Manchester City managed to clinch the 2011-2012 league title which is their first in 44 years. The title race was stretched to the last day of the season with City finally ending on top with a hard-fought win over QPR. While everybody believed that Manchester United would lift their 20th league title, City came back from behind, fought hard and were eventually crowned champions. So why did City deserve this title?
Here are the reasons.
Roberto Mancini, The Man: Roberto Mancini joined Manchester City in 2009 and started working with the squad as soon as he arrived in England. The Italian has now successfully led City to their first league title in 44 years.
While some are of the opinion that City could have done much better in terms of the title race owing to the amount of money they spent on bringing highly rated players to the team, others believe that the former Inter manager threw away his gifted strategic predilection and nurtured the team in a different way that eventually paid off.
City, unlike last season when they had a more 4-3-3 approach to the game, added more creativity to its strategy while preparing the team. City, this time, looked forward to their midfielders who could provide well-crafted passes to the forwards and had the ability to chip in goals whenever the side was in need.
Mancini, himself, showed his class in the race when he provided Yaya Toure the license to push forward, who could now co-ordinate with Carlos Tevez who sat in deeper areas, with three players regulating authority at the back.
Although he had a tough time with guys such as Tevez and Balotelli, his belief never failed him in crunch situations.
27 Goals Conceded in 38 League Games, less than anyone else: City had the inspiration in the back in the form of England goalkeeper Joe Hart who only conceded 27 times this season in the Premier League. This is actually the best defensive record in the season.
Hart was helped by players like Kolo Toure, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Leascott and Micah Richards in the front who hit form at the right moment, giving other teams' attack a burning headache and nightmares.
And although City faced a bit of trouble when Lescott lost his confidence in the final game of the season, the men upfront made sure that City would not lose out on the title.
Six wins to end the season: As far as the fans can re-collect, City, before April 11, were approximately eight points behind local rivals United. With both having only as many as six games left to play, everybody believed that it would enough to secure United their 20th league title.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson's men couldn't handle the serious pressure that was being imposed by their local derby rivals, and while City went on to win all the six games on the trot, United managed three wins, two losses and a draw.
The final nail on United's coffin was delivered when Manchester City refused to bow down in the season's final game against QPR and won 3-2 after the final goal was scored by Mancini's men in the injury time. They won both the local derbies against United that also acted as confidence and inspiration for the team.
90 Goals Scored in 38 League Games, more than anyone else: City amassed as many as 90 goals to their name at the end of the season, with 23 alone coming from Argentine international Sergio Aguero, who opened his account in just nine minutes in August when he came as a substitute in City's opening game of the season against Swansea City.
City had an extraordinary attacking line up in the form of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, while their men in the midfield - Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and David Silva added the strength and confidence that is needed for a team to lead the league race and eventually coming up on top.
City had the firepower, and they ensured that they use it to the fullest.
No losses at the Etihad: City have now successfully ended their 2011-12 Premier League season without losing a single game at home. While it was a colossal task on the part of the City players, no other team in the league managed to boast such a feat this season.
As far as the numbers are concerned, Mancini's men won a breathtaking 18 games out of 19 at the Etihad Stadium. They drew just one game against Sunderland, and, eventually scored 55 goals and conceded just 12 at home.