Two spectacular second-half goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez kept alive Manchester City's slim title hopes after they earned a 2-0 victory over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.
The reigning champions moved back to 12-points behind leaders Manchester United after overcoming Rafa Benitez's Blues, who spurned a chance to take the lead when Frank Lampard's penalty was saved by Joe Hart.
The England goalkeeper had given away the spot-kick after bringing down Demba Ba in the box, but made up for his error when he saved well from his international team-mate, denying the midfielder his 200th Chelsea goal.
Manchester City missed countless first-half chances, and almost paid for Jack Rodwell and Sergio Aguero's profligacy when Lampard had the chance to break the deadlock from 12-yards, just seven minutes after the restart.
The breakthrough came on 63 minutes when Toure brilliantly steered an angled shot into the bottom corner from 10 yards out.
Roberto Mancini introducted Tevez as a second-half substitute, and he repaid the faith shown by the Italian tactician when his blistering 20-yard effort secured all three points.
Manchester City now move seven points clear of third-placed Chelsea with 11 Premier League games remaining.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, K.Toure, Nastasic, Clichy; Milner, Garcia, Rodwell (Tevez 54), Silva (Lescott 90), Y.Toure; Aguero (Nasri 90).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Sinclair, Dzeko.
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel (Torres 81), Lampard (Oscar 68); Ramires, Mata, Hazard (Moses 68); Demba Ba.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Terry, Bertrand.
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Andre Marriner