THEY are nearly there.
Even Manchester City cannot mess this up now. Can they? One victory, at home to West Ham on Sunday, and City are champions for the second time in three years.
Edin Dzeko settled a few nerves by breaking the deadlock after 64 minutes and followed up with his fifth crucial goal in the last three games. Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure - who scored City's 100th league goal of the season with a quite brilliant solo effort - added further strikes in the dying moments to send City two points clear at the top, with just one game to play, in some style.
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Pablo Zabaleta, the City defender, described his side's 4-0 victory as a "massive step forward" in their hunt for the league title, though he warned that nothing has been decided yet. City are now two points clear of Liverpool heading into the final weekend of the season while boasting a significantly better goal difference to their only remaining rivals.
Zabaleta, the man of the match, is taking nothing for granted, recalling the last-day drama that won them the title in 2012 on goal difference from Manchester United.
"I think it's a massive step forward but we know that there's still one game to play and we had the experience two years ago on the last day of the season against QPR, and sometimes you don't know," he said. "We know West Ham are safe but they have very good players, they play really well on the counter attack, they can score on set-pieces, so it's going to be very, very tough, like tonight, so we can't relax.
"It was a very difficult game. It was a very solid performance, nothing is done yet, we know that there's still one game to play but it was very important to win tonight. We have a great chance so hopefully on Sunday we can celebrate the title."
Dzeko echoed his sentiments. "We have to concentrate on Sunday," he said. "We did our job today but we have to take the last game very seriously because it will be very tough and we will give everything, the experience of two years ago means we will approach it differently."