By JOHN BOSCHINI
At the kickoff of Survival Sunday in England, most believed that Manchester City would be champions for the first time since 1968. What they couldn't have predicted, however, was the hysteria that was to follow over the next couple of hours.
Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero scored in second-half stoppage time to give Manchester City a thrilling 3-2 victory over Queens Park Rangers to capture the Premier League championship in heart-stopping fashion. Pablo Zabaleta had put City ahead in the first half and it looked to be all over but QPR turned in a heroic performance and took a 2-1 lead despite the sending off of Joey Barton. Dzeko headed in a corner to give City hope and Aguero took advantage of an exhausted and shorthanded QPR defense by pouncing on a loose ball and firing it past Paddy Kenny.
The jubilation felt around the Etihad Stadium was in stark contrast to the crushing disappointment felt by the traveling Manchester United fans at the Stadium of Light. The Red Devils beat Sunderland 1-0 and were moments away from their 20th league title when the news of City's result came through. Instead of celebrating as champions, the Red Devils were left empty-handed.
In Italy, Juventus concluded their Serie A season with a 3-1 over Atalanta and became the first team to finish a season unbeaten since the league expanded to 20 teams. Alessandro Del Piero bid farewell to the club after 19 years with a goal in the first half. After being subbed off at the hour mark, Del Piero acquiesced to the fans' request and embarked on a lap of honor before the game concluded.
Juventus still have a Coppa Italia final left to play against Napoli in Rome next weekend.
Here is a look back at all the results from a wild weekend around Europe:
There won't be a fan base more apprehensive over the next week than the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Fulham coupled with Newcastle's loss to Everton puts Harry Redknapp's team in fourth place. Normally, that would be enough to earn a place in the Champions League next season, but if Chelsea win on Saturday in this season's UCL final, the Blues automatically qualify and only the top three league finishers will play in Europe's premiere competition next season. Arsenal's come-from-behind victory over West Bromwich Albion secured the Gunners a third-place finish and an automatic place in the Champions League.
Bolton was unable to take advantage of QPR's late-game collapse and will play in the League Championship next season after a 2-2 draw with Stoke. Jon Walters equalized from the spot with 13 minutes left on the clock. Bolton needed a win in order to move past QPR into 17th place and avoid relegation.
PREMIER LEAGUE SCOREBOARD
Chelsea 2, Blackburn Rovers 1
Everton 3, Newcastle United 1
Manchester City 3, Queens Park Rangers 2
Norwich City 2, Aston Villa 0
Stoke City 2, Bolton Wanderers 2
Sunderland 0, Manchester United 1
Swansea City 1, Liverpool 0
Tottenham Hotspur 2, Fulham 0
West Bromwich Albion 2, Arsenal 3
Wigan Athletic 3, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
CHAMPION: Manchester City
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham/Chelsea
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Newcastle (Tottenham as well if Chelsea wins UCL final)
RELEGATED: Bolton, Blackburn, Wolverhampton
The steep and rapid decline for Villarreal came to a heartbreaking conclusion on Sunday as a late goal saw the Yellow Submarine relegated for the first time in a decade. After starting the season in the Champions League, Villarreal's fate was sealed when Falcao scored in the 88th minute to give Atletico Madrid a 1-0 victory. The win wasn't enough to give Atletico fourth place, as Malaga's comfortable 1-0 victory saw them clinch a Champions League spot.
Real Zaragoza jumped to safety on the final day with a 2-0 victory over Getafe. Barcelona failed to send Pep Guardiola out with a victory in his final league game, but Lionel Messi did officially wrap up the La Liga scoring title with an astounding 50 goals on the season.
Real Madrid capped off their tremendous season, coasting to a 4-1 victory over Mallorca to become the first team in league history to reach the 100-point plateau.
LA LIGA SCOREBOARD
Real Sociedad 1, Valencia 0
Real Betis 2, Barcelona 2
Espanyol 1, Sevilla FC 1
Getafe 0, Real Zaragoza 2
Levante 3, Athletic Bilbao 0
Malaga 1, Sporting Gijon 0
Racing Santander 2, Osasuna 4
Rayo Vallecano 1, Granada 0
Real Madrid 4, Mallorca 1
Villarreal 0, Atletico Madrid 1
CHAMPION: Real Madrid
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Atletico Madrid, Levante
RELEGATED: Villarreal, Sporting Gijon, Racing Santander
With the final month of the season highlighted by a furious fight for third place, Udinese emerged from the chaos to book a place in next season's Champions League. A 2-0 victory over Catania was enough to hold off Napoli's late season charge, while Lazio ended their season on a high note by beating Inter Milan, who will miss out on Europe altogether after finishing a forgettable season in sixth place.
Lecce was officially relegated to Serie B with a 1-0 loss to Chievo Verona.
SERIE A SCOREBOARD
AC Milan 2, Novara 1
Fiorentina 0, Cagliari 0
Juventus 3, Atalanta 1
Cesena 2, AS Roma 3
Parma 1, Bologna 0
Catania 0, Udinese 2
Chievo Verona 1, Lecce 0
Genoa 2, Palermo 0
Lazio 3, Inter Milan 1
Napoli 2, Siena 1
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Juventus, AC Milan, Udinese
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE: Lazio, Napoli
RELEGATED: Lecce, Novara, Cesena
Montpellier are on the brink of their first-ever Ligue 1 title following a 1-0 win over defendign champion and third-place Lille. A win or draw next week against last-place Auxerre will be enough to wrap up the title. Paris Saint-Germain kept their dwindling title hopes alive with a 3-0 win over Stade Rennes.
Sochaux is out of the relegation zone with their second consecutive win and is up to 15th in the table. AC Ajaccio dropped into 18th place despite a 1-1 draw with Lyon. The two are among six teams separated by one point in the fight to stave off relegation with one game remaining in the season.
LIGUE 1 SCOREBOARD
AC Ajaccio 1, Lyon 1
AS Nancy Lorraine 3, St Etienne 2
Bordeaux 1, Lorient 0
Brest 1, Valenciennes 0
Caen 1, Sochaux 3
Dijon FCO 1, Toulouse 1
Marseille 3, AJ Auxerre 0
Montpellier 1, Lille 0
Nice 1, Evian Thonon Gaillard 1
Paris Saint-Germain 3, Stade Rennes 0
Borussia Dortmund capped off another memorable season in by adding the DFB Pokal crowd to their Bundesliga title with a 5-2 thrashing of Bayern Munich in the German Cup final.
Shinji Kagawa opened the scoring in the third minute, and Robert Lewandowski put things out of reach with a hat trick to help Dortmund add another piece of silverware to the trophy case.
What do you think of this weekend's fixtures? Was City's victory the most exciting in history? What other results stood out for you from this wild weekend? Can Montpellier hold out for the French title?
Share your thoughts below.