Manchester City moved to within touching distance of their first title for 44 years, as Yaya Toure scored twice to secure a crucial victory over Newcastle United.
The Ivory Coast midfielder beat Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul with a low curling shot with 20 minutes left.
He then added a second from close range with time running out.
City now know that victory over QPR in their final match of the season will secure the Premier League title.
"Manchester City are one victory away from the title now. This was a vital win for Roberto Mancini's men but it was one they deserved. Roberto Mancini got the big calls right and perhaps made the most important substitution of the season.
"Bringing Nigel de Jong on for Samir Nasri was not a defensive substitution because it allowed Yaya Toure to roam free further up the field. It was the moment that changed the game. Toure scored twice, City won and the title is theirs to lose.
"Mike Summerbee, who scored here when City last won the title in 1968, was in the crowd with a tear in his eye. It has been a long wait for City but it is almost over."
This was a dominant display by City, inspired by Vincent Kompany's defensive generalship, David Silva's prodigious work in midfield, stellar finishing by Toure and a workrate and ambition that glowed throughout the team.
The omens must have given Roberto Mancini's men cause for hope and optimism before kick-off.
It was at this ground on 11 May 1968 that City won to clinch their last league title. Some 44 years on, history repeated itself as City moved to within three points of the prize that has eluded them for so long.
While it was understandable that much of the attention focused on City, Newcastle were chasing a prize of their own.
Arsenal's 3-3 draw with Norwich City had opened the door to Champions League qualification.
It was fitting, then, that Sir Bobby Robson - the last manager to lead Newcastle into Europe's top club competition - had been immortalised before kick-off as the club unveiled a statue to honour his memory.
But it was City who dominated the opening 30 minutes. Sharper to the ball, swifter to use it, City forced Krul, the Newcastle goalkeeper, into action on a number of occasions.
The Dutchman was forced to turn away low shots from both David Silva and Sergio Aguero, while Carlos Tevez went close with a curling free-kick.
Man City run-in
It took Newcastle half an hour to produce their first effort on goal, but more soon followed.
Demba Ba fizzed a 25-yard shot over Joe Hart's crossbar. Moments later the Newcastle striker saw his goalbound shot blocked by Kompany after a clever run by Jonas Gutierrez. The ball ran to Ben Arfa but his low shot was well saved by Hart, low to his left.
It was City, however, who had the best chance of the half shortly before the interval. The mercurial Silva broke clear down the left and cut the ball back to Gareth Barry near the penalty spot.
The England midfielder's first shot was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini, while his second found a path to goal only for Davide Santon to clear off the line.
City maintained their momentum after the restart with Tevez fired high and wide, before testing Krul from distance.
"The long and barren years, the memories of the mocking banner that used to hang from one corner of the Stretford End recording City's years without a trophy until they won the FA Cup last season, will feel an age away with victory against QPR and former manager Mark Hughes next week."
As the half wore on Mancini's side were struggling to convert their lion's share of possession into clear-cut chances.
Then came what proved to be an inspired substitution. Nigel De Jong replaced Nasri on the hour mark to allow Toure to push into a more advanced position behind Aguero and Tevez.
The Ivorian made an instant impact in his new role. Collecting a neat lay-off from Aguero, he curled a wonderful low shot beyond Krul's outstretched left hand to spark scenes of jubilation in the away end and on the City bench. It was the first goal Newcastle had conceded in 497 minutes of football at the Sports Direct Arena.
City should have made sure of the result four minutes later when Silva lofted a delightful through-ball into the path of Aguero only for the Argentine to nudge his shot inches wide of the right-hand post when clean through on goal.
Newcastle almost made City pay for their profligacy, when Ba and Papiss Cisse connected only for the latter to head high and wide from close range.
City were in charge, however. Aguero put Toure through on goal only for the City midfielder to slip at the crucial moment. Edin Dzeko turned a shot narrowly over the bar from the resulting corner.
Newcastle United run-in
It mattered not, though, when Toure made sure of the result and perhaps the title a minute from time, as he finished a typically swift City counter-attack with a close-range finish.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini: "It is not finished. It is important that we get three points next week, we need a big effort - there is one game more. I think for us it should be a normal week. We don't change nothing, QPR will be tough, they are fighting for relegation. Nothing changes. It is ours to lose. It doesn't depend on other teams anymore.
"Toure's first goal was special, like the one he scored in the FA Cup final for us last year. This one may be more important if we can finish the season off.
