The team that never knows when they are beaten came from behind to take a massive step closer to a second title in three years.
City trailed to an early wonder-strike from Ross Barkley, but goals from Sergio Aguero and a brace from Edin Dzeko ensured the Blues go to the top of the table – at least for 24 hours - with a dramatic 3-2 win over bogey side Everton.
Now back-to-back wins over Aston Villa and West Ham will mean there is every chance the Premier League trophy will be heading back to the Etihad - but the nerves of the City fans are likely to be in shreds by next Sunday!
Much of the pre-match discussion was whether Everton would be comfortable doing arch-rivals Liverpool a favour by stopping City from winning, but surely there was little doubt a victory was the only thing on the Toffees’ minds.
True, there was a somewhat subdued atmosphere inside Goodison Park, but that was more likely to be down to the fact the hosts’ Champions League hopes had faded dramatically with two defeats in their last three outings
...Everton 2 City 3
City’s only real concern was to come to a ground where they had won just once in 22 visits and head back to Manchester with three crucial points.
Though David Silva was fit again, Manuel Pellegrini elected to keep him on the bench with the only change from the team that beat Crystal Palace last weekend at left-back where Gael Clichy replaced Aleks Kolarov.
Anything other than victory would hand the title initiative back to Liverpool and Chelsea, so there was no margin for error as the game kicked off on Merseyside, yet City found themselves a goal behind with just ten minutes.
There seemed little danger when Ross Barkley picked the ball up 20 yards out, but the rsing England star unleashed a powerful curling shot that Joe Hart had no chance of stopping – the Blues’ task doubly difficult, particularly with the Toffees’ record of 20 wins from 23 games when they had led in this campaign – the only defeat being against City at the Etihad!
City had little option other than to resume to their game-plan and keep plugging away at the Everton goal in the hope of dragging themselves back into the game and on 22 minutes, the travelling fans were off their seats as Yaya Toure played in Aguero who drilled a low drive past Tim Howard to level the scores.
Though Kun remained on the pitch for a few minutes after the goal, it appeared he’d tweaked a groin muscle and he was able to play no more part in the game
...City 2 Everton 3
With Everton rarely troubling the City defence, the Blues resumed their grip on the game and began to ask more questions of the hosts’ defence with Yaya Toure a constant menace. Then, two minutes before the break, the Blues took the lead when Milner’s clever jink and cross found the head of Dzeko who superbly nodded the ball past Howard.
The timing of the goal could have been any better, but there was even better to come just two minutes after the break as Samir Nasri weaved into the box to play a simple cross that Dzeko stabbed home from close range to give the Blues a two-goal cushion and send the travelling Blues wild.
Moments before, Hart made a magnificent save from Naismith as the hosts raced out of the block to almost draw level within 60 seconds of the re-start - and what a vital stop that proved to be.
It was crucial City now played with a straight bat and give nothing away in order to secure a rare win at Goodison, but when Leighton Baines’ cross was headed in by Romelu Lukaku on 65 minutes, the game was back on a knife-edge
...Everton 2 City 3
Everton, rejuvenated, began to dominate with a number of whipped in crosses and probing around the City box – it was heart in the mouth stuff with only the occasional counter-attack to relieve the growing tension.
And the nail-biting reached feverish proportions when the board went up for six additional minutes – and that became closer to eight minutes as referee Lee Probert refused to put the City fans and players out of their misery – before finally calling a halt to a most dramatic victory.
Now two more victories and City stand a fantastic chance of being crowned Premier League champions - but there is still a mountain of work to do.