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City on the brink; Sunderland joy

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  • City on the brink; Sunderland joy

    City on the brink; Sunderland joy
    A review of Wednesday night's action in the Barclays Premier League as Manchester City went two points clear at the top.

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    Manchester City struck four second-half goals against a spirited Aston Villa side to put one hand on the Barclays Premier League trophy with a 4-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.

    Edin Dzeko settled any nerves by breaking the deadlock after 64 minutes and followed up with his fifth crucial goal in the last three games.

    Premier League
    1 Man City 83
    2 Liverpool 81
    3 Chelsea 79
    4 Arsenal 76
    5 Everton 69
    6 Tottenham 66
    7 Man Utd 63
    8 Southampton 55
    9 Newcastle 49
    10 Stoke City 47
    11 C Palace 44
    12 West Ham 40
    13 Swansea 39
    14 Sunderland 38
    15 A Villa 38
    16 Hull City 37
    17 West Brom 36
    18 Norwich 33
    19 Fulham 31
    20 Cardiff 30last updated 07/05 21:44
    Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure - netting 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.

    With a superior goal difference to Liverpool, City effectively need only a draw from their final game against West Ham on Sunday to claim their second title in three seasons.

    After Liverpool's capitulation to Crystal Palace on Monday, City had been expected to cruise home.

    That they found the going tough on a night of heavy showers was credit to Villa side who, safe from relegation, supposedly had little to play for.

    Dzeko's heroics, in the absence of top scorer Sergio Aguero, further underlined his return to form and confidence this season after recent goals against Crystal Palace and Everton in the run-in.

    Photo Galleries/Premier League
    It's a wet night in Manchester as City look to go back to the top of the Premier LeaguePepe Mel and Gus Poyet greet one another before Sunderland's clash with West BromChris Brunt tries to mount an attack for West BromCity's dominate possession at the Etihad and Vincent Kompany goes close with a headerJack Colback gives the Black Cats a first-half lead at the Stadium of LightManuel Pellegrini and Paul Lambert look on through the heavy rainVilla goalkeeper Brad Guzan makes a save from David SilvaJack Colback celebrates his goal with John O'SheaFabio Borini curls one towards goal......before celebrating in style after he finds the back of the Baggies netKompany and co were posed a few problems by Villa before the breakKompany tries a spectacular effort but Villa stand firm in defenceThe City fans erupt as Edin Dzeko strokes home to make it 1-0Dzeko celebrates after his effort puts City in frontDzeko is soon celebrating again after making it 2-0 from close rangeStevan Jovetic came off the bench to make it 3-0 to the CitizensYaya Toure wrapped up the win by making it 4-0 with a superb solo effort

    All the best pictures from Wednesday night's action in the Barclays Premier League.
    Gus Poyet got his miracle as Sunderland ensured their continued presence in the Barclays Premier League with a comfortable 2-0 victory over West Brom.

    Just weeks after admitting they needed divine intervention when they slipped seven points off the survival pace, the 46-year-old Uruguayan saw his team secure a fourth successive top-flight win for the first time since December 2000 to end their fears.

    The win means 18th-placed Norwich have only a purely mathematical chance of avoiding relegation as the season draws to a close on Sunday.

    Jack Colback's third goal of the season got the home side off to the perfect start when he turned Marcos Alonso's near-post cross past goalkeeper Ben Foster.

    But Sunderland were cruising 18 minutes later when Fabio Borini volleyed home his ninth of the campaign to give the home side breathing space.

    Neither goalscorer may remain at the Stadium of Light next season with Colback out of contract and being linked with derby rivals Newcastle, and Borini wanted back at Liverpool after a hugely successful loan spell.

    But if their goals prove to be their last meaningful contributions - Poyet has hinted talks with Colback could yet be reopened - they could not have been any more timely.

    The Stadium of Light was rocking as the bulk of a crowd of 45,181 celebrated the great escape as if it were the trophy the club came so close to securing in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley in March.

    Sunderland could even afford a glaring miss from substitute Jozy Altidore, who steered a 65th-minute shot wide with the goal at his mercy as a chance to kill off a resurgent West Brom came and went.

    But for all the visitors made a game of it in the second half after a tepid first 45 minutes, they rarely looked like denying their hosts three more points to go with the 10 they had garnered from their last four games against Manchester City, Chelsea, Cardiff and Manchester United.