It is one of the most iconic moments in the Premier League’s 25-year history, and Sergio Aguero’s last-minute goal to seal the 2011-12 title for Manchester City still stirs the emotions for Kolo Toure and Mike Phelan.
May 13, 2012 will forever be etched in the memory of English football fans, as the destination of the trophy swung one way and then the other, eventually leaving one half of Manchester celebrating and the other in tears.
City and United went into the final weekend of the campaign level on points, with the former ahead on goal difference.
United did all they could with a 1-0 win at Sunderland thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal and the title appeared to be heading to Old Trafford.
However, City – trailing 2-1 at home to QPR – scored twice in stoppage time to take all three points and the silverware, Edin Dzeko and Aguero sending the Etihad Stadium into delirium.
Aguero’s heroics soon trickled through to the Stadium of Light, leaving United and then assistant manager Phelan shell-shocked.
“That was the worst moment in my career,” Phelan said at a Soccerex event commemorating 25 years of the Premier League.
“Simply because we played Sunderland and had finished, I think it is the only time Fergie time didn’t come out on top!
“We’d finished, we thought we’d done enough. The score at other game was level pegging, all of a sudden it changed dramatically.
“We were still out on pitch and all of a sudden ‘wallop’. It was the worst feeling ever, we couldn’t have done any more, and to lose on goal difference was heartbreaking really.”
Things were very different back in Manchester as Toure celebrated a second league title, and it remains one of the stand-out moments in the Ivorian’s career.
“To win that game was so important,” he commented. “We didn’t play well, we were so stressed, but we worked so hard and at the end of the day we were composed.
“It is one of the best feelings [of my career] for sure.
“To win the Premier League is always something special, but to beat United was amazing. In a few seconds we won the league, I will never forget that.”