MAN CITY 4, WEST BROM 0.
In another dramatic night of Barclays Premier League football, Manchester City kept alive their flickering title hopes.
City’s walloping of West Brom, coupled with United’s surprise defeat at Wigan Athletic, added a new twist to the two-way battle at the top of the table.
Suddenly United, who held an eight-point lead before kick off, aren’t in such an invincible position as their advantage has been reduced to five.
Two goals from Sergio Aguero, who took his season’s tally to 26, and further strikes from Carlos Tevez and David Silva lifted City whose spirits were raised even more by news from the DW Stadium.
City manager Roberto Mancini dismissed his side’s chances of overhauling the rivals from Old Trafford.
He said: “The title race is finished because United is a fantastic team and they have a fantastic spirit. I think five points is too much.
“It is important for us to finish the season well. This in the best season since 1968 and I am proud of the players.”
City made four changes from Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal, though Mario Balotelli’s was enforced through suspension and Yaya Toure due to injury. James Milner and Pablo Zabaleta stood down to the bench.
Tevez was handed his first start since September while Nigel de Jong, Silva and Micah Richards won recalls.
City could not have wished for a better start taking a sixth-minute lead when Samir Nasri released Aguero who charged forward before thundering a 25-yard shot low past keeper Ben Foster.
City still created chances, even though the Baggies defended with 10 men behind the ball in a 4-5-1 formation with little space separating defence an d midfield.
Silva played a return pass with Tevez and fired in a fiercely struck angled shot which Foster did well to keep out.
Tevez then released Richards, the City right back who was playing more like a winger. He rounded Foster only to see Craig Dawson block is effort on the goalline.
Nasri fired into the side netting early in the second half before City extended their lead in the 54th minute.
Nasri provided the assist for Aguero to shoot low to the left of Foster from the left side of the penalty area.
The goal coincided with news that Wigan had taken the lead against Manchester United making it a double celebration as jubilant fans did the Poznan.
And it got even better for City on the hour when they added a third goal as Tevez got on to the scoresheet for the first time since returning from exile.
This time Aguero cut the ball back from the by-line and Tevez picked his spot from 14 yards with the help of a deflection off Craig Dawson. The goal will be credited, however, to the Argentine who immediately made way for Adam Johnson.
City added a fourth goal in the 64th minute when Jonas Olsson was robbed by Aguero who released Silva who, from the left of the box, found the net with an exquisite chip over Foster.