Goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri saw Manchester City relegate Wolves and move to within three points of leaders Manchester United.
Both sides had early chances before City took control and Aguero slid them ahead from Gael Clichy's superb cross.
Joe Hart made an excellent save to deny Steven Fletcher as Wolves worked hard to level, but Nasri slotted in to earn his side a vital win in the title race.
If City beat United at home on 30 April they will be top with two games left.
Their goal difference is six superior to that of their local rivals and all eyes will now be on that meeting at Etihad Stadium.
City spent much of the season in top spot but their defeat at Arsenal on 8 April left them eight points behind United with six games remaining.
Suddenly, though, they are very much back in contention and it promises to be a thrilling end to the campaign.
The same can not be said for Wolves, who drop into the Championship after three years in the top flight.
Terry Connor's side have lost a club-record nine successive home games and are without a win of any description since 4 February.
|Man Utd||Man City|
Man City (a)
Man Utd (h)
They needed little motivating for a match of this magnitude and produced a spirited display but City, buoyed by news of United's 4-4 draw against Everton earlier on Sunday, ground out a professional win.
Carlos Tevez fired just over the bar after only 17 seconds and at the other end Sebastien Bassong's shot was deflected narrowly wide.
Aguero then drilled across the face of goal before David Davis forced Hart into a fine save with a powerful effort from 18 yards.
City seemed intent on moving the ball wide, letting full-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Clichy stretch Wolves and create space for Aguero and Tevez.
Zabaleta and David Silva combined well on the right to slip Nasri through on goal, but the Frenchman dragged wide of the far post.
Aguero was again off-target on 20 minutes but there would be no mistake at the end of his side's next foray forward.
Clichy nutmegged Michael Kightly before curling a delightful low pass to Aguero, who kept his footing to stab a finish past Dorus de Vries.
Wolves deserve credit for their positive response and it took a superb diving save from Hart to repel Fletcher's header shortly after half-time.
City had now lost their earlier rhythm, they were misplacing passes and Mancini introduced Nigel de Jong for Silva.
It may not have been an attacking move but City actually looked more composed with De Jong on the field, and they duly ended the contest.
Tevez took a quick free-kick, squared for Nasri and he benefited from Bassong pulling a hamstring to coolly slot past De Vries.
Wolves were furious with referee Lee Probert's decision to penalise Davis for his challenge on Tevez, but their protests were in vain.
City celebrated as Wolves commiserated. The full-time whistle sounded as torrential rain arrived, an apt conclusion to their Premier League stay.
- 31 De Vries
- 05 Stearman
- 11 Ward
- 21 Bassong (Berra - 75' )
- 32 Foley
- 04 Edwards (Doyle - 61' )
- 07 Kightly
- 08 Henry
- 17 Jarvis
- 26 Davis
- 10 Fletcher (Ebanks-Blake - 77' )
- 13 Ikeme
- 14 Johnson
- 16 Berra
- 23 Zubar
- 20 Milijas
- 09 Ebanks-Blake
- 29 Doyle
- 25 Hart
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta
- 06 Lescott
- 22 Clichy
- 18 Barry
- 19 Nasri (K Toure - 86' )
- 21 Silva (De Jong - 59' )
- 42 Y Toure Booked
- 16 Aguero
- 32 Tevez (Johnson - 75' )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 13 Kolarov
- 28 K Toure
- 07 Milner
- 11 Johnson
- 34 De Jong
- 10 Dzeko
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.90:00 +1:51
Nigel De Jong concedes a free kick for a foul on Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Kevin Foley takes the direct free kick.90:00 +1:29
Gnegneri Toure Yaya has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.86:25
Foul by Michael Kightly on Gael Clichy, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.84:25 Substitution
Substitution Kolo Toure on for Samir Nasri.84:25
Samir Nasri takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Header from close range by Joleon Lescott misses to the right of the goal.83:14
David Davis takes a shot. Save by Joe Hart.81:20
Nigel De Jong is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Dorus De Vries.78:51
Corner taken by Matthew Jarvis from the left by-line played to the near post, Gareth Barry makes a clearance.77:54
Pablo Zabaleta is penalised for a handball. Stephen Ward restarts play with the free kick.76:27 Substitution
Substitution Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is brought on as a substitute for Steven Fletcher.75:52
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Samir Nasri, Kevin Foley manages to make a clearance.75:44
Adam Johnson takes a shot. Save by Dorus De Vries.74:19 Substitution
Substitution Adam Johnson replaces Carlos Tevez.74:19 Substitution
Substitution Christophe Berra on for Sebastien Bassong.73:08
Assist on the goal came from Carlos Tevez.73:08 Goal scored
Goal! - Samir Nasri - Wolves 0 - 2 Man City Samir Nasri scores a goal from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Wolverhampton 0-2 Man City.73:01
