Manchester City revived their seemingly ailing Premier League title bid with a 2-0 win away to Wolves that moved them to within three points of leaders Manchester United and relegated the hosts here on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero's first half goal sent City on their way before Samir Nasri made the game safe 16 minutes from time.
It looked as if City would kick-off eight points behind United, who were 4-2 up at home to Everton in Sunday's early match.
But the Merseysiders fought back to secure a shock 4-4 draw at Old Trafford that gave City a huge boost before the first whistle at Molineux.
And this result means City, bidding for a first English title in 44 years, will go top on goal difference if they beat United in a Manchester derby at Eastlands a week on Monday.
City produced a statement of intent after just 17 seconds when Carlos Tevez fired over after getting into a good position.
They went even closer six minutes later as Aguero beat the offside trap after running on to Gareth Barry's pass, with his shot going agonisingly wide of Dorus de Vries's post, making his first Premier League appearance for Wolves.
However City were indebted to their own keeper, Joe Hart, for making a fine stop to claw out home midfielder David Davis's shot from the edge of the area.
Roberto Mancini's men should have scored when Nasri sidefooted wide from Pablo Zabaleta's excellent pass.
But the goal City needed to settle their nerves duly arrived in the 27th minute when Gael Clichy's delightful ball evaded the Wolves defence and Aguero coolly took his time before slotting home his 29th goal of the campaign.
Wolves had to win this match to have any hope of avoiding the drop.
But the Black Country club haven't won since former coach Terry Connor replaced the sacked Mick McCarthy as manager and their confidence visibly dropped as soon as the goal went in, with City dominating the rest of the half.
England goalkeeper Hart did have to be at his best though after the break to keep out Steven Fletcher's header.
Wolves lacked any sense of conviction in attack though even after their bright start to the second half with Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle failing to trouble Hart after coming off the bench.
By contrast, City soon re-exerted their control of the game after Nigel de Jong replaced David Silva as Mancini tried to restire his side's midfield mastery.
Even so, it wasn't until the 74th minute that City scored again.
The goal had a bit of controversy about it with Wolves wanting a stoppage when Sebastien Bassong went down injured but Tevez played in Nasri who beat de Vries in composed fashion.
Wolves players and fans were furious with Lee Probert but the referee let the goal stand.
City could have had a third soon afterwards when Adam Johnson forced de Vries into a save with his first touch after coming on as substitute for Tevez.
Kevin Foley nearly put through his own net and then Joleon Lescott headed just wide from Nasri's corner as City looked to round off the win in style.
Yaya Toure almost did just that with a late effort that just missed the post.
City had been far from their free-flowing best from a but they now know the destiny of the Premier League title is back in their hands while the rain that lashed down upon those Wolves fans who'd stayed until the bitter end summed up their side's season.