Pablo Zabaleta doesn’t just describe it as the greatest moment of the Premier League era.
The former Manchester City defender believes the goal scored by Sergio Aguero to win the title in 2012 will NEVER be surpassed in terms of pure drama.
Aguero has announced that he will be leaving the Etihad at the end of the season after a decade when he became the club’s record goalscorer.
It’s clear that his injury-time strike against QPR will define his time in England.
Zabaleta also scored that day – he calls his effort in the 3-2 win “the forgotten goal.”
And as he looked back on the day when City snatched the title away from bitter rivals United by striking twice in injury-time, the Argentine says he just knew that when Mario Balotelli poked the ball into Aguero’s path with 93 minutes and 20 seconds on the clock, history was about to be made.
Zabaleta said: “If there was one player in the world I could have chosen to be in that position at that moment it would have been Sergio Aguero.
“As soon as I saw Sergio take his first touch, it felt like everything had stood still.
“For a split second the stadium seemed to go quiet. Maybe the fans had stopped breathing.
“I think a lot of players would have gone down from the final challenge by the QPR defender (Taye Taiwo).
“But not Sergio. He always tries his best to stand up because for him it is all about trying to score.
“It would never have entered his thoughts to go down and hope for a penalty.
“I just knew he would score. No doubts. He had been brought to the club to win the big trophies and there was not a chance that the ball would not be in the net.
“Then it all went crazy. Really, really crazy. It still makes me smile thinking about it.”
Aguero, 32, arrived from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 in a £38million deal.
He scored twice after coming on as a substitute in his debut against Swansea.
Aguero has hit 257 goals in 384 appearances for the Blues during a period when he has helped them win four titles, the FA Cup and five League Cups. His final campaign could bring the quadruple.
Zabaleta, who spent nine years with City before signing for West Ham in 2017, insists the striker’s Mancunian legacy will be remembered all around the world.
Zabaleta said: “It has to be the greatest Premier League moment ever – in fact, I don’t see how it will be beaten.
“People will talk about that game forever – and not just Manchester City fans.
“I have watched it back on TV so many times. When they split the screen and you see United had won at Sunderland and for a few seconds believed they were champions.
“Their fans were celebrating and then….unbelievable.
“When QPR were winning going into injury-time, we all thought it was finished.
“But you keep going. What else is there to do? Give up?
“When Edin Dzeko equalised, there was no time to think. We just had to get the ball back and find one more chance.
“Then it happened.”
Zabaleta added: “After beating United and Newcastle to go to the top of the league, most people outside the club thought it was all over.
“But QPR were fighting for their lives and we knew it would not be an easy game.
“Everyone told us it was the perfect scenario, playing at home against a team at the bottom, but we were so nervous.
“Everybody remembers the goals by Dzeko and Aguero and forget that I scored the first.
“It’s the forgotten goal – and it was not the best shot, to be honest.
“It was my first goal of the season and I was sat in the dressing room at half-time thinking ‘if we can keep a clean sheet then I will be the hero.’
“Of course, it didn’t turn out like that. It was made for Sergio Aguero.”