EPL-logoThe 2011/12 season started from the 13th of August 2011 and played its final match on 13th May 2012. This was the 20th season of the Premier League since its formation in 1992. The season was voted as the best Premier League season of at the Premier League twenty season’s awards in 2012.

It was the only Premier League season in which the league title was decided on goal difference after Manchester City and Manchester United finished level on points at the end of the 38 games.

Heading into the final day of the season a lot were at stake whether it is was the top of the table or the bottom of the table. The Champions, European spots and relegation spots were all still undecided.

How it looked like

QPR-vs-Bolton

Two way fight to stay in the Premier league

At the bottom of the table the fates of both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers were already decided. The former who had 25 points heading into the final day and the latter who had 31 points heading into the final day were both relegated.

Bolton was lying 18th in the table heading to the final series of Matches. They had 35 points from 37 games while QPR who were lying just above them had 37 points from 37 games. Aston Villa were mathematically still in the mix to be relegated but there goal difference was far superior to both the R’s and Bolton.

Bolton had to win its last game vs Stoke City (away) to have some hope for safety while QPR needed just a point to ensure safety but the team they had to take a point off was title hopefuls Manchester City (Away).

16 Aston Villa 37 games -14 GD 38 points
17 Queens Park Rangers 37 games -22 GD 37 points
18 Bolton Wanderers 37 games -31 GD 35 points
19 Blackburn Rovers 37 games -29 GD 31 points
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 37 games -41 GD 25 points

 

Stoke City vs Bolton

Manchester City vs QPR

Norwich City vs Aston Villa

The European Story

Lots of teams were stranded mid-table with no hopes of qualifying for Europe or having to face the relegation battle.

Everton, Liverpool, Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Swansea City, Norwich City, Stoke City and Wigan Athletic.

Liverpool-wins-league-cup

Liverpool Captain and Defender Jamie Carragher with the League Cup

Liverpool who where 8th in the table had already ensured Europa league qualification by winning the League Cup earlier in the season and would face Swansea City (away) on the final day.

Three teams were fighting it out for Champions League qualification – Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspurs and Newcastle United.

Arsenal were 3rd in the table after 37 matches with 67 points. Spurs who was in 4th place had 66 points from 37 games and Newcastle were in 5th place with 65 points from 37 games.

Arsenal had a goal difference of +24, Spurs had a goal difference of +23 and Newcastle had a goal difference of +7.

3 Arsenal 37 games +24 GD 67 points
4 Tottenham Hotspur 37 games +23 GD 66 points
5 Newcastle United 37 games +7 GD 65 points
Chelsea-wins-2012-FA-Cup

Chelsea celebrating their 2012 FA Cup win

Usually 3rd and 4th placed teams in the league earn themselves Champions League qualification but Chelsea who were 6th in the table had booked themselves a place in the Champions League final and if they managed to win it then the team that finished 4th in the league would go into the Europa leagues rather than the Champions league.

Chelsea had also won the FA Cup that year so they had already guaranteed themselves a Europa league spot if they failed to win the Champions League. The 5th placed team would go directly to the Europa league competitions.

The Tie-Breaker

WarBoth Manchester City and Manchester United were neck and neck going into the last game of the season. City were on top of the table after 37 games with 86 points while United who were in second place also had 86 points from 37 games but with a inferior goal difference to that of City’s.

United led the league for much of the early part of the season but City overtook them by October and then remained on the top till March. As the season went on City’s form dipped drastically and United who were stringing results overtook them at the perch.

As 6 matches remained in the season United were sitting comfortably at the top of the table with 8 points between them and second placed Manchester City.

In the next three matches United would pick up only 4 points from a possible 9 while City won all there three matches and thus the gap between them reduced to just 3 points.

The two teams faced each other in the third to last match of the season at the Etihad Stadium and City proved themselves to be better team as they beat their arch rivals United 1-0 to win all three points and also move to the top of the table on the account of having a better goal difference with two games remaining.

Both teams went to win their penultimate matches taking the title race down to the last game of the season.

1 Manchester City 37 games +63 GD 86 points
2 Manchester United 37 games +55 GD 86 points

How it panned out

The final round of matches all kicked off simultaneously. Manchester United faced Sunderland away while Manchester City hosted relegation threatened QPR who also needed a result on the final day.

wayne-rooney-manchester-united

Put United ahead by scoring against Sunderland on the last day

Wayne Rooney drew the first blood of the day as he scored one for United against Sunderland. City didn’t have to wait long to go back to the top of the table as Zabaleta scored for City against QPR.

At half-time City was still in first place courtesy of a Superior Goal Difference. Moments after the games kicked off at half time United were given a glimmer of hope as Djibril Cisse of QPR scored one for QPR thus levelling the scores at 1-1.

United at top, City 2nd and still over 40 minutes left to play.

