"It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand." – Clockwise (1986)
That was the greatest finish to an English top division title race since at least 1989. It was certainly the most dramatic finish to any Premier League season in history. And the absolute craziness of the last day of games was a perfect ending to the rollercoaster ride that has been the 2011-2012 season. It was the first time that the Premier League has ever been decided on goal difference. It was Manchester City’s first title in 44 years.
And it was all won in 4 minutes. Heading into stoppage time, Manchester City fans no doubt wondered if their prayers would ever be answered. After being an afterthought in Manchester for the last half century, it looked as if they were about to blow their shot at the title, only weeks after Manchester United had gifted them the opportunity. After leading the league for the majority of the year, after spending over $1 billion dollars on the team, after demolishing Manchester United at their own ground, it still wasn’t going to be enough.
And then, a miracle. Two miracles. In stoppage time, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero scored back to back goals and sent the City faithful into rapturous celebration, a wild finish that will no doubt go down as one of the greatest comebacks of all time. It was the kind of ending that defines a club.
As a Manchester United fan, I just have to applaud and congratulate. It is the only thing you can do to not be consumed by the heartbreak. Having already mentally conceded the title to City a week ago, to have them almost fall short, to be 5 minutes away from a title I had previously thought out of reach? Well, like they say in Clockwise, it’s really the hope that kills you.
You have to take the good with the bad. We appreciate most the things that we have to work for, the things that we have to earn. The highs are not as good without the lows. So maybe it is for the best for City fans that their team looked like blowing the title for the first 90 minutes. It made the last 4 that much more meaningful. And for a team that last won the league in 1968, you could not have written a better ending.