The drama and excitement offered by the English Premiership League (EPL) football to the fans and spectators has indeed made it the most-watched football league in the globe. The clubs of this league are also among those who offer their players, managers and support staff best pays and numerations that often run in millions of dollars.
The all pervasive drama and thrills of the English football was relived last Sunday, the final day of nine-month long double header league, in which 20 first division clubs had played 38 matches on home and away basis. The race for the EPL title for this year went to the wire till the last match of the final day when the two contenders, Manchester City and Manchester United played their final match to grab the title.
Until the 90 minute of regular time of the match between the City and its Queens Park Ranger, City was down 1-2 and it looked like that United would lay their hand on the trophy once again. But the City fate took a sudden U-turn when its players - Edin Dzeko and Maradona’s son-in-law Sergio Aguerro, scored two goals in a space of two minutes in the injury time, enabling the City to lift the EPL title after a long gap of 44 years.
The drama in the final day was taken to a dizzying height just after the completion of the 90 minute of regular time when the City’s bitter rival United started celebrating its title win just because it had already won its final match against Sunderland 1-0 on the same day. United and City had had same points – 86 - but the City was ahead on better goal differences before both rivals played their final matches. But in the space of just two minutes on the final day of the league, the title winner was decided, taking to league to its final moment.
The situation provided lots of excitement and drama not only to the spectators presented at the stadium to watch the City’s and United matches. Before the final day, the pendulum of fate swung in the favour of both the bitter rivals- the City and United.
For a considerable period, City was dominating the league with its improved performances, while the Sir Alex’s United which were looking to win the 20th EPL title was trailing at 2nd place. During this period, City had humiliated United with 6-1 mauling, the biggest loss for the champions in many years and inflicted defeat on another favourite Chelsea.
But in the midway, City seemed losing its grip on the title race as it failed to win matches for long trot and ended up drawing many of its matches. On the other hand, United started making its foray to the top spot with its several victories. As the final months of the EPL arrived, both teams were locked in a see-saw situation. And at one point, it all looked over for City after United surged ahead with eight points clear. However, United too could not keep its tempo. Against one of the return matches against Everton, United had to satisfy with a draw after taking 4-0 lead in the first half. It allowed Everton to score four goals and also lost a good chance to maintain a strong lead in the points table.
City’s fortune was turned around after an Abu Dhabi based Sheikh bought the club and pumped an unprecedented $ 1 billion into it, which ultimately toppled the neighbour to become English football’s top club in merely three year’s period of Sheikh’s arrival. City was also marshaled well by its Italian manager Alberto Mancini. However, his arrival at the club was also marked by his tiff with striker Carlos Tevez.
The Argentine who was at the forefront in terms of scoring goals against the rivals became unhappy with Mancini after the coach tried to keep him on the bench for a long period with the start of this year’s EPL. Tevez even warned to leave the club for good as long as Mancini remained at the club. But later, they buried the hatchet.
Now with the EPL title under their belt, the club management has set their sight on the next season’s Champions League. With more money at their disposal which the win has fetched them, the City management will buy more players for new season to continue their hold on the EPL and improve their chance to claim more titles in Europe.