David Davis concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlos Tevez. Carlos Tevez takes the free kick.72:23
Corner taken by Michael Kightly from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Gael Clichy.71:54
Nigel De Jong challenges Michael Kightly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Michael Kightly.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Stearman.69:41
Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Doyle on Gareth Barry. Direct free kick taken by Gareth Barry.66:37
Michael Kightly has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.65:44
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gael Clichy on Michael Kightly. Free kick taken by Michael Kightly.65:15
The offside flag is raised against Carlos Tevez. Kevin Foley restarts play with the free kick.61:49
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, save by Dorus De Vries.60:31 Substitution
Substitution Kevin Doyle comes on in place of David Edwards.59:36
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sebastien Bassong on Carlos Tevez. Direct free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.58:22
Vincent Kompany takes the indirect free kick.58:22 Substitution
Substitution David Silva goes off and Nigel De Jong comes on.58:22
The referee blows for offside against David Edwards.57:54
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Davis on Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Gareth Barry takes the direct free kick.56:53
Corner taken right-footed by Michael Kightly, Pablo Zabaleta makes a clearance.55:13
The free kick is swung in right-footed by Karl Henry. Steven Fletcher takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.55:13 Booking
Booking Caution for Gnegneri Toure Yaya.55:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Kightly by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.53:33
Matthew Jarvis produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.53:04
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Richard Stearman gets a block in.47:39
Carlos Tevez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Edwards. David Davis restarts play with the free kick.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:10 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:29
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Davis by Gareth Barry. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Ward.43:53
The official flags Carlos Tevez offside. Stephen Ward restarts play with the free kick.43:26
Steven Fletcher is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.38:45
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Sebastien Bassong gets a block in.33:40
Steven Fletcher fouled by Vincent Kompany, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Ward takes the direct free kick.33:20
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Dorus De Vries.31:27
Michael Kightly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Samir Nasri from left wing, clearance by Richard Stearman.30:22
The referee blows for offside against Sergio Aguero. Dorus De Vries takes the free kick.28:56
Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Jarvis. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Matthew Jarvis, Joe Hart makes a save.28:21
The assistant referee flags for offside against Samir Nasri. Stephen Ward takes the free kick.26:40
Assist by Gael Clichy.26:40 Goal scored
Goal! - Sergio Aguero - Wolves 0 - 1 Man City Sergio Aguero gets on the score sheet with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Wolverhampton 0-1 Man City.23:33
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save made by Dorus De Vries.20:44
David Edwards fouled by Joleon Lescott, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David Edwards.19:52
Effort from the edge of the area by Sergio Aguero goes wide of the right-hand upright.18:49
Effort from deep inside the area by Sergio Aguero misses to the left of the target.17:13
Gareth Barry produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.17:05
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Karl Henry gets a block in.15:31
Shot from close range by Samir Nasri misses to the left of the goal.12:19
Richard Stearman takes a shot from close in clearing the crossbar.12:01
Michael Kightly takes a outswinging corner.11:38
David Davis takes a shot. Joe Hart makes a save.9:56
Michael Kightly takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Joleon Lescott makes a clearance.6:14
Close range shot by Sergio Aguero goes wide of the right-hand upright.4:42
Corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri from the left by-line, save by Dorus De Vries.3:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Edwards by David Silva. Dorus De Vries restarts play with the free kick.1:42
Corner taken right-footed by Matthew Jarvis from the left by-line, clearance by Pablo Zabaleta.1:25
Shot from just outside the area by Sebastien Bassong misses to the left of the target.1:02
Corner taken right-footed by Michael Kightly from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Gael Clichy.0:18
Effort from just outside the box by Carlos Tevez goes over the bar.0:00
The match has kicked off.
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