'Agueroooooooo'. The most famous moment in Premier League history, right?
Well, such a moment could not have been possible if it wasn't for this Manchester derby day victory two weeks prior.
The stakes could not have been higher at the Etihad on 30 April 2012, with Manchester City knowing a victory would put them two wins away from a first league title since 1967/68. Meanwhile, title rivals Manchester United realistically needed just a point, something that was evident in Sir Alex Ferguson's rather negative team selection.
From the first kick, City dominated proceedings, clearly looking like the team that needed a win. In contrast, the visitors sat behind the ball, soaking up pressure and relying on the fruitless efforts of lone attacker Wayne Rooney up top. The game was finely poised to say the least.
It was a first-half of few clear-cut chances for either side, but on the stroke of half-time the course of the 2011/12 Premier League season was altered dramatically. City skipper Vincent Kompany rose highest in the penalty area following a delicious in-swinging corner, powering his header beyond a flat-footed David de Gea in the United goal, wheeling away in euphoric celebration.
With United failing to register a single shot on target, Ferguson was cutting an increasingly frustrated figure on the sidelines - with emotions spilling over between himself and City boss Roberto Mancini. However, it was the Italian who would have the last laugh as the Sky Blues held on for a victory worth its weight in gold.
Following a crucial three points - in a pretty cagey affair - City now only needed victories against Newcastle and Queens Park Rangers to lift a first Premier League title. Surely, there would be no drama there, right?
Key Talking Point
What did this result mean? Well, it meant a Premier League title for Man City at the hands of their bitter local rivals. So, it was quite a big deal.
Just three weeks earlier, City had more or less counted themselves out of the title race, sitting eight points behind a United team that seldom surrendered a lead. Courtesy of some rare United slip-ups, Kompany's goal on this fateful day pushed the Sky Blues into the driving seat in the race for top spot, also laying the foundation for City's most memorable moment in their history on the final day of the season. Cue Aguero.
It wasn't a vintage swashbuckling City performance as the hosts struggled to create a plethora of opportunities against a stern United defence, however there was absolutely no doubting who deserved to win this match.
But more than just one title, this result helped shift the football dynamic in Manchester.
Manchester is blue! What a special day. Thanks for the support. We are City! pic.twitter.com/JNWTtA1OUn— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) May 15, 2018
City were no longer the 'noisy neighbours', taking a stranglehold on English football for the foreseeable future. Kompany's header helped forge a new, world-beating path for the Sky Blues in the modern day, enabling the likes of Pep Guardiola and co. to develop the club into the greatest of a generation.
That's what captains are for, eh?
Starting XI: Hart (6); Zabaleta (7), Lescott (7), Kompany (9*), Clichy (6); Barry (6), Toure (7), Nasri (6), D. Silva (7), Tevez (6); Aguero (6)
Substitutes: De Jong (6), Richards (5), Milner (N/A)
And just has he did in April 2012, Vincent Kompany heads in from a corner in front of the United fans to take the title away from them. #MCIMUN— 90min (@90min_Football) April 7, 2018
And our man of the match is...Rebekah...no, actually it's Vincent Kompany.
Surprise, surprise, City's goalscoring, game-deciding captain is the pick of the bunch. Obviously the Belgian's header was the difference between the sides, but the centre-back was also a rock in defence, consistently making challenge after challenge and clearance after clearance inside his own penalty area.
There's a reason United didn't have a shot on target, and his name isn't Gael Clichy.
Key Talking Point
2012 - Manchester United haven't won their last away league game of the season since the 2011-12 campaign, when they won 1-0 at Sunderland on the final day. Despondent. #HUDMUN pic.twitter.com/RGxivkqjvF— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 5, 2019
Pretty much the opposite of everything we said about City applies to United here.
United put in a drab, lifeless and uninspiring performance at the home of their local rivals which epitomised the dynamic shift between the two Manchester clubs perfectly. Ferguson's negative tactics failed to pay dividends, while United's mediocre squad was wearing thinner and thinner.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, this was a performance and result that would become all too familiar as time wore on, and United's inability to find a balance of exciting football and defensive stability in April 2012 is as relevant today as ever at Old Trafford.
Considering Ferguson's side held an eight-point lead over Manchester City with seven games remaining of the season, this Manchester derby defeat - and subsequent surrendering of the Premier League title - was a bitter pill for the Red Devils to swallow. It was uncharacteristically naive of the then 12-time Premier League champions and arguably signalled the end of an era in the north west.
Starting XI: De Gea (5); Jones (5), Ferdinand (7*), Smalling (5), Evra (6); Nani (6), Carrick (5), Scholes (6), Park (4), Giggs (5); Rooney (5)
Substitutes: Welbeck (5), Valencia (6), Young (5)
If we have to pick one, we'll have to go for Ferdinand.
United's defence wasn't great but it restricted a strong City attacking lineup to just three shots on target, which is no mean feat. The best of the bunch was Ferdinand, who was typically commanding and hard-working in the United back line.
What Aged Worst?
19 - Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012-13 season, no Premier League team has drawn more matches nil-nil than Manchester United (19, level with Southampton). Dull.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 10, 2018
Obviously, despite Ferguson staying another year at Old Trafford, United haven't aged well - by their own high standards - since the Scotsman's departure. Many managers have come and gone, all unable to maximise the potential of arguably England's biggest club.
It's fair to say that United's recent plight hasn't been helped by the incredible success enjoyed by their neighbours, who have certainly painted Manchester blue - for the moment at least.
The Red Devils have recruited poorly, failed to play football the 'Manchester United way' and struggled to consistently add to their overflowing trophy cabinet. All of this has left supporters disgruntled, especially given the questionable ownership and running of the club.
What Aged Best?
Manchester City. Yes, it really is that simple.
The club have gone from strength to strength since lifting their first Premier League title back in 2012, winning three more league titles and a combined six FA Cup and League Cup trophies. All this has been done while playing some of the most attractive football England has ever seen, and boasting the world's best manager - Guardiola - and players along the way.
What Happened Next?
#OnThisDay in 2013:— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 8, 2019
Man Utd announced that Sir Alex Ferguson would retire at the end of the season.
13 Premier League Titles
Two Champions Leagues
Five FA Cups
Four League Cups
... And the rest.
End of an era.#MUFC pic.twitter.com/7jUKPdLWFb
Well, fighting back from the disappointment of the previous year, United would go on to snatch the title back from City in the 2012/13 season, marking Ferguson's last year as manager.
The Red Devils beat their local rivals at the Etihad in dramatic fashion following a stoppage-time Robin van Persie goal in a 3-2 win, but did stumble to defeat at Old Trafford to the Sky Blues later in the campaign. Regardless, they finished 11 points ahead of their neighbours come the end of the season, lifting a 13th Premier League trophy as a result.
Can Man City ever replace Vincent Kompany?
Will United ever enjoy the success they did under Ferguson again?
Will we ever see a more pivotal Premier League Manchester derby?
Source : 90min