As Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated a 13th Premier League title with Manchester United with four games to spare, Roberto Mancini, manager of Manchester City, would no doubt have been feeling quite contrasting emotions.
Despite the club's superior financial strength and a squad full of world-class players, City have surrendered their league title without so much as a whimper.
True, they did win the personal battle with their fierce rivals last week, beating United 2-1 at Old Trafford; however, the title race was very much a foregone conclusion by that stage, so little can be derived from that result.
So what lies ahead for Manchester City? There is no doubt that they can still challenge for honours, as evident by their participation in the F.A. Cup final still to come.
Furthermore, with several of their key players such Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero signed up on long-term contracts, it is clear that City will still have the ability to give Manchester United pause for thought next season as well.
Yet there seems to be something missing which was so clear to see in their title winning campaign of last season.
Lets look back at the weekend's game against Tottenham, a match which encapsulated Manchester City's season. They led and dominated for the first 70 minutes of the game, a period that was undone in six minutes, with Spurs scoring three times.
According to the Manchester Evening News, City keeper Joe Hart is adamant that this was down to "taking our foot off the gas", a folly of which City have been culpable on many occasions this season.
One issue that is very much up in the air is the position of Roberto Mancini. A barren season will naturally count against him and his credibility to be manager of Manchester City, but even if he win the F.A. Cup against Wigan next month, there is still a possibility that he will be shown the door come the end of the season.
However, this season was arguably made harder due to City's wealthy owners being unable to entice Mancini's main transfer targets to the Etihad, most notably Robin Van Persie.
The Dutchman has been in scintillating form this season, demonstrated yesterday by his stunning hat-trick against Aston Villa to clinch the title for United.
It seems that Manchester City will have to spend big once more to keep pace with a United team who look as if they are only going to go from strength to strength. Mancini will have to hope that it’s him, and not a potential replacement, who will be able to splash the cash.
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