Vincent Kompany admitted Manchester United “threw away” the 2011-12 Premier League title, adding the triumph provided Manchester City with “absolute confidence” for the future.
Eight years ago this week City pipped United to win their first top-flight championship in 44 years on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero’s 94th-minute winner against QPR.
City have gone on to lift a further three titles, clinching the trophy on the final day in 2013-14 and 2018-19, when they managed to hold Liverpool off on both occasions.
Kompany, now player-manager with Anderlecht, feels getting over the line first time around was pivotal when it came to delivering further success.
“I think so, I’m pretty sure,” the ex-City captain told Match of the Day.
“If you just take the way that I felt we were able to stay calm when we went for the second title against Liverpool and the last one that we won again on the wire with Liverpool, I think there was always a core of players who went through this.
AN EXPLOSION OF JOY!
— Manchester City (@ManCity) May 13, 2020
“To me, anyway, my mindset, it gave me absolute confidence that I just needed to stay calm, to get the team to understand what the process was. It helped massively.”
Though both of those title races went down to the wire, neither could match the tension and drama of City’s first Premier League success.
United had been eight points clear with six games to play but were reeled in by City.
Even so, when their match against Sunderland finished, United were on course to be crowned champions until Aguero’s late goal.
“The image that stays with me is the image of confusion over there, it’s very vivid in my mind,” Kompany added.
“It’s special to do it over Man United, as you see the rivalry.
“That season really, as much as over the course of the season we were the better team, in reality, United threw it away.
A story in four parts…
years ago exactly pic.twitter.com/t36clhkUVH
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 13, 2020
“We were not consistent. We were fantastic in moments and then we had moments where we had inexplicable losses and situations during the season.
“It wasn’t a calm season for us and you think with [Alex] Ferguson, Rio Ferdinand at the back, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Edwin] Van Der Sar, [Patrice] Evra, Gary Neville, it was a great team – and yet they gave it away.
“We did something amazing. Whenever we had the chance with our team, we were capable of winning eight, nine, 10 in a row and then things would explode, there would be a training ground fight and then we’d be winning 10 more and then losing. It was a bit ‘the old City’ at the time.
“But we had momentum right at the end and that was the most important.”