At lunchtime eight days ago Manchester City were leading the Premiership followed by Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham.
At the bottom, Bolton were occupying the last relegation place with Queens Park Rangers just above them.
That evening, after the last round of Premiership matches, the positions remained the same. Sounds dull, doesn’t it. But what went on that afternoon was far from routine.
A quick glance through the day’s events may help explain why football fans had their hearts in their mouths for much of the time.
The first half went very much as expected. For 20 minutes after Wayne Rooney’s goal gave his side a 1-0 lead at Sunderland, Manchester United were two points clear at the top of the Premiership.
When Pablo Zabaleta put Manchester City ahead against QPR before half time, it seemed that a second half of celebrations and a routine victory was the prospect for City.
After all, their record at home was of overwhelming superiority: they had won all but one Premiership game, beating 17 of the previous 18 opponents.
QPR meanwhile had an abysmal away record and were only outside the bottom three because of a series of strong performances at their home ground of Loftus Road.
Even when Djibril Cisse hit back with an equaliser shortly after half time, there seemed to be an age for City to win the game.
But when Jamie Mackie puts QPR ahead against every expectation and with time running out, the title was back in the hands of the Red side of Manchester.
It stayed there until United had finished their game; as they were ending, Edin Dzeko’s header drew City level but it wasn’t enough.
At this point the introduction of split TV screens allowing you to see two games at the same time really came into its own.
It was possible to see both Sergio Aguero’s wonderfully well taken goal and the celebrating Manchester City fans and the stunned disbelief on the faces of Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United players waiting on the pitch at Sunderland.
In the space of three minutes Manchester United had gone from retaining their Premiership crown to losing it to their nearest neighbours.
This still doesn’t mean, as I said last week, that the Premiership is the best league in the World, but it can’t be beaten for excitement.
Indeed, Roberto Mancini, when interviewed after the game, was at a loss for words: he was stunned by what had just happened.
Mancini must have prepared in his head a speech expressing regret at having lost out on the title, in the expectation that City would never recover from being 2-1 down against QPR.
Likewise Sir Alex Ferguson must have gone through the words to describe a remarkable last day triumph in his mind, only to have that triumph snatched away from him.
Looking back at the season, a few things have been learned. Firstly, having a strong spine is essential for a team.
Running through the middle of City’s team are the regulars who make the difference: Hart, Kompany, Toure and Aguero. This is very similar to the Chelsea position of a few years ago: Cech, Terry, Lampard and Drogba.
Players surrounding this spine can be interchanged – Nasri, Milner, Balotelli, the outrageously underused Adam Johnson were in and out of the side with little difference to City’s success.
But when Toure was at the Africa Cup of Nations, or Kompany was suspended, City struggled. Secondly, with a lot of intelligence and experience, a little can go a long way.
Even die-hard Manchester United fans would admit that this is a very average set of United players.
In their own way Nani, Ashley Young (when he’s not ruining his reputation by diving) and Danny Welbeck are good footballers. But compare them with the treble winning side of 1999.
Then United had four top quality strikers, Cole, Yorke, Sheringham and Solskjaer, each of whom could get 20 goals a season, and if one pair didn’t score there were another two strikers on the substitutes’ bench who would.
At the back, Vidic, close to Kompany in terms of his stature and influence, has been absent for much of the season.
United have also had to bed down a new goalkeeper after the retirement of Edwin van der Saar. Remember all those errors and shaky performances at the start of the season?
With Vidic and possibly Darren Fletcher to return in midfield there is some reason for optimism amongst United fans for next season.
But a reality check is needed: just like this time last year, they desperately need a creative midfielder (Wesley Schneider was much talked-of a year ago) as well as one or two strikers to genuinely share the burden with Rooney who has scored a third of their goals this season.
Despite their average squad, and the fact that their best two players against Sunderland were the ageing Giggs and Scholes, Manchester United got 89 points in the Premiership and they only weren’t champions on goal difference (the first time the title has been decided this way in the Premiership era).
In many seasons, 89 points would have easily been enough to add to the many Premiership trophies won by the Red Devils.
That it was not is due to the third learning point from the season and it’s one that applies to everything in life.
As City tried to get back on level terms having fallen behind to QPR, they looked more and more like Barcelona against Chelsea in the Champions League semi final. But they kept going.
The goals by Dzeko and Aguero were their 43rd and 44th shots of the game.
The true life lesson from this season was encapsulated in the last five minutes of the campaign when the title was won: never give up. See you in August.
When not thinking about football, Guy Maughfling is a director in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Advisory business in East Africa. The views expressed here are his own.