Roberto Mancini's men took a vital lead in the title race courtesy of a Vincent Kompany header and are now odds-on favourites to finish above Manchester United
The game was billed as a title decider and Roberto Mancini's men did their best to force a result at Etihad Stadium, where they had a near perfect domestic record this season. That run continued as they recorded their second league win over Sir Alex Ferguson's men this season.
United are now 13/8 with Paddy Power, City are 4/9 with the same firm.
The hosts had the best of the first half and after a period of sustained pressure they saw their reward. Vincent Kompany rose above Chris Smalling to head home past a helpless David De Gea, who was rooted to his line.
That goal was scored in the final moments of a first 45 minutes which had seen several half chances for the hosts but they failed to convert. The game was set up perfectly for fireworks after the break.
The substitution which saw Carlos Tevez replaced by Nigel De Jong indicated Manchester City's attempts to close out the game in the last third but there were chances throughout as tempers flared both on and off the pitch.
Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson exchanged words in the technical area as several players found themselves on yellow cards. The last 10 minutes were frantic but came to nothing as City clung on.
The title race is not over, though. City may be ahead on goal difference but will visit Newcastle United before hosting relegation-threatened QPR.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men must take on Swansea and Sunderland in their final two games, knowing they must recover from what could well be the blow that sends the title to Etihad Stadium. The 4/9 on a first Premier League title for Manchester City may well prove popular in the coming week.
Sign up with Paddy Power for £20 free when you bet £10
Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast