Even the sun shone for Manchester City as the Premier League champions celebrated their long-awaited and dramatic title win with a euphoric victory parade on Monday. Twelve months ago Manchester Uniteds players needed umbrellas after it rained on their celebrations following a record 19th English championship.
But under clear skies,24 hours after an extraordinary 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers secured their first title for 44 years,Manchesters streets were transformed into a sea of blue as up to 100,000 City supporters lined the pavements. Not for the first time,however,Carlos Tevez clouded the issue, holding a banner saying RIP Fergie,a clear jibe at his former United manager Alex Ferguson,bringing a swift apology from his club.
The creation of the tasteless material is in itself reprehensible and in accepting and brandishing it,Carlos has made a significant error of judgment, a City spokesman was quoted as saying. The club wishes to express its sincerest apologies to Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United Football Club for any offence or distress caused. Tevez also apologised. I got carried away in the excitement of the moment and I certainly didnt mean any disrespect to Sir Alex Ferguson,who I admire as a man and a manager, he said.
Many fans on the two-mile route were too young to recall Citys last title triumph in 1967-68 when they finished two points clear of United. Others,with their team trailing QPR 2-1 in stoppage time,had poured out of the Etihad Stadium believing City had blown the title before late goals by Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero snatched it from Uniteds grasp on goal difference.
Uniteds consolation prize
If Manchester United needed any reminding of its supremacy after losing the English title to Manchester City,the Premier League provided it on Tuesday. Midfielder Ryan Giggs received the award for the top player in the Premier League’s history,and manager Alex Ferguson was announced as the top manager in the past 20 years.
Ferguson sidestepped the London ceremony two days after coming within touching distance of producing United’s 13th league title in 20 years. But Giggs was forced to receive his award next to the Premier League trophy,which was adorned in the blue and white ribbons of fierce foe City for the first time.