With City trailing 2-1 to 10-man Queens Park Rangers heading into stoppage time at the Etihad and Manchester United winning 1-0 at Sunderland, the title looked destined to be heading to Old Trafford for the second successive season.
But substitute Edin Dzeko handed Mancini’s men a lifeline when he nodded home in the 92nd minute, before Sergio Aguero scored two minutes later to end City’s 44-year wait for a top-flight crown and spark wild celebrations at Eastlands.
“This is a great day for City and most of all for the supporters,” said Mancini.
“It has been 44 years since this club last had their hands on the title and everyone at City knows that is too long. We did it the hard way but I am told that is the City way
“The supporters have never lost faith or patience – even in the last five minutes today – and we are so pleased that this season, we have delivered some history for them.
“Manchester United is a great club and a great opponent and to have come out on top in a fight for the title with them is fantastic.”
Mancini believes City showcased their fighting spirit during their 3-2 FA Cup loss to Manchester United back in January, when his side almost completed a memorable comeback from three goals down.
“We have been strong in our legs and in our minds,” he continued. “Sometimes you learn things in defeat and I saw something special in the 3-2 FA Cup defeat by United in January.
“The players kept their feet on the ground and worked so hard all season and in these last weeks.”
“Every week the ground is full and the noise for the team is huge. I have said many times this season that no one should underestimate the help that players get from having a crowd supporting them in this way. It drives us on when things are possible not going so well.
“Our form here at the Etihad Stadium has been fantastic this season.
“I am so proud of the players too. They fought hard all season and now can see the rewards.
“Hopefully this will be just the start of days like this. We set out to make history and that is what we have done.”
The Citizens will travel through the city in an open-top bus parade on Monday, starting at 1830BST at Albert Square.
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