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Man City place one hand on EPL title

updated 1:14 PM EDT, Sun May 6, 2012
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates the two goals that could prove crucial in the EPL title race.
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure celebrates the two goals that could prove crucial in the EPL title race.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Man City beat Newcastle United 2-0
  • Two second half Yaya Toure goals secured victory
  • Go three points clear of Man United with one game left
  • United play Swansea later Sunday to keep title hopes alive

(CNN) -- After their heroics last Monday against hated city rivals Manchester United, Manchester City went one step closer to securing their first league title in four decades after beating Newcastle United 2-0.

Both second half goals came from Yaya Toure against a Newcastle side desperate for victory in a bid to secure third place, and with it a place in Europe's Champions League, the world's richest club competition.

When the full time whistle was blown grown men wept in the stands as City's players celebrated knowing that, barring a miracle, this was going to be their year.

Those fans have witnessed a remarkable phoenix-like rise from the ashes.

I think it's not enough because we have another difficult game
City coach Roberto Mancini

Once the blue half of Manchester was the bigger of the two city teams. City once even relegated Manchester United on the last day of the 1973-1974 season.

But whilst United went on to dominate the Premier League era, in 1996 Manchester City were relegated from the Premier League. Two years later they were relegated again, this time in to the third tier of English football.

That proved to be rock bottom as City eventually fought their way back to become Premier League regulars.

It was the purchase of the club in 2008 by the royal family of Abu Dhabi that transformed City from an average team with a glorious past into the richest football club in the world.

Hundreds of millions of dollars was spent on players like Toure, secured from Barcelona, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Before the game both Manchester teams were on 83 points, with City ahead on goal difference, the closest title race in Premier League history.

And it looked like Newcastle United was about to hand Manchester United advantage in the title fight as coach Alan Pardew's side held City at bay for the first 70 minutes.

The match turned on a piece of tactical genius by Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini who brought on Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong and pushed Toure forward. Yet after the game Mancini remained cautious on his side's title hopes.

"I think it's not enough because we have another difficult game (against QPR)," Mancini told British TV network Sky Sports.

"I think we deserved to win this game today."

Later on Sunday Manchester United took on Swansea City at a subdued Old Trafford knowing that defeat would virtually hand City the title. Two first half goals for Paul Scholes and Ashley Young gave United hope that they could score enough goals to make a dent in City's superior goal difference but the match finished 2-0.

Now the season moves on to the final day of the season with City taking on QPR, who will need to win to guarantee they stay in the Premier League after their promotion last season, whilst United travel to Sunderland knowing they could win, finish the season on equal points and still lose the title.

Both sides of Manchester will endure one final, tortuous 90 minutes to decide the fate of this season's Premier League trophy.

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