Manchester City scored two goals in stoppage time to dramatically win the Premier League title from under the noses of neighbours United.
Goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero in the five minutes added on secured the club's first English championship in 44 years.
United beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light courtesy of a goal from Wayne Rooney, but it was ultimately in vain as their city rivals came from 2-1 down to beat ten-man QPR at the Etihad Stadium.
United went ahead on 20 minutes courtesy of Rooney's header inside the six-yard box, but 19 minutes later Pablo Zabaleta struck past a feeble Dean Kiely to give City the lead.
Shortly after the interval at the Etihad a horrendous Joleon Lescott header enabled Djibril Cisse to equalise, as the Frenchman kept up his record of either scoring or being red-carded in every Rs game he played in.
Joey Barton, who preached in late March: "If you can keep your head when all about you, are losing theirs and blaming it on you" reacted to provocation from Carlos Tevez by elbowing the Argentine and getting sent off.
Astonishingly the Rs - who have stayed up by virtue of Bolton's 2-2 draw at Stoke City - then took the lead when Jamie Mackie rifled home shrotly afterwards.
With time running out, Dzeko was summoned in place of Gareth Barry and stooped to nod in an equaliser in the first minute of five minutes' stoppage time.
Just as Howard Webb's final whistle shrilled throughout the Stadium of Light, United players learnt of Aguero's winner, prompting pandemonium inside Eastlands.
Referee Mike Dean shortly afterwards blew his whistle to end the game, as blue hordes poured onto the green grass.
For Ferguson's United, it is their first trophyless campaign since 2004/5, and just the fourth season under the Scot's stewardship without silverware since he won his first trophy at the club in 1990.