It's here. The final day of the season is about to kick off and the Premier League will have its Manchester champion. Finally, the bluster from the red side of city to the blue side and vice versa (or from blue-clad Manchester to the red-clad rest of the world) will be over. One of them will have the trophy and the other one will have to shut up.
Or both teams will continue to be unbearably obnoxious no matter who wins. It's not like more than 100 years of history says that will be the case.
There are three factions in the Premier League today:
- City supporters
- United supporters
- Everyone else
And all three hate each other. Football is beautiful.
Things will change soon, though. The Euros are right around the corner, allowing all three groups to come together around one good cause: hating England.
But before England can give the country hope before breaking their hearts again, as history dictates it must, we must crown a Premier League champion. And since history is the name of the game today (hating people, England losing, etc.), Manchester United will surely claim the crown.
To the football we go! The Citizens are in the pole position with an advantage in goal difference on their neighbors as they host Queens Park Rangers, so we will follow along at Eastlands while the Red Devils -- who are level on points atop the table with their noisy neighbors -- play at Sunderland.
Pregame: City have gone with The Artist Formerly Known As Capable Goalkeeper Joe Hart in goal. Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Gael Clichy make up the back line with Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry (because City wouldn't be City without one rubbish player) as the holding midfielders. Samir Nasri, Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Sergio Aguero make up the attacking quartet.
Lost in the title shuffle is QPR and their prayers to stay up. They're one point clear of Bolton Wanderers, who are at Stoke. So they may need a result and have tasked Paddy Kenny, Nedum Onuoha, Anton Ferdinand, Clint Hill, Taye Taiwo, Jamie Mackie, Joey Barton, Shaun Derry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora with getting it. It's like they're asking to be relegated.
Kickoff: Time to pick a champion already and unite behind/against/in a comedy club for England. I pick chocolate.
2' Christ, Cisse has a bleach blond faux hawk and matching goatee. The battle today is that versus Hart's frosted tips. If there was ever a reason the Premier League is fifth rate, behind La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and the XFL, this is it.
3' With Carlos Tevez hovering and the ball 12 yards from their own goal, Taiwo and Hill collided ... and it worked. Tevez is a wonder.
5' Gareth Barry forgot to run.
8': How is Barton still playing football? I thought every player who got Newcastle sent down was banned from football? Who would have guessed the FA wouldn't do the right thing?
11' You have to applaud Roberto Mancini's commitment to having boyish good looks no matter how much his hair has grayed. But really he needs to cut his hair and tell Mario Balotelli to get off his lawn.
15' Kenny looks perpetually pleased with himself, even when he drops a cross and it only goes unpunished because Nasri, well, Nasri.
17' As a result of his constant smiling (we can only assume this is the cause), Kenny has bloodied his mouth and because QPR's four-year plan ended at Year Four, they can't afford to treat him so he is treating himself. The Premier League, the richest league in the world!
18' Kenny is pleased with the way he treated himself.
20' Wayne Rooney has scored for United at Sunderland and Eastlands has gone quiet. Or stayed quiet. Noisy neighbors, my ass.
21' Spotted: Gareth Barry running.
22' Someone should let Zabaleta know that he doesn't get any points for shooting at the corner flag.
25' QPR haven't won away since November and haven't managed a point away since February. And seeing as that was at Aston Villa, it doesn't really count anyways. In conclusion, QPR have never taken a point away from Loftus Road in their history.
28' Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli are on the bench for City. This seems likely to be relevant.
30' How appropriate that QPR are wearing red. Well, white too. It's a quartered shirt and it's hideous. But the red shirts allows lazy writers to make up some crap about City facing their demons as a team of red stands between them and the title.
31' Just noticed: QPR's away shirts are red, so a team in red stands between Manchester City and their first Premier League title since 1968. If the Citizens are to paint England and Manchester sky blue, it's only right that they have to face their demons and beat a team in red.
34' Yaya is down and grabbing his hamstring, which isn't much of a concern. He was always second fiddle to Gareth Barry anyways.
35' The Olympics are coming to London and there's no word yet from the IOC on whether finger waving will be made an Olympic sport, but if it is, Mike Dean is sure to take home the gold. He will be booed at the medal ceremony. The Olympic spirit doesn't apply to clownfrauds. Or Ryan Lochte.
37' Yaya cannot walk, let alone run. We would call those requisites for playing football, but Jermaine Jenas is still a footballer.
39' GOAL CITY! Zabaleta mis-hit his shot for the corner flag and hit it at Kenny, who was so shocked that the shot was in his direction that he let it through his hands, off the post and into the net. Now City are bound for the title, which it took Mancini a bit to figure out. Thousands of pasty white men have taken off their shirts, turned their backs to Zabaleta losing what's left of his hair in a pileup, and begun jumping up and down before he pumped his fist.
40' Put your shirts on.
41' Bolton have leveled in Stoke, but they are behind QPR on goal difference so the Super Hoops are still set to stay up. For now.
43' City are pushing for another goal, which seems silly because they lead 79 possessions to 21 possessions.
44' "Kun Aguero" is the stupidest shirt in the Premier League. Well, except for Alan Hutton because Alan Hutton wears it. Either be Kun or be Aguero.
45' It's all gone wrong for QPR as Bolton has scored to drop the Super Hoops into the drop zone and Yaya has gone off for Nigel de Jong, leaving them to contend with Super Gareth Barry.
45+2 Someone go wake Hart up.
Halftime: It's been an "engrossing, gripping, undulating, entirely absorbing" half of football at Eastlands. Or it's been a bore at City. You can believe me or the announcer. Having a deep knowledge of myself, I'd recommend you believe the announcer.
