Manchester United lose out to City on dramatic final day

Sunderland 0 Manchester United 1

Wayne Rooney's first-half winner proved insufficient for Manchester United as Manchester City's stoppage-time double snatched the Barclays Premier League title away from them.

United went into injury time at Sunderland leading 1-0 and with City trailing 2-1 to 10-man QPR at the Etihad Stadium.

By the time the final whistle sounded at the Stadium of Light City had levelled, but the celebrations on Wearside had barely started when Sergio Aguero saved Roberto Mancini's men at the death to clinch a first title for the Blues in 44 years.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his players trudged back to the dressing room knowing they had been so close at the end of a remarkable season, but it was the home fans who stayed behind to cheer their heroes on a day when victory and defeat ultimately counted for little for either club.

United might have won significantly more comfortably on the day had it not been for the woodwork and Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet, but they could have emerged with just a point after they failed to dispatch Sunderland with old boy Fraizer Campbell passing up a glorious opportunity to level.

For much of the opening 45 minutes, there was little doubt about how events would unfold on Wearside with the visitors dominating for long periods and creating enough chances to have held up their end of the bargain by the time the whistle sounded for the break.

In the event, they led by a single goal, courtesy of Rooney's close-range 20th-minute header from full-back Phil Jones' cross.

The England striker might have claimed a hat-trick inside 14 minutes, but he saw his free-kick come back off the crossbar on the half-hour and then uncharacteristically miskicked with the goal at his mercy four minutes later when Ashley Young's wayward shot arrived perfectly for him.

With 37-year-old Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, 38, running the game from midfield, it seemed only a matter of time before United increased their lead and wrapped up the win.

Mignolet had also had to beat away a well-struck effort from Giggs but as time ran down, the home side started to make an impression.

Their best chance fell to Campbell as he ran on to Stephane Sessegnon's 36th-minute cross, but to the relief of Ferguson, the man who sold him to Sunderland, he steered his volley wide of the post.

However, the mood at the Stadium of Light changed as news of City's opener started to filter around to wildly differing responses from the respective sets of supporters.

Antonio Valencia might have lifted the descending gloom for the travelling fans in injury time when he forced a decent save from Mignolet, but Ferguson's men headed for the dressing room knowing their fate was being decided elsewhere.

United returned determined to kill off the game as quickly as possible, and might have done so within two minutes when Valencia slid Rooney in only for Mignolet to deny him with a brave block.

But the fans behind the Belgian's goal were celebrating within seconds when news of QPR's equaliser sparked a delirious reaction.

Jones glanced a 50th-minute header just wide, but the home side were appealing in vain for a penalty two minutes after substitute Ahmed Elmohamady was bundled to the ground by Jonny Evans in pursuit of James McClean's cross.

Sunderland were enjoying their best period of the game as United found themselves having to defend deep and in numbers.

But it would have been 2-0 with 59 minutes gone had Craig Gardner not thrown himself into the path of Young's volley from Valencia's teasing cross.

Young tested Mignolet at his near post with a driven cross five minutes later with the tension rising, although there were joyous scenes on the terraces when the travelling fans heard of QPR's second goal.

United were unfortunate not to increase their lead with 14 minutes regaining when Scholes smashed a volley against the foot of the post and Mignolet recovered superbly to tip Giggs' follow-up over the bar.

But as the time ebbed away, the United fans could hardly contain themselves, hoping no news from the blue half of the city was good news.

Rooney clipped the outside of the post with a last-minute free-kick and the partying was just about to start when the worst possible news arrived for those of a red persuasion.

PA

Voices
voices
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
newsBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
newsHad asteroid hit earlier or later in history, the creatures might have survived, say scientists
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried