Skip to main content

Manchester City closes in on Premier League title

May 7, 2014 -- Updated 2227 GMT (0627 HKT)
Edin Dzeko scored twice as Manchester City moved to within touching distance of the Premier League title.
Edin Dzeko scored twice as Manchester City moved to within touching distance of the Premier League title.
  • Manchester City moves to the top of the Premier League
  • City can clinch league title on Sunday after 4-0 win over Aston Villa
  • Edin Dzeko scores twice with Stevan Jovetic also on target
  • City faces West Ham on Sunday in final game

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- A blue moon is rising.

While its rival stumbled at the final furlong, Manchester City held its nerve and claimed the three points which it so badly craved.

A 4-0 victory over Aston Villa -- a win which helped take its goal tally to 100 in this season's Premier League, came following a frustrating first half in which the visiting side held firm.

In the end, it was Edin Dzeko who finally made the breakthrough, scoring twice in eight minutes to settle the nerves before further strikes from Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure sealed the win.

City will now go into Sunday's final home with West Ham with its destiny firmly its own hands.

A draw will be sufficient to win the title -- but a defeat would allow Liverpool to snatch the crown should it overcome Newcastle at Anfield.

"It was very difficult," City defender Pablo Zabaleta told Sky Sports.

"If you don't score early, sometimes it can be hard, but the key was we worked hard, we found space and we stayed patient.

"It was a very solid performance, nothing is won yet but it was very important to win here tonight.

"It was a massive step forward but there is still one game to play. West Ham has nothing to play for but they have some very good players and can score goals.

"The spirit is great here, the players work very hard, we kept the belief when we were in third place and now we are here. We have a great chance and hopefully on Sunday we can celebrate the title."

The margin of victory against Villa would scarcely have been imaginable at halftime with Villa proving stubborn in defense.

City, which dominated the opening 45 minutes, failed to find a way past a resolute visiting side.

Having watched Liverpool slip up at Crystal Palace, where it contrived to throw away a three-goal lead, it would have been understandable for City's frustration to surface.

Instead, it stepped up a gear and when Dzeko fired home Zabaleta's cross from close-range, the shackles were released.

The Bosnian tapped home a second when Brad Guzan failed to hold Samir Nasri's effort and Jovetic added a third with a minute of normal time remaining.

There was still time for Toure to rampage through the midfield and beat Guzan to notch his side's fourth and City's 100th of the season.

"We played good football in the first half, they didn't have any chances but the manager said just to be calm and we would get what we wanted," added Dzeko.

"When the team defends with 10 players in the box, it's always about the first goal. It was very important. Once we got it, gaps opened up and we scored more."

Manuel Pellegrini's men will now prepare for West Ham with the title within touching distance.

Elsewhere, Sunderland confirmed its place in next season's Premier League with a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

Jack Colback and Fabio Borini secured the points for Sunderland, which had looked doomed only weeks ago.

The result means Norwich City requires a last-day miracle to survive relegation.

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.