Football Season Review

Champions: Manchester City

Manchester's City 44-year wait to get their hands again on the league title is over after they came out on top in one of the most scintillating and amazing title races of modern times in English football. It was a fully deserved title for City who were by far the most talented side in the league after another summer of heavy investment but they left it late to seal the title and nearly blew it in incredible fashion. Roberto Mancini's men may have lost the Community Shield final to Manchester United after being two goals up before the start of the league campaign, but they hit the ground running in the Premier League and were scoring goals for fun while playing mesmerising attacking football. They demolished Tottenham 5:1 in a real sign of intent and were sitting top of the table by October when they had to face Manchester United in Old Trafford. They completely destroyed their rivals and raced to an unforgettable 6:1 win after a display of stunning attacking football. At that stage it looked like the Blues would run away with the title with a five-point lead at the top but the first cracks started to appear in December. Chelsea came back from behind to become the first team to beat them in the league and then Sunderland snatched a last-minute 1:0 win on New Year's Day. City were still clear at the top but suddenly the confidence seemed to go away and an early FA Cup exit, at the hands of United despite a spirited comeback in the second half, further increased the doubts. City scraped a monumental 3:2 win over Tottenham that knocked Spurs out of the title race but soon after that suffered another untimely defeat at Everton and dropped down to second in the table for a first time since October after a late defeat to Swansea as well. The pressure was on and Mancini had to make a compromise with troublemaker Carlos Tevez and accept his apology after the Argentinian had been exiled from the squad for a number of months after his refusal to come on as a sub in a Champions League game. A dramatic comeback against Chelsea signified the resistance in the team but dropped points at Stoke and Arsenal seemed to end City's title challenge as they fell eight points behind in the race for the title. At that moment the pressure seemed to go away and City just started playing the same expansive football from before. They steamrolled past a few teams and were only three points behind United when they entertained them in late April. They fully deserved a narrow 1:0 win and then defeated Newcastle away from home before the final game at QPR that should have been easy. City were somehow 2:1 behind though and with time running out they conjured up two goals in added time to secure the most dramatic of wins and with that snatch the title trophy from the jaws of United. The joy was unbridled having come so close to bottling it and Mancini will feel that his team can go from strength to strength now. The challenge for next season will be to leave a mark in Europe after early exits from the Champions League and Europa League.

Player of the Season: Yaya Toure