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City 1 Middlesbrough 1.

So that's that. An end to the season in a fashion that only City could contrive to conjour up. All the work over the course of a season, all the games, all the effort, all the disappointments, all the joy comes down to one moment. One kick. I guess that is what makes football the thing it is but why, oh why does it have to kick you in the teeth like that.
Only City eh? Only City could miss a penalty to win in injury time and secure a passage into Europe next season. Only with City could you have that hope right there in your hands and then see it snatched away moments later.
With only drawing 1-1 yesterday it meant that we missed out on the European place that everyone before the game expected.
The pre-match shenanigans in a packed Mary D's were of the usual standard and the ground was full of optimism beforehand. City were the dominant side early on as Boro predictably came for the draw. SWP had a wild early shot before spurning a great one on one chance against Schwarzer. Typical then that minutes later Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink crashes home a 30 yard free kick that James got nowhere near to.
An early goal was imperative in the second half as the Blues now had to score twice and Kiki Musampa obliged onyl a minute into the second half with a fine individual goal. From then on it was all City as we attacked whilst Boro were happy to soak up the pressure. Parlour amazingly escaped a second yellow card with a tackle even worse than the one he was booked for. BWP came on for Sibierski as City began to throw everything at Boro before pulling off one of the strangest substitutions you'll see as a bemused Claudio Reyna saw himself replaced by Nicky Weaver who went in net and David James donned a Blue shirt and took up a striking role. He did cause a bit of havoc in the penalty area but generally had the touch and finesse of Shaun Goater in around the penalty box.
It looked like for all City's efforts we would come up short as injury time came, before a cross came into the box and confusion rained round the ground before it emerged that a penalty had been given for handball against Quedrue. The ground and players erupted as the European dream was very much on. Robbie Fowler placed the ball and stepped up to fire us into Europe - only for Schwarzer to guess the right way and save the ball.
Around the ground there was disappointment, of course, but a total lack of surprise.
With City, could it have ended any other way?