They can almost taste it at Manchester City, beating Aston Villa 4-0 which means they rise to the top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of their title race rivals, following a tense and difficult, not to mention goalless first half, with a fantastic display in the second one as Edin Dzeko came through once again with two goals and an encore provided by Stevan Jovetic and a brilliant finish from Yaya Toure.
Liverpool needed Aston Villa to win or at least draw some blood from Manchester City but with so many attacking players injured and generally missing, as Andy Weimann was left completely alone up front, a 0-0 draw was the best they set off to achieve.
In the first 45 minutes Manchester City were able to get chances in two ways – either via overloading the right wing and getting crosses out of Pablo Zabaleta or chips from David Silva and Yaya Toure into the box. In both instances, the visitors handled the threat rather well, although enjoyed quite a bit luck to remain level with the dominant hosts by the time they went into the locker room.
Nothing changed in the second half until Manuel Pellegrini pulled off his winning substitution: James Milner left the pitch, Stevan Jovetic came in for a rare appearance. This made things difficult for Villa to follow, as David Silva moved right to help Zabaleta, and the goals started coming.
The first was that exact combo – through ball from Silva, cross from Zabaleta and Dzeko, usually marked by more than one player, slid in to score a huge goal. A few minutes later Dzeko was quicker than anyone (or simply better positioned) as Samir Nasri missed once again from close range, but the Bosnian striker made it a two goal lead Villa had no chance of erasing.
The rain got stronger, and Villa had their moments, including hitting the crossbar with a Weimann header, but that was it. Jovetic added a long range goal that slipped under Guzan and Yaya Toure took the ball from his own half all the way to a wonderful fourth. Manchester City have finally completed the matches they missed out on, and now only need one point on the final day of the season against West Ham to win a second title in three years.