Sergio Aguero tore through the Manchester United defence to score a dazzling winner as Manchester City beat the Premier League leaders 2-1 on Monday to remind them they are still champions for a few more weeks.
Second-placed City's second successive league win at Old Trafford, following last term's 6-1 demolition job, allowed them to narrow the gap on United to 12 points with seven games left although manager Roberto Mancini said the title race was over.
"The championship is finished," the Italian told a news conference. "Our supporters deserve this victory, after we were 15 points behind it was important for them. It is important for us because we can clinch second position."
A blistering opening 10 minutes gave way to a scrappy first half before the visitors broke the deadlock in the 51st minute with James Milner's deflected goal.
The lead lasted eight minutes before an unfortunate own goal from City captain Vincent Kompany following a superb free kick by Robin van Persie but substitute Aguero came on to snatch the points with a special goal in the 78th minute.
United lead the way with 77 points from 31 games with City on 65. Third-placed Chelsea are on 58 points, level with Tottenham Hotspur who have played a game more than their London rivals.
While City have effectively already handed over their crown, United manager Alex Ferguson is avoiding taking possession until the mathematics are complete.
"We won't be complacent. If you look at the history of this club over the years we always make it difficult for ourselves," he told the BBC. "The supporters are hanging on the edge of their seats every year. It is a 12-point lead, we go to Stoke at the weekend and we will have a go."
Turin: Mario Balotelli was given a three-match ban on Tuesday for insulting the fourth official at the end of AC Milan's 2-2 draw at Fiorentina at the weekend. Balotelli was due to face an automatic one-match suspension for accumulating four yellow cards when he was needlessly booked for failing to retreat at a free kick. It was awful timing as third-placed Milan's next two games are against second-placed Napoli and leaders Juventus.