Manchester United: 10 Moments That Cost the Red Devils the Premier League

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 28, 2012

Manchester United: 10 Moments That Cost the Red Devils the Premier League

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    I know it won't change anything and I know it won't make anything better, but you can't blame a guy for trying—especially when he had to watch his fiercest rivals lift high the English Premier League trophy.

    As a professional football writer, I was glad that Manchester City finally won the title, but as a Manchester United supporter, I was absolutely devastated. To have come so far and finished so close but ended up with nothing—well, it sucked.

    And I don't know whether this is going to make it all feel better or worse, but I think we need to look back on the season and see just how close we were to winning the title.

    Let's look back and see the goals, decisions and brain-snaps (yes, I'm looking at you, Joey Barton) that cost the Red Devils their 20th English Premier League title.

    As I said, full credit to City—but man, were we close. To lose the league on goal difference shows just how close United were to the title and just how big these moments were to United's chances at glory.

    Read on to see just how close Manchester United were to claiming the Premier League in 2011-12.

10. Penalty Decision in City's Win over Chelsea

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    It was...

    1-0 to Chelsea with just under 15 minutes to play at the Etihad when Manchester City drew a foul from Michael Essien in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

    Yet according to some, the penalty shouldn't have been given at all. 

    Sergio Aguero finished the penalty, and City would score late through Samir Nasri to clinch a 2-1 victory and take all three championship points.


    It finished...

    Manchester City 2, Chelsea 1

9. Yaya Toure's Deflected Goal vs. Stoke City

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    It was...

    1-0 to Stoke City when Yaya Toure attempted a wild shot on goal from 30 yards or so out.

    The only problem was that Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross decided to put his melon in front of the ball and deflect it past his helpless goalkeeper.


    It finished...

    Stoke City 1, Manchester City 1

8. Adam Henley's Goal for Rovers vs. United

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    It was...

    Blackburn coming to Old Trafford.

    Blackburn Rovers—cellar dwellers and relegation battlers coming to football's biggest stage to do battle against Manchester United.

    After a dismal performance, United looked to have at least secured a point in a 2-2 draw before Adam Henley struck for Blackburn in the final 10 minutes to pull off the most unlikely of victories.


    It finished...

    Manchester United 2, Blackburn Rovers 3

7. Penalty in the Final Minute for City vs. Tottenham

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    It was...

    2-2 heading into injury time.

    That was until Mario Balotelli was brought down in the box and duly obliged from the spot to secure all three points for the hosts.


    It finished...

    Manchester City 3, Tottenham Hotspur 2

6. Shaun Maloney's Incredible Strike Against United

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    It was...

    Twelve matches since Manchester United had been beaten and five games since they'd conceded a single goal as the Red Devils had raced to an eight-point lead in the English Premier League.

    Late in the season, all that stood in the way of title No. 20 was an away trip to Wigan Athletic, who were fighting their way out of relegation.

    That, and one magnificent strike from Shaun Maloney.


    It finished...

    Wigan Athletic 1, Manchester United 0

5. City's Incredible Fight Back vs. Sunderland

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    It was...

    Manchester City 1, Sunderland 3 with seven minutes to go.


    It finished...

    Manchester City 3, Sunderland 3.

    I'm still not quite sure how it happened, but perhaps it was a revelation as to the success that Manchester City can have in the final minutes of play.

4. Vincent Kompany's Header in Derby Clash

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    It was...

    The rematch that would ultimately decide the Premier League—win or draw—and United would most likely be too tough to run down.

    Lose, and the title would go to Manchester City.

    With the Red Devils stacking defense and the Citizens tough to score against at home, only the one goal featured throughout the entire match.

    Unfortunately for United fans, it went to a player by the name of Vincent Kompany.


    It finished...

    Manchester City 1, Manchester United 0

3. Everton's Late Goals at Old Trafford

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    It was...

    Manchester United with a two-goal lead. And at home. And with five minutes to go. And against Everton. And with their premiership chances hanging in the balance.


    It finished...

    Manchester United 4, Everton 4.


2. Joey Barton Getting Himself Sent off Against Manchester City

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    It was...

    The moment that defined the Premier League season.

    Yes, you can argue that Joey Barton getting sent off forced Queens Park Rangers to attack and did result in City switching off in defense a couple of times, but it doesn't hold much weight.

    Especially not on the final day of the league with City needing to win to clinch the title and QPR needing to win or draw to avoid relegation. 

    Thanks for nothing, Joey Barton.


    It finished...

    Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 2

1. Sergio Aguero's Winning Goal Against QPR

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    It was...


    Two minutes away from the league title. We had it, and then we didn't.



    It finished...

    Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 2


    What do you think were the defining moments for Manchester United or Manchester City in the 2011-12 Premier League season? 

    Comment below or —