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City wins English title for first time in 44 years
- Aguero signs new Man City contract
- Platini wants a Euro sports police
- Townsend charged with betting breaches
- Coaches Phelan, Steele leave Man Utd
- Ferdinand signs new one-year United deal
- Man Utd refinance high-interest debt
- City rallies from 3 down to beat Chelsea
- Pellegrini confirms Malaga departure
- Pulis leaves as Stoke manager
- Mourinho to leave Real Madrid
By ROB HARRIS
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester City staged a dramatic fightback to win the English title for the first time in 44 years on Sunday, scoring twice in stoppage time to clinch a 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers.
Sergio Aguero netted the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time - shortly after Edin Dzeko's equalizer - to snatch the trophy from holder Manchester United on goal difference. The 2011 champions had looked set to defend the title when its game at Sunderland ended in a 1-0 win.
"I don't think I've ever seen a finale like this," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "We didn't deserve to lose, we had a lot of chances and we deserved to win the game and championship. It's fantastic for the club and the supporters after 44 years. It's been a crazy season and a crazy last minute."
It was the first time the English title was decided in such dramatic circumstances since 1989, when Arsenal and Liverpool finished level on points and had the same goal difference, and the Gunners won the title on total goals.
City won the title for the first time since 1968 after overturning the eight-point lead United held five weeks ago. The two Manchester rivals have traded places atop the standings all season, and continued to do so up until the final minutes of the final day.
City took a 1-0 lead into halftime, but then went down 2-1 after the break despite QPR captain Joey Barton being sent off in the 55th.
"I never stopped believing," City captain Vincent Kompany said. "When Edin scored that goal, it reminded me of so many other moments during the season when we've done this before. There was no reason not to believe.
"It's not sunk in yet. I don't know what happened at the end, it was just a huge mess."
Pablo Zabaleta put City in front in the 39th minute on Sunday, but Djibril Cisse leveled for QPR three minutes into the second half after being gifted possession by Joleon Lescott.
Barton was then sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez, but Jamie Mackie managed to head the visitors in front in the 66th.
City's expensively assembled squad was facing its first loss at home since December 2010 until Dzeko sparked the recovery by heading in a corner in the second minute of stoppage time.
There was still time for one final moment of drama in an unpredictable season when Aguero drove home the winner.
As the final whistle blew, thousands of City fans poured onto the pitch and blue smoke wafted around the stadium.
City's title comes after more than a $1 billion of investment by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour, who took over the financially stricken club from ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September 2008.
"It was really important to start winning this championship," Mancini said. "Manchester City can have a big future now."
The pitch was covered in confetti from the start and all the action was in QPR's half, although the nervy hosts couldn't find the goal against a relegation-threatened club.
Yaya Toure fired over and David Silva struck tamely at goalkeeper Paddy Kenny before news filtered through of Wayne Rooney putting 19-time champion United ahead at Sunderland and top of the standings.
City couldn't find space to break down a QPR side that had lost six consecutive away matches and hadn't won on the road since December.
City finally broke QPR's resistance when Kenny flapped at Zabaleta's 39th-minute shot while on his knees and palmed the ball over himself into the net.
A blunder by City then nearly led to them throwing away the title.
Lescott went to make a simple headed clearance but instead knocked the ball backward and Cisse was primed to seize on the defender's mistake by driving a shot past Joe Hart.
City's task seemed to be made easier when Barton lost his cool and threw an elbow at Carlos Tevez as a cross came into the penalty area from Zabaleta.
The QPR captain was seething after receiving the red card by referee Mike Dean and kneed Sergio Aguero as he left the pitch, as players from both sides to placate the raging player, who had to be dragged off the pitch.
Despite City enjoying the man advantage, QPR went in front on a rare counterattack.
Armand Traore was given the space to go down the left flank before picking out the unmarked Jamie Mackie in the penalty area and he sent a downward header past Hart.
While QPR collapsed in stoppage time, the London club managed to avoid relegation after Bolton was held to a 2-2 draw at Stoke.
Updated May 13, 2012