Shorty after Cisse’s goal QPR were handed a shock as Joey Barton got rightfully send off for kicking, pushing etc… (It’s a long list and not on just one player).

United were still ahead against Sunderland. 66 minutes into the match City’s hopes of winning their second ever League title took a huge blow as Jamie Mackie scored putting QPR ahead 2-1.

Despite going one man down QPR put on a brave show and were leading by one goal against title hopefuls City in second half injury time.

Meanwhile back at Sunderland, United had managed to hold on to their lead and win the match 1-0. So if City doesn’t score two goals and win the match United will win their 20th league title.

1st minute of injury time passed and the scores were still 2-1 in favour of QPR. When hopes were fading among the City faith full’s Edin Dzeko stepped up and got one back for City thus levelling the scores at 2-2 with two minutes of injury time left to play.

Manchester-City-wins-Barclays-Premier-League-2012

City celebrating their 1st Barclay’s Premier League title

94th minute, On virtually the last kick of the game the young Argentine striker Sergio Aguero scored for City taking the lead 3-2 and thus winning the match and also the league for only the second time in its history.

It was also the first time that the Premier league title was decided on goal difference.

 

 

The fight for Europe

Spurs-vs-gunnersArsenal faced West Brom away on the final day while fellow Champions League hopefuls Spurs and Newcastle faced Fulham at home and Everton away respectively.

Newcastle’s dream of Champions League football got smashed as they got crushed at the hands of Everton and thus had to settle for Europa League next season.

It was between the North London rivals to see who finishes 3rd and who finishes 4th. Arsenal needed a win to be sure of 3rd spot while Spurs needed a win to have a chance to overtake Arsenal into 3rd place.

Spurs ended up beating Fulham by 2-0 but had to settle for 4th place as Arsenal trumped West Brom 3-2 to secure 3rd place and a Champions League qualification.

Robin-Van-Persie-and-Sagna

Robin Van Persie and Sagna Celebrating as the former scores one against their arch rivals Spurs

Normally Spurs would have qualified as the 4th English team for the Champions League but Chelsea who finished the season in 6th place went on to win the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich in the finals on penalties thus qualifying for Champions league next year and more importantly dumping spurs into the Europa league.

 

 

 

Champions League Qualifiers

Manchester City

Manchester United

Arsenal

Chelsea

Europa League Qualifiers

Tottenham Hotspur

Newcastle United

Liverpool (League Cup win)

Bottom of the ladder

Djibril-Cisse-of-QPR

Djibril Cisse of QPR

At the bottom it was virtually a battle between two teams to stay up in the Premier league. QPR (17th) had a two point advantage over Bolton who where 18th in that stage.

Bolton needed a win versus Stoke City while QPR needed virtually just a point against Manchester City.

So we know QPR went down fighting against Manchester City but did they go down?

No, Bolton even though they gave it their all against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium could only manage a 2-2 result sending them back down to the Championship.

Final League Standings

1 Manchester City 38 games +64 GD 89 points
2 Manchester United 38 games +56 GD 89 points
3 Arsenal 38 games +25 GD 70 points
4 Tottenham Hotspur 38 games +25 GD 69 points
5 Newcastle United 38 games +5 GD 65 points
6 Chelsea 38 games +19 GD 64 points
7 Everton 38 games +10 GD 56 points
8 Liverpool 38 games +7 GD 52 points
9 Fulham 38 games -3 GD 52 points
10 West Bromwich Albion 38 games -7 GD 47 points
11 Swansea City 38 games -7 GD 47 points
12 Norwich City 38 games -14 GD 47 points
13 Sunderland 38 games -1 GD 45 points
14 Stoke City 38 games -17 GD 45 points
15 Wigan Athletic 38 games -20 GD 43 points
16 Aston Villa 38 games -16 GD 38 points
17 Queens Park Rangers 38 games -23 GD 37 points
18 Bolton Wanderers 38 games -31 GD 36 points
19 Blackburn Rovers 38 games -30 GD 31 points
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 38 games -42 GD 25 points

The 2013/14 season gave a close fight to 2011/12 season but the way Manchester City won the title was nothing short of a fairy-tale.

Other Stats and Facts

Golden-boot-winner-Robin-Van-Persie-2012

Golden boot winner Robin Van Persie

Team of the Season

Goalkeeper – Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defense – Kyle Walker (Spurs), Vincent Kompany ( Manchester City), Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfield – Yaya Toure ( Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Gareth Bale ( Tottenham Hotspur), Scott Parker ( Tottenham Hotspur)

Strikers – Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)

Player of the year – Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

Manager of the year – Alan Pardew (Newcastle United)

Young player of the year – Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Golden Boot – Robin Van Persie – Arsenal – (30 goals)

Golden Glove – Joe Hart (17 Clean Sheets)

Watch the Incredible Final Day here: –

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