Gareth Barry feared Premier League title challenge was over


Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry saw a helicopter flying over the Etihad stadium as his side trailed 2-1 to QPR and thought it was the Premier League trophy being flown to rivals Manchester United.

Barry was convinced the trophy was being transported up to Wearside where United were winning 1-0.

He was replaced by Edin Dzeko 21 minutes from the end of yesterday's final game against QPR, with the Blues losing 2-1.

But in stoppage time Dzeko and then Sergio Aguero netted to turn the entire campaign on its head and end City's 44-year wait for a league title.

"At 2-1 down I was thinking this is done," Barry said.

"I looked up and saw a helicopter and wondered if it was the main trophy being flown north.

"Towards the end, I was sitting there watching our fans leaving, just thinking 'Here we go again'.

"In a way, it makes it more special but I would have preferred an easier win."

The scenes at the end will never be forgotten though, with Barry amongst those racing off the bench in jubilation as Aguero was smothered by ecstatic team-mates.

"Those last five minutes were incredible," said Barry.

"I can't really find the words to describe what happened.

"The way it finished was unbelievable. This season has been so up and down that it was no surprise that the final finish went that way.

"But I don't think that will ever be beaten."

The agony for Barry was made all the more acute because he was a just as helpless as the fans who had spent more of the afternoon chewing their fingernails, desperate for their team to deliver the prize that had eluded them for so long.

Yet, out of the 90 minutes, City spent 61 of them trailing Manchester United in the 'as it stands' table, which just made the day even more memorable for Barry.

"I will remember it well because I had to sit and watch, and that is probably worse," said the England midfielder.

"You would rather be on the pitch. It's far more nervous to watch because you cannot affect it.

"But I have soaked it all in, because you have to enjoy moments like this - it's been fantastic so far."