What if: Sergio Aguero hadn't scored that goal in the 2011-12 season
It is the 94th minute of the match. Manchester City vs QPR. Final matchday of the 2011-12 Premier League season. The score is currently 2-2.
As things stand, Manchester United will take home the title after their away win against Sunderland. With a block of defenders in front of him, Sergio Aguero lays the ball off to Balotelli and continues his run looking for a one-two. Balotelli holds the defender off with his strength and finds Aguero, whose first touch takes him away from the desperate sliding challenge, and he sets himself up for a shot...............
AAANDD THE GOALKEEPER KEEPS IT OUT!!
Paddy Kenny is able to parry the shot away for a corner, and QPR manage to clear the danger from the ensuing corner. The referee blows the final whistle, and the City players can't believe it. They sink to the ground in despair, and boos reverberate around the Etihad Stadium.
City had faltered at the last moment and failed to seize the opportunity to win their first title in 44 years.
Of course we know that's not what happened! Aguero tucked away the chance and celebrated wildly with City fans around the world, marking a historic moment for the club under Sheikh Mansour. But in this segment of our "What-if" series, we examine a world where Aguero didn't score "that" goal. How different things would have been?
#1 Robin Van Persie would have stayed at Arsenal
Ferguson picked up his phone in 2012 and made the famous call that reportedly made Wenger agree reluctantly to sell Van Persie to their direct rivals United. Van Persie chose the number 20 shirt, claiming that he was aiming to help Manchester United win their 20th league title. Next season, they did indeed cruise on to achieve exactly that.
It was clear Ferguson was annoyed at having lost out on the title to City due to goal difference. Securing Van Persie was a direct move to boost their goal-scoring numbers, and they went on to score 20 goals more than City the next season.
However, cast a glance at the forward options United already had at the time – Rooney, Welbeck, Javier Hernandez – and you wouldn't really have thought they needed another forward. In our parallel world, Ferguson wins the title in 2012 and decides there are other areas of the squad that need more attention. After all, they had scored 89 goals in 2011-12; not a paltry figure by any means.
Van Persie would have stayed at Arsenal. Even though interest from Manchester City would have turned his head, he would decide against joining a club who had just an FA Cup as yet to show for their renaissance under the new ownership.