The abiding memory is not Joey Barton losing it and reducing Rangers to 10 after 55 minutes - but Clint Hill beating the turf in abject frustration when he thought Hoops were relegated in the final seconds.

The defender is the one likely survivor to feature on Saturday from this most dramatic of games.

He vividly recalls his torment when Sergio Aguero scored the City winner that won them the Premier League for the first time in 44 years, and appeared to have condemned Rs to the Championship.

All's well that ends well: Mackie celebrates with fans on the final whistle

“Yeah, of course I thought we were relegated - there were five or six of us who thought we were,” he said.

“When the ball went in the back of the net, I thought we had missed our chance by letting City back in it.”

Hill was in the box vainly trying to throw his body in the way of Aguero’s shot.

Out on the touchline, Jamie Mackie was picking up the news a Jonathan Walters penalty for Stoke had cancelled Bolton’s lead at The Britannia and sent the Trotters down instead.

“Looking back it, I think there were three or four of the team knew we were up three of four minutes before the end. I didn’t. But when I found out just after Aguero had scored, I went from devastation to ecstatic in the space of 30 seconds,” said Hill.

The game is what you want all football matches to be - provided you were a neutral.

Dreamland! Mackie after he puts Rs 2-1 ahead with only 10 men

Pablo Zabaleta gave City the lead before half time, but the rampaging Djibril Cisse frayed home nerves when he levelled on 48 minutes.

Barton got involved in the fracas that would see him banned for a record 12 games and shipped off to Marseille the following season. Against the odds. Mackie’s brave far post header 11 minutes later handed the initiative back to Rangers. The despair on home faces was absolute because the title was going to the bitter rivals down the road at Old Trafford.

Cue Edin Dzeko’s header as the clock wound down; Aguero’s calm finish under pressure; Hill’s attempt to dig a hole in the pitch and disappear into it, only to realise the action at Stoke had postponed cardiac arrests all over W12.

                      

This is how the BBC listed the minute-by-minute action:

20 mins: Wayne Rooney sends Man Utd two points clear at the top by giving his side a 1-0 lead at Sunderland.

39 mins: Silence turns to bedlam at Etihad Stadium as Pablo Zabaleta puts Man City ahead against QPR back on top on goal difference.

48 mins: Advantage United. Djibril Cisse stuns City with an equaliser and it is all change at the top again. Sir Alex Ferguson's side are two points clear with 42 minutes of normal time to go in the season.

66 mins: City are capitulating. After Joey Barton is sent off for QPR, Jamie Mackie puts the Londoners ahead against all the odds. United, now three points clear with 24 minutes of normal time remaining, dare to dream.

Mac attack: Jamie Mackie and Bobby Zamora watch the latter's header hit the net

90 + 2 mins: Lifeline for City. Edin Dzeko levels for City but United are still leading and remain two points clear with just moments left.

90 + 5 mins: Man Utd win at Sunderland but City are still playing. And City despair turns to delirium as Sergio Aguero scores a last-gasp winner. It is utter heartbreak for United fans at the Stadium of Light, though, as news filters through of the late drama. Game over. City win title and become the first team to do so on goal difference since Arsenal pipped Liverpool in 1989.

With 89 points, Man Utd set a new record for most points in a 38-game Premier League season without topping the league

Man City: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Joleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Gareth Barry (Edin Dzeko 69), Gael Clichy, David Silva, Yaya Toure (Nigel De Jong 44), Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez (Mario Balotelli 75)

QPR: Paddy Kenny, Nedum Onuoha, Clint Hill, Taye Taiwo, Anton Ferdinand, Shaun Derry, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jamie Mackie, Djibril Cisse (Armand Traore 59), Bobby Zamora (Jay Bothroyd 76)

Referee: Mike Dean

Att: 47,435

Keep up to date with all the build-up, matchday and post-game reaction to QPR v Manchester City right here on GetWestLondon