Three goals in the final 18 minutes saw Manchester City climb to second in the Premier League with a laboured 3-0 win at Hull.
Mike Phelan's bottom side frustrated Pep Guardiola's title-challengers for most of a drab encounter at the KCOM Stadium but Yaya Toure finally broke the deadlock with a 72nd-minute penalty.
Substitute Kelechi Iheanacho made victory certain by tapping in from close range six minutes later and the influential Raheem Sterling forced Curtis Davies to concede a late own goal.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
"YAYA!!!! Get in!!!!" - Former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov (@OfficialPDickov) breathes a sigh of relief as the visitors open the scoring.
Toure. The Ivorian has gone from outcast to central figure again. He may not be the dynamic figure of old, but he remains highly influential and his experience was important for City. He controlled the midfield and took the breakthrough penalty well.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Sterling has shown some of his best qualities in recent games and again his runs were damaging. The one that won the penalty was his attempt to take control of the game, echoing his winning goal against Arsenal last week.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
This may not be the fluent, exhilarating football Guardiola wants to see, but he has acknowledged the importance of winning games. He could not afford to drop points here and should be pleased no matter how they came. For Phelan, it must be highly frustrating. His side were again a credit to him and did their job as set out, but it was not enough. The consolation is they do not face the quality of City every game.
David Marshall: 7 (out of 10)
Ahmed Elmohamady: 6
Harry Maguire: 7
Michael Dawson: 7
Curtis Davies: 7
Andy Robertson: 7
Jake Livermore: 7
Tom Huddlestone: 6
Sam Clucas: 6
Robert Snodgrass: 7
Dieumerci Mbokani: 7
Ryan Mason (for Huddlestone, 63): 6
Markus Henriksen (for Livermore, 74): 6
Adama Diomande (for Clucas, 78): 6
Claudio Bravo: 5
Bacary Sagna: 7
Nicolas Otamendi: 7
John Stones: 5
Gael Clichy: 6
Yaya Toure: 7
Raheem Sterling: 7
David Silva: 7
Kevin De Bruyne: 7
Aleksandar Kolarov (for Stones, 18): 6
Kelechi Iheanacho (for Noltio, 57): 7
Fernando (for Silva, 87): 5
WHO'S UP NEXT?
Hull v Everton (Premier League, December 30)
Liverpool v Manchester City (Premier League, December 31)