Manchester City are within touching distance of lifting the 2011/12 Premier League title, after a brace from Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure saw Roberto Mancini's men record a 2-0 win over Newcastle at St James' Park.
The game started rather slowly, with both sides looking to establish momentum going forward but at the same time not give too much away at the back. The hosts had, obviously, the crowd behind them from the very start, shaded the opening minutes, with some good passing and movement but City were not too far behind.
Newcastle failed to convert their early possession into anything concrete, either in terms of goals or even shots on target. In fact, the first save of the game was forced out of Tim Krul by City's Spanish winger David Silva after a slightly bungled corner clearance from Ivorian international Cheick Tioté.
The tide ebbed and flowed a little bit with neither side still establishing dominance. Newcastle did see Senegalese forward Papiss Cisse break forward but City captain Vincent Kompany, who scored the only goal in his club's 1-0 win over Manchester United, was well placed to tackle and clear.
Meanwhile the prodigal son that is Argentine forward Carlos Tevez and Silva were linking up well together and threatened on more than one occasion. However, Newcastle's defensive work rate was praised by manager Alan Pardew and in the first half they showed him to be right. The two teams went into half-time level.
Newcastle defenders James Perch and Yohan Cabaye were kept busy by Samir Nasri and the other City forwards, with Krul having to pull off excellent close range saves, first from Silva and then Sergio Aguero.
The hosts, who were firmly on the defensive, regrouped and seemed to be coming back into the game, when, on 29 minutes, striker Demba Ba blasted over the cross bar following a quick break by Hatem Ben Arfa, who also managed to force an excellent diving save from Joe Hart.
On 41 minutes, City's Gareth Barry should have (and would have) found the nets, had it not been saved by Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon, who were both on hand to block and clear. The defending was not over and Newcastle were well and truly under attack.
The deadlock was finally broken on 70 minutes, when Yaya Toure scored after being fed by Aguero. City nearly doubled their lead five minutes later but a strangely subdued Aguero put the ball just wide. However, the second goal was not too long in coming and it was that man again - Toure - and he was assisted by lef-back Gael Clichy.
The result means that if Manchester United fail to gain at least a draw, when they kick off at home to Swansea, City will have won the title. As it stands, City have 86 points from 37 games, while United have 83 from 36.