squad at Euro 2012.
  • 8'
    Greg Stobart reports from the Etihad Stadium: "We are less than five minutes in at the Etihad Stadium and the pattern of the game has already been well established. QPR, needing a point to survive, are putting 10 men behind the ball and playing more of less on the edge of their own penalty area. The challenge for City is to remain patient as they wait for the opportunity to break down the visitors’ defence."
  • 7'
    Clint Hill shakily heads it wide after a deep cross from David Silva on the left flank.
  • 6'
    Yaya Toure shoots!! Ooo, the Ivorian has a blast from right in front of goal on the edge of the box but it skews off the edge of his right foot and wide. Pressure overted for now for the deer-in-headlights QPR defence.
  • 5'
    Not much of a bustling start at the Etihad Stadium but plenty of attacking intent on show from the home team.
  • 4'
    Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero combine with some neat wriggling and passing to garner the first corner of the match.
  • 3'
    GOAL UPDATE: Tottenham (Adebayor) 1-0 Fulham.
  • 2'
    Roberto Mancini is squinting on with a hint of nerves on the Manchester City bench. The Blues manager could end this afternoon as the first manager of the club to win the top division title in 44 years.
  • 1'
    QPR kick-off the final game of their 2011-12 Premier League season!
  • Greg Stobart reports from the Etihad Stadium as the players come out onto the pitch: "The teams exit the tunnel at the Etihad to a deafening roar. This is just as loud as the Manchester derby at the end of last month. We will be underway in a couple of minutes."
  • Planet Trixx writes on Twitter: "I'm thinking 1-1 with QPR scoring late."
  • The players are out in the tunnel. The Blues players, who were underdogs for the title race for a couple of weeks after their Arsenal loss but their win against Man Utd at the end of Aril turned the tables, are out and waiting in the Etihad Stadium tunnels.
  • 83 points - that's what both Manchester clubs are on at the top of the league. Who do you think will come out as the league champions this afternoon? Can United retain the title or could a new era dawn with a City triumph? A blue dawn? Haha, apologies, I'm going all hyperbole on you aren't I?!
  • Classic nonsense on Sky Sports for Jamie Redknapp: "I can only see City doing it [winning the league]. I also think United can do it." Right. That makes sense Jamie. Sometimes I think he and his dad, Harry Redknapp, have about five brain cells between them...
  • Another little update from Greg Stobart from the Manchester ground: "The two teams are just completing their warm-ups at the Etihad, where the stadium is more or less full with around 15 minutes until kick-off. Roberto Mancini’s name rings around the ground as the atmosphere builds nicely. A number of supporters just in front of the press box have come in fancy dress as, well, smurfs. I’m not sure what that’s about."
  • Good news for Manchester City fans: only four goals have been scored in the last four Sunderland-Man United clashes. I can't see the club overcoming the eight-goal goal difference deficit to leapfrog Man City if boths sides win to be honest.
  • Elsewhere in England, matches between West Brom-Arsenal, Tottenham-Fulham and Everton-Newcastle will decide who finishes third, fourth and fifth. Arsenal sit two points clear of the Magpies with Spurs sandwiched in between on 66 points. Any of these teams could finish in any three of those positions, so I'll keep you updated on that fascinating tussle just below the two Manchester teams up top.
  • Vincent Kompany said to Sky Sports leading up to the match: "There's no need for heroes on the day. All that we need to do is do what we did all season and nothing more." I love the fact that the Belgian Blues captain has a Mancheste twang in his accent nowadays. Will he be the man to lift the league trophy this afternoon, or will the trophy be lifted in Sunderland?
  • Greg Stobart reports from the Etihad Stadium: "I’ve never seen so much excitement as the supporters file to their seats, with the Eithad Stadium filling up nicely with more than half-an-hour until kick-off. I’m sitting on the end of the row, so fans are all asking me for the team news - and on the whole they seem that Roberto Mancini has named an unchanged starting XI. The Italian has plenty of options on the bench if City still need a goal in the second-half but you get the sense that this is going to be a special day in east Manchester."
  • What will a title win for the hosts today do for not only their confidence, but for their future trophy challenges? Well for starters, it will stamp City's authority on the Premier League which is crucial to securing the signatures of key players. Eden Hazard, Robin van Persie, Cristiano Ronaldo...players of such ilk that have been linked with the Blues are more likely to swing by Eastlands if there's the league trophy locked in the cabinet. A title win could easily propel this current team onto great things too. Every area of the pitch possesses world class players now with world class back-up options - knowing their also the best team in the league is going to swell the Blues' successes surely.
