In Manchester, City poised to grab spotlight

Posted: May 12, 2012

LONDON - Manchester City always seems to be second best in its own backyard, like a little brother overshadowed by his bigger and stronger sibling.

In England's third-largest city, Manchester United always seems to one-up City.

What happened when City won its most recent English league title, in 1968? United beat Benfica to win the European Cup, club soccer's most prestigious trophy.

And in the 2000-01 season, when the Sky Blues were promoted to the English Premier League, after four years in lower divisions? The Red Devils won the top flight for the 14th of its 19 league titles.

But little brother looks set to come out on top Sunday in the world's most popular league. After decades of watching its biggest rival lift trophy after trophy, City can win the English Premier League crown, only its third league title in 132 years, in its final match of the season with a victory at home against struggling Queens Park Rangers.

Satisfyingly for City fans, there is almost no chance of a league title's being upstaged this time, because of United's failure to win the Champions League or either of England's domestic cup competitions. Instead, City can become English champion for the first time in 44 years and leave United empty-handed for the first time in seven seasons - a remarkable reversal.

Both City and United are 27-5-5 and have 86 points, but City has the advantage on goal difference.

Still, if City fails to beat QPR on Sunday, United can outdo its hometown rivals once more if it beats Sunderland on the road on the same day.

"We have one match left to play at home," said Yaya Toure, the driving force in City's midfield, "and we have to deliver."

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