The Patriots overcame an early deficit to storm back to lead 17-9 early in the second half as Tom Brady found Aaron Hernandez for the touchdown.
New York fought back to within two points as it went to the wire, though, and the defining moment came in bizarre circumstances as Ahmad Bradshaw scored an accidental touchdown which was ultimately enough to win the Giants their fourth Super Bowl.
The winner came about after Manning, with less than four minutes on the clock, threw a massive 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham who just about got both feet down. Despite the Patriots’ challenge, the completion was good and set the Giants up for the last-minute win. New York had endured a difficult season but timed their run of form perfectly as Manning answered his critics emphatically to edge out Brady in a rematch of the 2008 NFL championship. Quarter-back Manning took New York to victory on that occasion, too.
Manning, who picked up the Most Valuable Player award, said: “I’m proud of our team, we stayed positive, we were moving the ball well but we just couldn’t get touchdowns.
“I knew that our defence would get us a turnover eventually and they did and then it was down to a last drive. We made some big plays, and it feels great.”
Giants coach Tom Coughlin added: “I’d like to share this with all the people who helped to get us here. We came up against a great team and it was one of the best finishes ever. I said at half-time that we could play better than we had done, we were energised and we came through.”