Manchester City tightened their grip on the Premier League title race with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa as Edin Dzeko scored twice to leave them needing just a point from the final game of the season.
Exactly three weeks on from the draw against Sunderland that derailed City's title bid and deflated their fans, the atmosphere and belief around Etihad Stadium was transformed.
Liverpool's draw at Crystal Palace handed Manuel Pellegrini's side the initiative and following a low key start - not helped by torrential rain and a sparsely populated stadium caused by heavy traffic outside - they piled forward for an opening goal.
Dzeko's double midway through the second half relieved the pressure that had gripped the Etihad stadium and late strikes by Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure secured an emphatic victory.
City realistically need just a point from their visit of West Ham United to win their second league title in three years.
Manuel Pellegrini's side moved two points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table but, with a superior goal difference of 13 over their title rivals, a draw would be enough for City to be crowned champions.
Sunderland continue recovery
At the other end of the standings, Sunderland guaranteed their Premier League survival when goals by Jack Colback and
Fabio Borini sealed a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion which effectively ended Norwich City's hopes of remaining in the top flight.
With Sunderland moving to 38 points and West Brom one place above the relegation zone on 36, Norwich are three points further adrift with a vastly inferior goal difference.