So after a fierce, lengthy battle with their derby rivals for the Premiership top spot, Manchester City have finally been crowned champions of a Premier League season that has been thrilling to the very final match. So now that the dust has settled and the winners have been crowned, here are the top highlights of a season that has had more than its fair share of them.
10. "The £50million Man" Fernando Torres misses an open goal
Coming to Chelsea on a £50million transfer from Liverpool, a record for British football, Torres inarguably had a lot of pressure placed upon his shoulders to meet his lofty price tag. Unfortunately that was not to be the case, as a series of missed opportunities including this particularly disastrous effort against Manchester United made him the butt of many jokes throughout the footballing world.
9. Blackburn's poultry pitch invasion
It says a lot about Blackburn’s abysmal season that this surreal pitch invasion was the highlight of it. Released onto the pitch by a fan, the chicken was adorned in a Blackburn flag, a protest against club owners Venky’s, an Indian chicken meat processing company.
8. Suarez refuses to shake Evra's hand
Although not a highlight as such, Suarez’s refusal to shake Patrice Evra’s hand in the run-up to Liverpool’s game against Manchester United was a defining moment in a season that was (almost) as controversial as it was entertaining. Suarez, faced with Evra on the pitch for the first time since the incident in October that had caused the FA to impose an eight-match ban upon him for his use of racist terminology, refused to shake the Man United defender’s hand, leading to an altercation at the end of the match between the two teams in the tunnel.
7. Cisse scores a puzzling goal
An integral and exciting member of a rejuvenated Newcastle squad, Papiss Cisse’s physics-defying goal in the toon’s victory against Chelsea was the standout moment in a glorious season for the Senegalese striker.
6. And the Goal of the Season Award goes to… Peter Crouch?!
Cisse’s goal may have defied physics, but Peter Crouch’s goal against Manchester City defied expectations.
5. Fabrice Muamba returns to the pitch
Both Bolton and Tottenham fans rose to their feet to give a standing ovation to Fabrice Muamba, a man who had collapsed on the pitch during the two teams’ previous meeting suffering from a cardiac arrest. Muamba’s collapse and subsequent recovery was one of the most heart-warming stories of the season, with the immense support shown to Muamba from fan’s across the UK showing that while the beautiful game has its fair share of Evra/Suarez moments, there can also be huge showings of solidarity between both players and their supporters.
4. "Why Always Me?"
The defining image of Manchester City’s 2011-12 Premier League campaign is perhaps not the one of them lifting the trophy triumphantly, but of Mario Balotelli’s celebration following his opening goal of their 6-1 trouncing of Manchester United. Lifting his shirt up to reveal another shirt emblazoned with the words “Why Always Me?” the Italian striker’s self-awareness was a knowing wink to fans who have become enamoured with the lunacy/brilliance of the Italian striker.
3. Thierry Henry returns
It was a shaky season for an Arsenal squad who found themselves reliant on the abilities of star striker Robin van Persie (whose whole season could have easily been a highlight in and of itself), but the highlight of the Gunner’s season was arguably seeing Thierry Henry lace up his boots at the Emirates once more and scoring the winning goal against Leeds.
2. Manchester United lose it…
After defeating Sunderland 1 – 0 in the final game of their Premier League season, Manchester United were ahead of City and on the verge of winning their 20th Premiership title, until…
1. Manchester City win it!
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…Sergio Aguero put Manchester City up against QPR in the dying seconds of the game to give a storybook ending to a season that was so enthralling it felt like it had been scripted by the footballing Gods. Cue a massive pitch invasion and City’s toppling of the red devils as Manchester’s (and Britain’s) premier team.