Waves of light blue crashed around the stands of the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City fans bounced up and down, colliding into one another in their delirium.
Over in Sunderland, Manchester United fans stood shell-shocked despite their team’s 1-0 victory, frozen by one of the most dramatic conclusions that the English Premier League has ever witnessed, as their title hopes evaporated.
This was a finale no Hollywood script writer would have imagined credible.
With City trailing 2-1 in the 92nd minute but requiring victory over Queens Park Rangers to win its first Premier League title in 44 years, Edin Dzeko equalized.
Then, at 93:20 in the last minute of the game, a composed Sergio Aguero weaved his way through the frantic QPR defense and fired in a winner to secure victory and clinch the 2011/12 Premier League. Cue bedlam.
Now 10 years on, Aguero’s goal has been immortalized in the form of a statue outside the Etihad Stadium.
It caps a bittersweet season for Aguero who was forced to retire in December after suffering chest pains during Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Alavés. He was later diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia.
“Truthfully, it is a very beautiful thing for me, to see myself 10 years ago is very moving,” Aguero said of the statute, which was unveiled on Friday as part of a series of events and activities organized by Manchester City to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its remarkable Premier League title win.
Illuminated by blue light at night and wrought from galvanized steel, the statue was designed and created by renowned sculptor Andy Scott in his studio in Philadelphia.
It captures the precise moment that Aguero took his shirt off and waved it around his head in celebration.
Scott’s sculptures are made from galvanized steel and include structures such as ‘The Kelpies’ – two 30-meter high steel horseheads situated near Falkirk, Scotland.
“It has been an honor to work on a project that means so much to Manchester City fans around the world in celebration of such an important player in the life of this football club,” Scott said.
“I was under no illusions about how important this was to the Club, to the fans, to Sergio himself and I hope that this statue brings joy and happiness to all who see it.”
Aguero’s statue joins those of Vincent Kompany and David Silva commemorating City’s first league title-winning team since 1968.
During his time in Manchester, Aguero scored 184 goals in 275 Premier League appearances, becoming the club’s all-time top scorer and the fourth highest in Premier League history.
“In those 10 years I was able to win a lot of trophies and was able to help the Club become one of the most important in the world,” said the 33-year-old Argentine.
“I am very grateful to the Club for making this statue in recognition of my football career in Manchester. It is something very special.”
Aguero joined Barcelona in the summer of 2021 on a free transfer but made just five appearances for the Spanish club before his premature retirement.
Since winning in 2012, Man City has won the Premier League four more times – including three of the last four championships.
It currently sits on the precipice of a fifth title; three points clear of second-placed Liverpool with a superior goal difference and just two matches remaining.