"Newcastle are a good team, they have had a fantastic season. But we deserved to win today, we scored two goals and created three of four other chances to score more. Everyone played really well, the whole team played really well."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "We knew the first goal was going to change everything. We didn't get it but we had a few chances to. Once that goal went in, we had to push on and that opened us up a bit.
"It was a great performance by my team. You have to say Manchester City were brilliant today. When you can bring on one world star for another... that freshness just made the difference today. But it is never over in the race for the Premier League title, no matter who your opponents are.
"We have great potential at this football club. We are back where we should be, we have tradition and history that few clubs can match. If we can win at Everton next week it will put massive pressure on Arsenal and Spurs. They have go to win now."
- 26 Krul
- 02 Coloccini
- 03 Santon
- 06 Williamson
- 14 Perch Booked (Ferguson - 74' Booked )
- 04 Cabaye
- 10 Ben Arfa Booked (Sh Ameobi - 74' )
- 18 Gutierrez
- 24 Tiote Booked (R Taylor - 82' )
- 09 Cisse
- 19 Ba
- 35 Elliot
- 16 R Taylor
- 31 Ferguson
- 15 Gosling
- 22 Marveaux
- 25 Obertan
- 23 Sh Ameobi
- 25 Hart
- 04 Kompany
- 05 Zabaleta Booked
- 06 Lescott
- 22 Clichy
- 18 Barry Booked
- 19 Nasri (De Jong - 61' )
- 21 Silva (Richards - 86' )
- 42 Y Toure Booked
- 16 Aguero
- 32 Tevez (Dzeko - 70' )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 02 Richards
- 13 Kolarov
- 07 Milner
- 11 Johnson
- 34 De Jong
- 10 Dzeko
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +2:52
Gael Clichy produces a cross, clearance made by Mike Williamson.90:00 +0:41
Shot by Shola Ameobi from 20 yards. Save made by Joe Hart.90:00 +0:07
The ball is crossed by Davide Santon, Demba Ba has an effort at goal. Joe Hart makes a save.88:26
Assist by Gael Clichy.88:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Gnegneri Toure Yaya - Newcastle 0 - 2 Man City Gnegneri Toure Yaya grabs a goal from close in high into the middle of the goal. Newcastle 0-2 Man City.88:00
Inswinging corner taken by Yohan Cabaye from the left by-line played to the near post, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.87:45
Shola Ameobi has a drilled shot. Micah Richards gets a block in.87:13
The ball is swung over by Sergio Aguero, clearance made by Shola Ameobi.85:05 Substitution
Substitution (Man City) makes a substitution, with Micah Richards coming on for David Silva.84:24
Shola Ameobi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joleon Lescott. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.83:43
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line to the near post, Shot from close range by Edin Dzeko clears the bar.83:17
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by Tim Krul.81:44 Substitution
Substitution Cheick Tiote goes off and Ryan Taylor comes on.80:42
Cheick Tiote gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta. The ball is sent over by David Silva, Close range header by Gnegneri Toure Yaya goes wide of the left-hand upright.79:46
Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.79:46 Booking
Booking Shane Ferguson receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.79:38
Shane Ferguson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Silva.78:58
Free kick crossed by Yohan Cabaye, clearance by Gareth Barry.78:58 Booking
Booking Pablo Zabaleta goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shane Ferguson by Pablo Zabaleta.77:41
The ball is crossed by Cheick Tiote, Edin Dzeko manages to make a clearance.76:38
Corner taken by Yohan Cabaye from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Gareth Barry.76:19
The ball is swung over by Yohan Cabaye, save by Joe Hart.75:48
Centre by Pablo Zabaleta.74:26
Shola Ameobi crosses the ball, Headed effort from inside the area by Papiss Cisse misses to the right of the goal.74:24
Shot by Sergio Aguero from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.73:52 Substitution
Substitution Shola Ameobi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Hatem Ben Arfa.73:32 Substitution
Substitution Shane Ferguson replaces James Perch.73:17
Edin Dzeko has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.72:36
Gareth Barry fouled by Papiss Cisse, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Nigel De Jong.69:42
Sergio Aguero provided the assist for the goal.69:42 Goal scored
Goal! - Gnegneri Toure Yaya - Newcastle 0 - 1 Man City Goal scored by Gnegneri Toure Yaya from just outside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 0-1 Man City.69:02 Substitution
Substitution Edin Dzeko joins the action as a substitute, replacing Carlos Tevez.66:49
Demba Ba sends in a cross, Joleon Lescott manages to make a clearance.66:28
Shot by Demba Ba from 18 yards. Clearance by Gareth Barry.65:23
Centre by David Silva, Joleon Lescott challenges Tim Krul unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Tim Krul.65:01
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva played to the near post, Papiss Cisse makes a clearance.64:54
