Bloomberg News

Manchester Rivals Seek Title on Premier League Season’s Last Day

May 12, 2012

Manchester City looks to end 44 years of frustration at the expense of its biggest rival today when the title race goes down to the final game of the season in English soccer’s Premier League.

City tops the standings on a superior goal difference over defending champion Manchester United. The Blues host Queens Park Rangers needing only to match United’s result at Sunderland to win their first league championship since 1968. To add to the drama, QPR will be playing to avoid possible relegation.

“As a team, I think it’s going to be without a doubt the most important game we’ve ever played in,” defender Pablo Zabaleta said on City’s website. “We’re only 90 minutes away from making history for this club.”

United, which has won a record 19 English titles, led City by eight points with six games remaining. The Blues have since won five straight, including 1-0 over United April 30, to take the lead.

“I still believe we can win this title,” United defender Patrice Evra said on the club’s website. “We have no choice but to believe.”

QPR, led by former Manchester City manager and Manchester United player Mark Hughes, are two points ahead of Bolton, which play at Stoke, in the race to avoid the three relegation places. Wolverhampton and Blackburn have already been assured of dropping to the second-tier Championship next season.

Also being decided are the Premier League’s final two places in the Champions League. The top three teams in the standings automatically qualify for Europe’s elite club competition, while the fourth-place finisher enters a playoff.

Third-place Arsenal leads Tottenham by one point and Newcastle by two. The Gunners visit West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham hosts Fulham and Newcastle is at Everton.

In the day’s other games, Chelsea hosts Blackburn, Aston Villa is at Norwich, Liverpool visits Swansea and Wigan meets Wolves.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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