A brace from Edin Dzeko saw Manchester City move within a point of the English Premier League title when they beat Aston Villa 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Two second half goals from Dzeko and strikes from Steven Jovetic and Yaya Toure saw City go two points clear at the top of the table, above Liverpool with a superior goal difference of 13, and only really needing a point in their last league game to secure the title.
City also reached the 100 goal mark for the season with the four goals on the night.
The opening 45 minutes saw City with all the possession as Villa set up their stall in defence and looked to frustrate the home side.
The Citizens mounted attack after attack, but failed to break down the resilient Villa defence.
The home side, though, were often guilty of attempting too many passes in the final third and consequently squandered their scoring chances for the large part.
Yaya Toure should probably have opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he met a low right-wing cross from Pablo Zabaleta, but the Ivorian saw his attempt from ten-yards superbly saved by the feet of Brad Guzan. Ten minutes later Samir Nasri cut in from the left flank, but fired his 20-yard shot inches wide of the post.
Villa offered very little in attack, but almost scored on the counter-attack in the 32nd minute when Jordan Bowery met a left-wing cross from Andreas Weimann, but he volleyed into the side netting from six-yards out.
City continued to press forward and came bitterly close to scoring in the final seconds of the half when James Milner broke down the right and squared for Nasri at the front post, but the Frenchman skimmed the wrong side of the post from a couple of yards out. The half ended 0-0.
The start of the second half saw City continue to press forward and Vincent Kompany was afforded a great chance to open the scoring in the 51st minute when he attempted an acrobatic bicycle-kick after a David Silva chipped pass into the box, but he shot straight at the keeper from 12-yards out.
Six minutes later Guzan had to be at his best to beat away a powerfully struck 25-yard free-kick from Aleksandar Kolarov.
Finally, in the 65th minute City made their pressure tell when Edin Dzeko turned home a Zabaleta cross from 12-yards outs, 1-0.
Dzeko put the result beyond doubt seven minutes later when he was quickest to pounce on a loose ball, tapping it home from close range following an initial save from a Nasri shot, 2-0.
Villa tried to find their way back into the game and came close to pulling a goal back in the 83rd minute when Weimann struck the crossbar from close range.
Jovetic and Toure added the icing on the cake for City with their third and fourth goal in the 89th and 93rd minute respectively, 4-0.
The win sees City go two points clear at the top of the table and only really needing a point in their last league game to clinch the league title.
Sunderland 2-0 West Brom
In the English Premier League’s only other match on Tuesday night, Sunderland ran out 2-0 winners over West Brom to move up to 14th place. West Brom dropped to 17th place, but safe from relegation.
The result means that Norwich City have almost certainly been relegated as even if they were to beat Arsenal on Sunday and West Brom were to lose to Stoke City, the Canaries would have to overcome a 17 goal goal-difference.