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Premier League wrap: City save the best till last as Bolton bow out

There were cheers, tears and plenty of bitten nails. Here’s what happened on the final day of the Premier League season.

Image: Dave Howarth/PA Wire/Press Association Images

MANCHESTER CITY WON their first English top flight title in 44 years after one of the most astonishing finishes ever to a Premier League season.

City sensationally recovered to Premier League glory in the final minutes as Sergio Aguero’s late winner sealed a 3-2 comeback over a QPR side who had Joey Barton sent off early in the second half but still avoided relegation.

City struggled to break the visitors down for much of the first half, but Pablo Zabaleta’s bulldozing run and shot, helped in by the limp hand of Paddy Kenny, put them at ease just before the break.

They were stunned, though, when Joleon Lescott’s awful error allowed Djibril Cisse through for an equaliser, before Barton lost his cool and was ejected in shocking circumstances.

Despite the setback, though, QPR dumbfounded the hosts with a lethal counterattack, ending in Jamie Mackie nodding powerfully home for an unlikely lead.

City threw everything at Rangers in response, Edin Dzeko heading powerfully home from an injury-time corner before Aguero capped off a truly unbelievable revival with a dramatic 94th-minute winner.

That goal denied Manchester United the Premier League title in the final minute of the season despite a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

United began the day knowing that even victory would not guarantee them an historic and dramatic title triumph, but they had to secure a win to even stand a chance and Wayne Rooney duly delivered by nodding home a Phil Jones centre in the 20th minute.

With chances at a premium, though, United comfortably closed the game out in the second half, with Sunderland rarely ever looking like scoring.

But as the final whistle went, the events at the Etihad Stadium began to come to light with the astonishing news that Aguero had struck to snatch the title right out of United’s grasp.

At the Hawthorns, three errors from goalkeeper Marton Fulop handed Arsenal a vital 3-2 victory over West Brom.

The Gunners’ win secured third place and Champions League football for the away side and ensured Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge of Albion ended in defeat.

The first half began in frenetic fashion as the Gunners took the lead through Yossi Benayoun. However, the home side hit back through goals from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans, before Andre Santos benefited from another Fulop error and made the score 2-2, all within half an hour.

By contrast, the second period was a lot calmer and saw both sides defend doggedly without creating many clear chances. Yet another Fulop error, this time from a corner, handed Laurent Koscielny the chance to give Arsenal the lead, which he took gratefully.

Arsenal’s win means Tottenham will have an anxious wait to see if they will make next year’s Champions League, as victory for Chelsea in next Saturday’s final would see Spurs miss out despite a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham and a fourth-place finish.

Emmanuel Adebayor finished low after just 90 seconds as Spurs dominated possession, and Jermain Defoe struck in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.

At Stamford Bridge, next week’s date with Bayern Munich proved little distraction for Chelsea as they condemned Blackburn to a 2-1 defeat in their last Premier League game.

The west Londoners flew out of the blocks, creating numerous openings in the first 25 minutes. However the deputising Jake Kean made an impressive start in the Rovers’ goal and was at hand to keep the scores level.

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A goal looked inevitable though, and did eventually come through John Terry after half an hour, while a second from Meireles following after a matter of minutes.

It was completely one-way traffic from there on in, with the hosts wasting several chances to add a third before the break.

Chelsea started strongly in the second half too, nearly adding a third early on. However it was the visiting side that scored the next goal, Scott Dann heading into the back of the net.

At Goodison Park, Everton beat Newcastle United 3-1 to end the visitors’ Champions League hopes.

The Toffees went ahead from a deflected Steven Pienaar effort in the first half and doubled their lead soon after through Nikica Jelavic. Johnny Heitinga added a third for the hosts before a Tony Hibbert own goal gave Newcastle a consolation.

Bolton were relegated after drawing 2-2 with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. The Trotters needed a win to give themselves hope of surviving, but their chances were also heavily dependent on QPR’s fortunes at Eastlands.

Stoke went ahead thanks to a mistake by Adam Bogdan, with Jonathan Walters taking the initiative and nodded in the loose ball.

But Bolton soon fought back and got two goals in succession, one as bizarre as the last. Mark Davies had the ball ricochet off him from a clearance and past Thomas Sorenson, before Kevin Davies’ cross-come-shot surprised the Dane at his near-post.

All hope faded, however, as Stoke were awarded a penalty following Bogdan’s foul on Peter Crouch, Walters taking it and getting his team’s second of the day.

Norwich City capped off a superb first season back in the Premier League with a convincing 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.

The Canaries were in control at Carrow Road from the first minute and took an early lead when Grant Holt bundled home a free-kick.

Simeon Jackson made the most of Carlos Cuellar’s error to double the lead as Villa offered very little in resistance.

Swansea ended their first-ever Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium.

A late solitary strike from Danny Graham was enough for the Welsh side, but it was a dull contest with neither side having enough meaningful efforts on goal and a lack of tempo and quality throughout.

Wigan Athletic earned a successful end to their Premier League campaign with a 3-2 victory against bottom-of-the-table Wolves.

Matt Jarvis gave Wolves the lead inside the opening 10 minutes at the DW Stadium, but a goal from Franco Di Santo followed by a brace from Emerson Boyce gave Wigan their seventh win from their final nine matches.

Results

  • Chelsea 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
  • Everton 3-1 Newcastle United
  • Manchester City 3-2 QPR
  • Norwich City 2-0 Aston Villa
  • Stoke City 2-2 Bolton Wanderers
  • Sunderland 0-1 Manchester United
  • Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool
  • Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Fulham
  • West Brom 2-3 Arsenal
  • Wigan 3-2 Wolves

As it happened: Premier League last day

The 2011-12 Premier League season in stats and numbers

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TheScore Team

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