Weekend mornings haven’t been the same since the English Premier League paused its season. The EPL will be back on NBC today when Aston Villa hosts Sheffield United at 1p.m. on NBC Sports Network followed by Arsenal at Manchester City at 3:15 p.m.
To get you through the wait, NBC Sports Washington has devoted a week of stories on each of the Big 6 clubs in England: Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City. Because we missed the Premier League, too. And we're glad its back.
Our fifth week, the one dedicated to Manchester City, continues with a look back at Sergio Aguero's miraculous stoppage-time goal versus Queens Park Rangers on the final matchday of the 2011-12 season to win the club's first league title in 44 years.
Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero has transformed into one of the world's best goal scorers during his nearly-decade long run at Manchester City that began in 2011.
But when Manchester City supporters think of the nearly 200 goals Aguero has netted with the club, there's one that stands out above all the rest.
For years, Manchester City had been the little, unsuccessful brother to Manchester United. For American sports fans, think of City as the Los Angeles Clippers and United as the Lakers.
On May 13, 2012, City and United entered the final matchday of the Premier League season tied atop the table with 86 points, yet City held the tiebreaker due to goal differential. On this day, the little brother had the chance to celebrate its first league title in 44 years, and thus, first-ever Premier League trophy.
One of the most fascinating things about this particular Sunday was that both matches kicked off at the exact same time. Neither club could watch the scoreboard. They had to focus on their own task at hand first.
After a back-and-forth first-half, silence in Ethiad Stadium turned into eruption when Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta found the back of the net in the 39th minute to give the home team the lead.
Manchester City would take the narrow 1-nil advantage into the halftime break - just 45 minutes away from winning its first title in over four decades.
However, things took a turn for the worst quickly in the second half. Three minutes into the frame, City defender Joleon Lescott headed the ball back towards his own net, and QPR striker Djibril Cissé scored the equalizer.
All of a sudden, the pressure was back on City, as United held a 1-0 lead in their match at the Stadium of Light against Sunderland.
City began to regain control in the 55th minute when QPR's Joey Barton was sent off with a red card for intentionally elbowing Carlos Teves. With a man advantage, City needed just one goal to regain control of the league title.
And for the next 10 minutes or so, City dominated possession. But chance after chance, they still were unable to pull ahead.
In the 66th minute, QPR found themselves on the break, with Armand Traore dribbling down the left sideline. As Traore approached the corner, he floated a beautiful cross into the box, where a wide-open Jamie Mackie was waiting. Mackie played the ball of the back of his head and into the net, giving the 10-man QPR side a 2-1 victory with just 24 minutes of regulation time remaining. It looked over for Manchester City who, as Sky Sports broadcaster Martin Tyler noted later, faced the genuine fear that "a very good side would still finish second in its own city."
As the 90th minute approached, City still trailed 2-1. The crowd at Ethiad Stadium became restless as United's 1-0 victory over Sunderland became final. As stoppage time came, the referee held up the substitution sign that read "4."
Four minutes for Manchester City to score two goals and save their vanishing title hopes.
Corner kick after corner kick, City still couldn't find the back of the net. Yet nearly two minutes into stoppage time, Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko delivered.
Off a corner kick from Aguero, Dzeko rose above the rest of the players in the crowded box and headed the ball in the back of the net, evening the score at two and giving life to a stadium bereft of it.
Then came the magic.
Manchester City won possession of the ball quickly, and all of a sudden were threatening once again. Aguero pushed the ball upwards to Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who was positioned right outside the penalty box. Balotelli seemed to slip, but regained his footing enough to find an open Aguero cutting towards the right post.
Aguero took one dribble, then unleashed a powerful right-footed strike that QPR goalie Paddy Kenny had no chance of stopping.
Down 2-1 to QPR in the final game after 90 minutes, @ManCity's hopes of winning the 2012 @PremierLeague title looked dead.— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) December 20, 2019
But two goals in stoppage time, the last a simply magical strike by Sergio Aguero -- gave City the championship. pic.twitter.com/m0YQjSyhaZ
"AGUEROOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Tyler shouted into the microphone for his iconic call.
In remarkable fashion, Manchester City had done it. The club netted two goals in stoppage time in miraculous fashion, earning the Premier League title for the first time in the club's history. Manchester United players and fans heard the shocking news as they walked off the pitch at Sunderland sure they were headed for yet another title celebration.
Re-live it again, and again, and again...— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) April 5, 2020
FT: City 3-2 QPR 
[39'] ⚽ P. Zabaleta
[90+2'] ⚽ E. Dzeko
[90+4'] ⚽ S. Aguero
[48'] ⚽ D. Cisse
[66'] ⚽ J. Mackie
🥺 The feels...#MCFC | #CityvQPRWatchAlong pic.twitter.com/HVgCmgiGYG
To this day, Aguero's goal on that May afternoon is the biggest in Manchester City's history. And given the circumstances, it's hard to imagine any goal topping it.
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