Under the legendary manager Sir Alex Fergusson, Manchester United has won so many honours. The just-ended season for the English Premier League was a chance for them to win the 20th league title in history.
There is another club in Manchester, even though not as glamorous and successful. Manchester City last won the league title in 1968 and recently invested a lot of money to rebuild the club to start a new chapter and new phase in their history. That investment began to show signs of harvest during the just-ended season.
Manchester City was top team on league tables for the larger part of the season while Manchester United displaced them momentarily a couple of times. But towards the end of the league, it appeared as if Manchester City had lost their rare chance to win the next league title since they last had it 44 years ago.
With just nine games to go before the end of the league, Manchester United overtook Manchester City and went on to open up a gap of up to eight points ahead of Manchester City.
Many followers and admirers of Manchester City started to give up while more had already given up until Manchester City started to narrow the eight point-gap gradually until they were level with Manchester United with two games to go before the season would wind up – giving them the top rank as they had a better goal difference record.
The last two games for Manchester City must have been a very delicate affair. I can imagine how tensed up both the players and manager were at the thought of the possibility of losing the golden chance to make history in 44 years. They won the next game against Newcastle, although with a lot more effort than would have ordinarily been expected of a club that has demolished bigger clubs with big goal margins.
But the big battle was not yet won. Just before the final matches where Manchester United played Sunderland and Manchester City played Queens Park Rangers (QPR), the two neighbouring clubs of Manchester were still level on points, but Manchester City was hanging on to their top rank thanks to the superior goal difference record.
At this stage, the odds were against Manchester United as they had to score close to 10 goals to win the title, with the assumption that Manchester City would also win their final match with a small goal margin.
But as the two games went by, it was looking like Manchester United were destined to win the league again because they were winning while Manchester City was lagging by up to two goals to one for a good period of the later part of the second half. Some fans started to leave the stadium in total frustration as the clock hit 89 minutes with Manchester United maintaining the lead and amassing the much needed three points against Sunderland while Manchester City was still losing.
But the Manchester City players and their manager seem not to have lost hope. They kept fighting every minute and second until the final whistle. This attitude, spirit and drive paid big dividend because in the last five dying minutes of the game, deep into â€˜injuryâ€™ time, Manchester City scored the much-needed two goals and clinched the title.
How many times have we fought to the very last minute, to the very last second of the battle for the big prize we want? How many times have we given up before the final whistle because we think the battle is finished before it is actually over? No battle is finished until it is over. Fight to the very end!