Manchester City gave the title race the shot in the arm it so desperately needed with a convincing 4-0 win over West Brom at the Etihad Stadium.
With Mario Balotelli beginning his suspension for the red card he received in the 1-0 defeat against Arsenal that had looked to have put an end to City’s title charge, Carlos Tevez was handed his first start since September.
With Manchester United stumbling to a shock 1-0 defeat against lowly Wigan, City desperately needed a win -something they can usually count upon at the Etihad Stadium - to reduce the gap at the top to five points with five to play.
Sergio Aguero settled early City nerves with a goal inside the first six minutes with a sublime effort from 20 yards after a mazy diagonal run.
The atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium fell somewhat flat for the remainder of the half but things soon picked up as Aguero bagged his second as he swept home from inside the six yard box, while Carlos Tevez got in on the act as news of Wigan’s goal seeped through to an increasingely excitable home crowd.
David Silva, seemingly on the wane in recent months after an electric start to the season, marked his comeback from the injury which kept him out of the Arsenal game with a devine chip after Aguero put the Spaniard through on goal to complete the scoring.
City coasted for the remaining half hour as West Brom failed to muster any resistence, with three points against Roy Hodgson’s side reducing the gap to United to five and adding spice to a title race that looked to have gone flat. The showdown at the Etihad later this month between both Manchester clubs has taken on a different complexion once more.