Manchester City remained a mediocre club for a long time in England. They couldn’t dream of winning the Premier League title and finishing in the upper reaches of the table looked to be their sole aim.
This was the time when their fierce rivals Manchester United was at the peak of their powers, with the Red Devils viewing the league title almost as their birth-right. And the only teams who could challenge their supremacy in the English top-flight were Chelsea and Arsenal.
Seeing that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side was such a force then, it was no surprise to anyone that Manchester City often faced humiliation in the all-important derby matches. But then in the summer of 2008, the fortunes of the Sky Blues greatly changed after the Abu Dhabi United Group took ownership of the club. The huge influx of money meant that they could also sign some of the best footballers in the world.
(Graphic: Betway Football)
The result was that within a few years, City became a formidable force in the Premier League. The first season of the new ownership saw the arrival of Brazilian football star Robinho in a £32.5million deal from Real Madrid. They finished tenth in the league at the end of that campaign.
City further improved their league position the following season and finished fifth at the stable. That season, they splashed £25million to secure the services of Carlos Tevez. Although that signing caused controversy as the Argentine had spent his previous two years at arch-rivals Manchester United and swapped Old Trafford for the Etihad in the summer of 2009.
To make matters worse, the Citizens erected a ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard with the Argentina international in the background. This episode even sparked a retort from Sir Alex Ferguson who, after claiming a 4-3 victory at Old Trafford, said:
“Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that, they will always be noisy. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder.”
However, Manchester City continued improving and started to threaten the supremacy of United in England. They signed Yaya Toure and David Silva in 2010 while the next year, they brought in Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid in a £38million deal.
Making all these new signings meant that they were also one of the best clubs in England then. And in 2012, they really achieved the incredible feat of winning the Premier League title.
City defeated the Red Devils 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium, with Vincent Kompany providing the winning goal. And after beating Newcastle United, they aimed to outclass QPR in the final game to claim the domestic title. However, the Cityzens found themselves trailing 2-1 by the ending stages of the game. Then, something miraculous happened in stoppage time of the game. First Eden Dzeko struck to revive the hopes, and then to the delight of City fans, Sergio Aguero provided a superb goal to win his side the first league title in 44 years