Blog - Football Nigeria, Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, Story, Taye Taiwo

Taye Taiwo says he continues to be haunted by memories of giving away the goal that earned Manchester City their first English Premier League title in 2012, and explains that he endured good-natured ribbing from his coach and players in Italy about taking money from City’s wealthy owners to let Sergio Aguero score.

As a defender with Queens Park Rangers, on loan from AC Milan, the Nigerian was involved in one of the Premier League’s most iconic title finishes, when Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time to overcome a 1-2 defect and claim their maiden Premier League title in dramatic circumstances.

Taiw, missed a last-ditch sliding tackle as Aguero scored the goal that won the game and the championship with the last kick of the game.

“When I got back to Milan, my coach and teammates had a good laugh on me,” Taiwo told ESPN.

“My coach said ‘where is the money those people gave you, you should come and give me a little bit’. I said ‘what money?’. And we laughed about it.

“He said: ‘Because with the strength and talent you have, you could have taken that ball from him so maybe the [City owners] gave you money, that is why’.

“And that is how we joked about it.”

Despite the mirth over the goal, Taiwo continues to beat himself up about the missed tackle.

“I have watched the full game many times, maybe more than a hundred times,” he told ESPN.

“If you watch the video, I committed to the right side. Mario Balotelli was there, and the ball hit him; he managed to get it to at Aguero’s feet.

“So when [Aguerro] controlled the ball, I didn’t have any options. If I stand in front of him one vs. one, I know he won’t go on the weaker side.

“So I just tried to stretch my leg and block him, but he hit the ball really well.”

QPR, who were fighting relegation at the time, would have guaranteed another Premier League campaign with victory, otherwise they needed results to go their way.

After going behind in the first half, QPR bounced back to lead 2-1, and Taiwo says they could have held on for a famous win had Joey Barton not elbowed Carlos Tevez and been sent off.

“Truth is, if we did not get a red card in that game we would not have lost. We were leading 2-1 and playing well, but when we got the red card, we started playing lower and lower.

“That red card changed everything because we could not pass the ball. All we could do was shoot the ball away when we had it. And they were always in our half. We did our best but what happened happened.”

Taiwo got a little more salt from Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure in the Rangers dressing room after the game.

“My friend Samir Nasri, who played with me at Marseille, came to me after the game in the dressing room with Yaya Toure and said to me in French ‘Taiwo, you guys did not want us to win?’ And I said ‘why would we want you to win, we are fighting relegation, you guys are fighting for the championship, we needed it more and you guys should have let us win’.

“But then I told them it was good for an Italian [Roberto Mancini] to win the Premier League.”

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