46' Barton calls a foul on himself for kicking de Jong. The squirrel found its nut.
48' GOAL QPR! Lescott hits a gorgeous hitter right into the path of Cisse, who smashes it past Hart. You can't play a forward in any better than that. You can't put a price on that kind of touch and creativity, although City did at £22 million. United are the champions in waiting and QPR are out of the drop zone. Up Lescott!
51' Hill just isn't the same kind of talent Lescott is. He misses the goal by just a foot, ruining what would have been a sensational goal. Kenny did nothing, knowing he had no chance of saving that bullet. But he did look pleased with himself.
54' RED CARD! Somehow, some way, Dean has sent Barton off. He's taken the word of his assistant, who says Barton elbowed Tevez away from the ball. Barton responded by kneeing Aguero and headbutting Kompany. This all boils down to Dean's nonsense, who doesn't recognize that Barton just isn't that kind of player. And he got the ball. And there was no intent. And modern football has left no room for "real men." And Barton was just getting stuck in. And he just isn't that kind of player.
55' "He has destroyed Queens Park Rangers' prospects," the announcer says of Barton. Might as well turn this one off, right? Downton Abbey is on and Bates has just been arrested.
59' Cisse has been subbed off as punishment for his hair. That he's not been arrested and Bates has is criminal.
60' Kenny makes a remarkable save on Tevez! And another on Aguero! Unfortunately, we have not been provided a shot of him so we cannot confirm that he is pleased with himself, but we can confirm that QPR are somehow still alive. Unless you ask the announcer.
61' "This is drama in the raw.' I believe Katy Perry wrote a song about this announcer.
64' Mancini is crouched in front of the dugout, also unsure if this match is over. In Sunderland, Sir Alex Ferguson is (presumably) chomping away at his gum like a proper manager.
65' "I don't see how QPR mount an attack here." Confirmed: the match is over and the drama is, in fact, not raw.
66' GOAL QPR! Traore gets free down the left and hits a cross to the backpost, where Mackie is completely unmarked to nod home the goal that takes the title away from City. Hart, doing his best Joe Hart impression, is completely helpless as United grab a hold of the title. $20 to the first cameraman to find a City supporter crying ... they all win!
67' "It's yours, United. It's yours!," says the announcer, as well as the crying child on my television screen, who is well aware that the drama is very raw again.
69' Dzeko is coming on for Gareth Barry, who put in a good shift sprinting off the pitch.
72' The ball pinballs around the box before just missing the frame, and the ensuing corner results in a slew of blocks, cleared crosses and confirmation from our friend with the microphone that the match is very much on.
75' Balotelli to the rescue! He comes on for Tevez and like Cisse, he has a bleach blond faux hawk. Throw him in the same cell as Cisse and Bates.
76' The QPR supporters go wild, and you can hear them over the silence of the City supporters too. Stoke have equalized and if that 2-2 scoreline holds, Bolton will be down and QPR will be safe no matter what the Super Hoops do, but that is not reason for more pasty white men to take their shirts off.
77' Put your shirts back on.
78' Kenny keeps QPR in front! He denies Dzeko from up close, albeit while not actually looking at the ball, but he still looks pleased with himself.
82' A grown man is crying, throwing his jacket on the ground and kicking it. Football is wonderful and City supporters are the pinnacle of the sport.
83' QPR have gotten the ball out of their half for the first time in more than five minutes. They are awarded half a possession for that and now only trail City 102 possessions to -2 possessions.
84' Seriously, is this going to happen? Is City going to City so hard that they are going to lose to a team that has never won an away match in their history and lose the title? It would be unfair to call it Citying if this holds. It would be an entire new level of Citying deserving of its own word. Can City change their name so we can call it something new? Like Manchester LOL and we can call it LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLing.
85' ALERT: Joe Hart is taking throw-ins.
87' Silva eludes one QPR defender then another, but can't quite get a shot away and no one on his team is making himself available for a pass. Where is Gareth Barry when you need him?
88' Mancini has ditched the scarf! I repeat, Mancini has ditched the scarf. This isn't even football anymore. This is drama so raw, it's redacted.
89' Where is the picture-in-picture of Ferguson watching on the screen at Sunderland, chomping away at his gum with a smirk that says "we didn't even need a midfield to win the league from you, you adorable Citizens"?
90' City waste two consecutive corners and then Kenny makes a point-blank save to rob Balotelli. Kenny then collects another corner. That's 19 corners for City, none for QPR and one pleased-looking Kenny.
90+2 GOAL CITY! It's Dzeko who has made Ferguson skip a chew of his gum as he skies to head home a corner kick. The 20th one is the charm for City, who still need another goal to win, but it's not coming. This is history and to make it work, City had to almost avoid a spectacular collapse. That is done and now we can write in United's title and City's tears (we can also write in QPR's place in the Premier League again, as Bolton have drawn to guarantee they will go down and spare the Super Hoops).
90+3 Manchester United have won their match and have two hands on the trophy. Forget this one hand nonsense. We've seen this movie 19 times before. It's their title and the trophy is filled with the tears of City supporters.
You're shitting me.
90+5 Aguero has scored one minute from time. One minute from time on the season. One minute from time on the title chase. He did it. But they are still City and QPR has a goal in them. They must. For history.
CHAMPIONS! City have won the title, much to the delight of Cisse, who is celebrating with Cisse. What is this nonsense? History lies. Football lies. Logic lies. Real life lies.