Yaya Toure scored twice Sunday to give Manchester City a 2-0 win at Newcastle that makes his side the firm favorite to win the English Premier League title.
The Ivory Coast midfielder exchanged passes with Sergio Aguero on the edge of the area in the 70th before calmly placing a curling right-foot shot past diving goalkeeper Tim Krul.
He then made it 2-0 with a minute left as City exploited space left by the home side's search for an equalizer.
The result hit Newcastle's hopes of finishing in fourth place and qualifying for the Champions League but means league leader City, with one game left to play, is now on course for its first English championship since 1968.
City manager Roberto Mancini had just refreshed his attack by taking off the ineffective Carlos Tevez in favor of Edin Dzeko when his side took the lead.
Toure's exchange with Aguero removed Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye as an obstacle and gave the Ivory Coast international, who scored the winning goals in the semifinal and final of last season's FA Cup, space to pass the ball into the net.
Toure could have scored again with six minutes left when Aguero drew four players to him and released his teammate for a clear run at goal. The midfielder tried to take the ball around Krul but slipped on the turf and the chance disappeared.
He made amends after Cabaye's mis-control gave City the chance to counterattack.The ball was carried forward and moved right to left, when it came to Gael Clichy. The defender waited before crossing low to Toure, who hit a rising close-range shot into the net.
City's best chance until Toure's first goal had come in the 41st. Gareth Barry's low drive from about 15 yards was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and his effort from the rebound was blocked on the line by David Santon. Barry then tried again but Newcastle and Krul managed to clear.
But Newcastle also had chances and City needed Joe Hart to keep the scores level in the 34th with a reflex save from Hatem Ben Arfa's fierce volley. Jonas Gutierrez stole the ball and crossed from the left toward Papiss Cisse, whose dummy gave Demba Ba space to shoot. His shot was blocked and rebounded to Ben Arfa, who drew a save from the England goalkeeper.