Agueroooooooooooooooo, I was there!
If you look closely, as Sergio Aguero is running bare-chested down the touchline at the Etihad, you'll see a tartan bonnet with a ginger wig bouncing up and down. A the moment that the Art of Football concept was born, I was hugging those around me who I'd sat with through the barren years supporting Manchester City.
We have a saying at City, "Typical City" - meaning a way of messing things up when everything is in your favour. Man City once won the title only to be relegated the following season. Manchester City once scored over 100 goals only to concede 100 goals in the same season. "Typical City" is the art of making life difficult.
The Agueroooo QPR game was "Typical City", in fact the season was typical City.
City started the season like an express train and didn't lose in the league until December 12th. That run included a 5-1 away to Spurs and (more importantly) beating Man United 6-1 at Old Trafford, in a game that will always be remembered for Mario Balotelli's "Why always me?" t-shirt celebration.
By April though, a 5 game run containing only 1 victory had meant Manchester United had an 8 point advantage over their now not so noisey neighbours. Typical City! Having been so good we were now consigned to 2nd place with 6 games to play.
The five games before the QPR game resulted in 5 straight wins, including a second win of the season against Man United. Captain Vincent Kompany's commanding header at a corner gave us the 3 points. This together win United's own drop in form meant that City went into the final game knowing a win would give us the title. Not Typical City!
The QPR game started perfectly, on a warm sunny spring day, with adopted Mancunian Pablo Zabaleta slotting home to give Man City the lead. City to win at a canter! Very unTypical City.
Remember though Typical City builds you up to knock you down and QPR pulled a goal back with their 1st shot of the game. The ex-City legend Shaun Wright Phillips punted the ball upfield enabling Djibril Cisse to score. City continued to press for a winner and then QPR scored again. If it can go wrong , it will go wrong - Typical City.
As the minutes passed, my mind began to wander. Perhaps I was mentally preparing myself for the disaster that was unfolding before me. We'd been brilliant at the start of the season, then rubbish, then brilliant in clawing our way back into contention. I sat there numb, unable to speak, this wasn't meant to happen.
I'd been here before. At Wembley in 1999, when Man City had been in the 3rd flight of English football. That season was the first I'd worn my ginger wig. I'd worn it as a joke the 1st game of the season and we'd won. I've worn it to every game since. In the playoff final City were 2-nil down going into 5 minutes of injury time. Again I was numb, quiet, anger etched on my face but City had scored twice to go to penalties and gain promotion. Could City do it again but winning a bigger prize?
As I sat watching the QPR game at the Etihad, City were now attacking the end where I sat. A corner taken by David Silva, from the side where I sit, was headed home by 'the Bosnian Diamond' Edin Dzeko. We were 1 minute into 5 minutes of stoppage time. Typical City - so near but yet so far.
QPR kicked off and Shaun Wright Phillips, (remember this guy is a Man City legend, who's £22 million transfer fee probably saved Manchester City from going bankrupt in the early 2000's) took the ball into City's half and won a throw in. City didn't have time for this!
City won the ball back on the edge of their own area 90 yards from the goal the ball needed to be in!
A pass to De Jong, a dribble upfield and a pass to Aguero, who had dropped deep. QPR were camped across the front of their penalty box. I looked on shaking of my fists, and crying "come on", oblivious to the fact that everyone else in the stadium was doing the same. Aguero turned and threaded the ball through to the heavily marked Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli, being dragged to the floor, managed to turn the ball into the penalty area, where Aguero had run on. Sergio picked the ball up, stayed on his feet and blasted the ball past Paddy Kenny! Un-Typical City had won the league!
Whilst you were all hearing Martin Tyler say "I swear you'll never see anything like this ever again! So watch it! Drink it in!", I was jumping around like a mad man. Screaming myself horse. Manchester City, my Manchester City, Typical Manchester City had won the league!
It was only when watching the match the next day that I heard the now famous Aguerooooooooooooo moment from Martin Tyler. That moment of TV gold has been replayed time and time again. Art of Football's founders are not even Man City fans but that moment sparked an idea that was to become Art of Football and it is only fitting that that Aguero moment is captured on not one, but two of their prints and t-shirts.
The Agueroooo design captures the moment the ball left Aguero's foot
See the print See the t-shirt
The Last Minute t-shirt is featured in Mancitygifts.com's Aguero: 9 ways to remember that goal