Roberto Mancini hailed Manchester City's late heroics as a "crazy finish for a crazy season". City's 3-2 victory beat Manchester United, their cross-town rivals, to the championship by a goal difference of eight. Mancini, though, was unsure if this marked a power shift. "We are happy because we won this trophy after 44 years," he said. "Now it's important that we start to win a second title. We need to recover and after next year we can talk about the future.
"We need to improve. In two years we have improved a lot as a team. We need to improve when we play in the Champions League. This year we weren't ready. This is an incredible moment. We wanted this title and we deserve to win this title. This is for all our supporters, the club, the chairman and the owner. This is the perfect finale for a crazy season. We dominated this season for 28 games but, when we beat a team like United twice in one season, we deserve this.
"Five minutes from the end I didn't think we'd win this game. But we deserved to win this and deserved to win the title. We were on top for 20 games. I think for us it was really important to start winning this championship. Manchester City can have a big future now.
"Fergie said he's too young to retire; we're happy he has three years left. I hope we can continue to win. In two or three years maybe he can have 10 years less," he said in reference to the United manager stating that the challenge of City was making him feel younger than his 70 years.
After a clock on the big screen inside the Etihad had counted back from 44 to zero to mark the end of City's title drought and Vincent Kompany lifted the Premier League trophy Mancini said: "I think it was a crazy finish for a crazy season. I have never seen a final day like this. The best team won the title. I think we played the best football, conceded less goals, scored more goals, beat United two times.
"When you beat them and score more goals and concede less goals, we deserve to win. In the history of the club a final day like this does not exist. No, never. I am very proud for my players because they wanted to win this title. They worked hard for this, they wanted to win this title until the last second of the last game. To beat a strong team like United is fantastic. We changed the history of this club. For this we should be proud. All our supporters deserve this."
With Manchester United leading Sunderland 1-0 and, despite Joey Barton's 55th-minute red card, City needed two late goals in the final five minutes of added time to secure the championship.
Edin Dzeko equalised in the 92nd minute before Sergio Agüero scored the winner. "I thought Mario [Balotelli] was going to have a go himself but he just moved it on one more and it fell at my feet and my only thought was to hit the target and it went in," the striker said. "For sure it was the most important goal of my career, you score a goal in the last minute to win the title, I'm not sure that is ever going to happen again."
Vincent Kompany, the City captain, said: "It was one of the best moments of my life, together with the birth of my child and together with the wedding. This game was crazy. There are no words to describe what happened today. I can just remember QPR shooting on goal twice and it was bang, goal. We are champions but it's not about coming here for money and all these stories we've heard. We've dreamed of this all our lives, when we were kids and we had no money, we had nothing. Miracles do happen in Manchester but on this side of the road, this time. I just remember jumping on top of Sergio when he scored the goal. He was crying on the floor, other guys were pouring their eyes out, strong personalities who you don't see get emotional often and all of a sudden it was finished."
Mancini's father, Aldo, who suffered a heart attack two years ago, was at the match, and the manager joked that the breathless finish had not been the best for either of them. "It's better to win five minutes before. It's very hard. It's the first time and I hope next year we win one more game to the end. My father is OK. After we scored I was afraid for his heart. After this I feel 90 years old. It's incredible, you cannot think of a final like this. That would be impossible.
Pablo Zabaleta said: "When we were losing 2-1, I thought we were going to lose. But right now I'm dreaming and I don't want to wake up. Everyone deserves this and I'm so proud of these players. When you believe in yourself you win."