Just as nerves and an enterprising Leicester City threatened to wreck Manchester City's title hopes, their long-serving captain Vincent Kompany stepped up and fired home from 25 metres in the most emphatic fashion.
The 1-0 win means Pep Guardiola's City can secure the Premier League title with a victory at Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan's Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day of the campaign.
City, who have now won 13 straight league games, have 95 points to Liverpool's 94 and also have a plus four goal difference over Juergen Klopp's men - who host Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday and know that their only chance of winning the title is if the champions stumble on the south coast.
"One more game," Guardiola said. "We were seven points behind not long ago from Liverpool but we didn't give up.
"I know now is not (about) saying how good was the season, now is arriving first. We just have to win our game."
It had been a nervy and frustrating night for the home crowd until Kompany's first goal of the season arrived on 70 minutes to send the Etihad Stadium wild, in a mixture of relief and joy.
The 33-year-old Belgian defender picked up the ball just over the half-way line with the Leicester defence camped deep, and he unleashed a stunning drive that flew into the top corner of Kasper Schmeichel's goal.
Kompany, who has won three Premier League titles with the club since 2012 but also battled with numerous injuries, was overcome by the moment and was in tears as he took part in the lap of appreciation after the game.
"I'm really happy for the team. This club, it's part of how we have been successful to have goals like this, moments like this," he said.
"We always believe that we have a chance and can play for the last second... Now we have a final to play in Brighton, Nothing is won yet."
Leicester frustrated City in the first half although Aguero hit the bar with a thumping header that Kasper Schmeichel did brilliantly to claw the ball off the line as it bounced down.
After the break, City stepped up the tempo and were rewarded with Kompany's goal.
However, there was still time for a scare as Leicester had an opportunity to level in the 87th minute but substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, a former City player, was unable to find the target from a promising position.
Australian Associated Press