It was billed as a title decider and Sunday's game at Anfield lived up to expectations.
Phillipe Coutinho's winner for the home side secured three valuable points and, on an emotional day as the Hillsborough disaster was remembered, those on the red half of Merseyside - and many neutrals - began to believe that this could be Liverpool's year.
A blistering start would have surprised few, the league leaders have made a habit of flying out of the traps and battering teams into submission before half-time.
Raheem Sterling's sixth-minute opener meant that it is now 24 consecutive games since Liverpool failed to score in the opening half of a Premier League game and Manchester City were overrun in the first 45 minutes, traling 2-0 at the break after Martin Skrtel's near post header extended Liverpool's lead.
Manuel Pellegrini's side wouldn't go down without a fight though, and they showed much more quality in the second half to draw level, seemingly looking the more likely to secure three points after pulling back to 2-2 just past the hour mark courtesy of a David Silva strike and an own goal credited to Glen Johnson but created by the Spaniard, who came alive after half time.
But Coutinho's goal following a poor clearance from City captain Vincent Kompany proved decisive and bet365 have cut Liverpool to an industry best 4/5 (1.80) to claim their first league title in 24 years. City are now an 11/5 (3.20) chance.
Liverpool's remaining four matches include a clash with Chelsea at Anfield in two weeks' time but, after recent defeats for Jose Mourinho's men to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa on the road, the bookmakers believe that the Reds have passed their major test en route to a potential title win. The Blues are available to back at 9/2 (5.50) to secure the title after they battled past 10 man Swansea to secure a 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea now trail Liverpool by two points, with Manchester City seven behind the league leaders but with two games in hand to come.
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