  • Want me to burst the bubble for all you optimistic QPR fans? Sorry, I'm going to. The Hoops have the worst away record in the league and have only won three games on the road. Contrast that to Man City's massively impressive home record (played = 18, won = 17, drawn = 1, lost = 0) and you'll see that saying this match is an uphill battle for Hughes and co is like saying climbing Mount Everest is a bit of a trek.
  • Rangers captain Joey Barton admitted to Sky Sports that the club are "massive underdogs" in the match because Manchester City spent "about 28 trillion on players in the summer". A little bit inaccurate there Joey, but I'll let you off as I understand your sentiment!
  • However, Mark Hughes and everyone associated with QPR will be devastated if the west London club go back into the Championship at the first attempt. I will have a degree of sympathy for Hughes if he sees his side beaten while Bolton win at the Britannia, but the way he casually dumped Fulham last summer in the hope he could get picked up by a 'bigger club' will give me a little bit of schaudenfraude (when you enjoy other people's misery).
  • I'll try not to be too dramatic about the possibility of QPR getting relegated. Sometimes fans act as though somebody's died or there's been some sort of massacre. In reality relegated teams regularly bounce-back (West Bromwich Albion always did it, while either West Ham United or Blackpool will achieve it this season after getting to the Championship play-off final), although admittedly teams sometimes are swallowed by debt (Portsmouth, Wimbledon) or disappear off the radar despite a large fanbase (Leeds United).
  • In fact, the trophy winner and the relegation loser could be decided in this match alone should the hosts win and Bolton Wanderers beat Stoke City elsewhere. In theory, Man City could even lose the game 5-0 to the Hoops and still win the title should Sunderland conquer Manchester United in the north east of England. One thing's for certain though: if QPR get a result of any sort at Man City beyond a defeat then will survive the Championship drop.
  • I can't remember a Premier League season remaining this enthralling in some many parts of the table for a long time. Normally the title is wrapped up by the last day and one or two sides are scrapping for the final survival spot. This year, however, we've been treated to an intense finish and Manchester City arguably sit on top of all the interest as they lead the title race with a significant goal difference.
  • Joe Hart starts (as always) and will hope he can equal the 18 clean sheets he kept in the league last season by not conceding this afternoon. In front of him the imperious centre-back pairing of Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany could take some beating by the relegation-threatened attack force that the visitors possess.
  • QPR manager Mark Hughes makes one change for his first visit to the Etihad Stadium as Hoops manager, switching Akos Buzsaky out for Djibril Cisse. The former France international scored an 89th minute winner against Stoke City last weekend which explains his inclusion, while the visitors also appear to sporting a 4-4-2 which is hopefully a credit to their intent on not just sitting back and defending in Manchester.
  • An unchanged team named by Roberto Mancini from the side that started in Manchester City’s 2-0 win at Newcastle United last weekend. Yaya Toure, who scored both goals in that north east clash, will once again be at the heart of proceedings while Carlos Tevez is trusted ahead of Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli again.
  • QPR: Kenny; Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo; Mackie, Barton, Derry, Wright-Phillips; Cisse, Zamora. Subs: Cerny, Gabbidon, Taarabt, Campbell, Bothroyd, Traore, Buzsaky.
  • Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Barry, Yaya Toure; Silva, Nasri, Aguero; Tevez. Subs: Pantillimon, Richards, Kolarov, De Jong, Milner, Dzeko, Balotelli.
  • The line-ups cometh...
  • The team news should be announced shortly. In the meantime, here's a snippet of info from Goal.com's correspondent at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon, Greg Stobart: "The City team have now arrived and Vincent Kompany was very briefly interviewed by the club’s in-house television channel as he stepped off the coach. He wasn’t exactly in the chattiest of moods, looking like a man on a mission as he spoke of the focus among the squad ahead of the game. Roberto Mancini needs to make sure they players are not too pumped up this afternoon so they can relax on the ball and play with as much attacking freedom as possible."
  • Welcome one and all to the final day of the Premier League season. If you're sat/stood/lying down reading this then I applaud you for deciding to follow a game with titanic importance at both ends of the table. I'm Miles Chambers and I'll be preparing you for Manchester City v QPR, elaborating on everything that happens during the match and - as an added bonus for you lovely lot - keeping you up to date with what's happening elsewhere in the division. Strap on that nappy and prepare to wet yourself with excitement (probably an inappropriate metaphor, but it made me giggle).