Football: City determined to win, usher in a new era

English Premier League braced for nervous, thrilling last day.


Afp May 12, 2012

LONDON:


Manchester City are determined to usher in a new era for English football today by clinching their first title in 44 years as the curtain comes down on a thrilling Premier League campaign.


Four years after the serial under-achievers from the blue half of Manchester were bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, the club’s fabulously wealthy owners are poised to see the biggest return yet on their substantial investment. Victory over QPR will – barring a miraculous scoreline for Manchester United at Sunderland – be enough to see Roberto Mancini’s side claim the league crown.

Bitter cross-town rivals United, meanwhile, are left clinging to the hope that City’s historical reputation as masters of shooting themselves in the foot will re-emerge.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he expects City to seal the deal, but could not resist one final attempt to play on his rivals’ nerves by warning that failure at Eastlands could leave lasting scars on the club’s psyche.

“On the face of it you expect City to win and so do I,” said Ferguson. “But City have got to win. It’s an enormous challenge for them because the disappointment of losing the game would be unbelievable.

“It’s the last game of the season. It’s fantastic for the neutral, fantastic for the media but agony for both clubs, although it will be more so for City if they lose it.”

Chelsea eye Munich finale in campaign swansong

Meanwhile, Roberto Di Matteo could be making his Stamford Bridge farewell when Chelsea wrap up their Premier League season against Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge.

But the thoughts of the interim first-team coach will be trained firmly on the looming Champions League final and he will be as interested by the injury count as the scoreline in a match that means little to either team. Chelsea’s defeat at Liverpool this week ended their hopes of finishing in the top four, while Blackburn’s dreams of avoiding relegation disappeared when they lost at home to Wigan Athletic 24 hours earlier.

Arsenal chase Euro berth

Arsene Wenger will be looking for a repeat of six years ago when his Arsenal team look to pip Tottenham to a Champions League place.

There are many similarities to the 2006 season finale when the two north London rivals were competing to reach Europe’s top club competition on the last day of the campaign.

On that occasion, Spurs were favourites but lost at West Ham after a mystery virus hit the squad - blamed on a lasagne players ate at their hotel — allowing Wenger’s team to overtake.

“Frankly, I didn’t know what happened,” said Wenger, who takes his team to West Brom knowing victory will secure third. “I didn’t cook that day. If I had cooked more would have been ill. It’s a massive game in front of us, but I feel that we are focused, switched on and that I’m confident we will do well.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.

COMMENTS (2)

Haider H | 9 years ago | Reply

City are the new champions!!!!!

Freedom Seeker | 9 years ago | Reply

Wish you best of Luck.

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