The ball is swung over by Carlos Tevez, clearance by Fabricio Coloccini.64:01
Effort on goal by Hatem Ben Arfa from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.60:56 Substitution
Substitution Nigel De Jong replaces Samir Nasri.58:44
David Silva has an effort at goal. Blocked by Mike Williamson.57:51
The ball is crossed by James Perch, clearance by Joleon Lescott.57:05
Foul by Jonas Gutierrez on Sergio Aguero, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Gareth Barry.56:55
Cheick Tiote crosses the ball, Samir Nasri makes a clearance.56:20
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Davide Santon by Gnegneri Toure Yaya. Free kick taken by Yohan Cabaye.54:36
Shot from 20 yards from Carlos Tevez. Save made by Tim Krul.53:17
Carlos Tevez produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the target.53:01
Centre by David Silva, Jonas Gutierrez makes a clearance.52:44
Short corner taken by Samir Nasri.52:33
Gael Clichy sends in a cross, blocked by James Perch.50:17
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by James Perch. Gnegneri Toure Yaya has an effort direct from the free kick.49:41
Jonas Gutierrez sends in a cross, Pablo Zabaleta gets a block in.48:02
Foul by Jonas Gutierrez on Pablo Zabaleta, free kick awarded. Joe Hart restarts play with the free kick.47:10
The ball is swung over by Papiss Cisse, clearance made by Joleon Lescott.45:01
The match restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:09 Half time
Half Time The half-time whistle blows.45:00 +0:07
The referee blows for offside against Gareth Barry. Tim Krul takes the free kick.43:30
Demba Ba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vincent Kompany. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.41:43
Handball by Samir Nasri. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.41:32
The ball is swung over by Sergio Aguero.40:35
Gareth Barry has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in. Shot from 12 yards by Gareth Barry. Clearance made by Davide Santon.39:22
A cross is delivered by Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.37:52
Yohan Cabaye takes the free kick.37:52 Booking
Booking Gnegneri Toure Yaya goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.37:44
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Davide Santon by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.36:55
The ball is swung over by Pablo Zabaleta.35:57
Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the free kick.35:57 Booking
Booking The referee books James Perch for unsporting behaviour.35:38
James Perch concedes a free kick for a foul on Carlos Tevez.34:26
Yohan Cabaye produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.33:42
Shot from 12 yards from Demba Ba. Blocked by Gael Clichy. Shot by Hatem Ben Arfa from 12 yards. Save by Joe Hart.31:37
David Silva crosses the ball in from the free kick.31:37 Booking
Booking Cheick Tiote receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.31:25
Free kick awarded for a foul by Cheick Tiote on David Silva.31:09
Drilled right-footed shot by Demba Ba. Blocked by Joleon Lescott.30:40
Samir Nasri has a drilled shot. Yohan Cabaye gets a block in.30:14
Shot by Cheick Tiote. Vincent Kompany gets a block in.28:58
Yohan Cabaye fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Carlos Tevez gets a block in.28:58 Booking
Booking Gareth Barry goes into the referee's book.28:51
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gareth Barry on Yohan Cabaye.28:15
Demba Ba takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.25:39
Shot comes in from Carlos Tevez from the free kick, Tim Krul makes a save.25:39 Booking
Booking Hatem Ben Arfa is cautioned.25:29
Hatem Ben Arfa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Clichy.22:48
The offside flag is raised against Sergio Aguero. Yohan Cabaye restarts play with the free kick.22:05
The ball is crossed by Gael Clichy.20:17
Long distance shot from Gael Clichy misses to the left of the goal.19:44
Corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the right by-line, James Perch manages to make a clearance.18:35
The ball is sent over by Pablo Zabaleta, clearance by Mike Williamson.16:43
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Tim Krul makes a save.15:24
Papiss Cisse is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Vincent Kompany.10:15
Shot by David Silva. Save made by Tim Krul.9:45
Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Cheick Tiote.9:18
Samir Nasri takes a short corner, David Silva sends in a cross, blocked by Hatem Ben Arfa.8:54
Samir Nasri produces a curled right-footed shot from 18 yards. Blocked by James Perch.6:31
Unfair challenge on Gareth Barry by Yohan Cabaye results in a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.4:33
Carlos Tevez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Tim Krul.1:15
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa by David Silva. Direct free kick taken by Yohan Cabaye.0:06
Carlos Tevez concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheick Tiote. Yohan Cabaye takes the free kick.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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