Yaya Toure hit a double for title-chasing Manchester City, then roared: “We’ve got one hand on the trophy.”
The midfield powerhouse sank Newcastle after a private pep talk from boss, Roberto Mancini.
Now a City home win over QPR on Sunday, Toure’s 29th birthday, will seal their first title since 1968.
Ivory Coast ace, Toure said: “It’s not finished but I think we have one hand on the trophy.
“We’ve only one game left at home and have to be careful as QPR are fighting to stay in the Premier League.
“It will be tough but we have one step to go. We have to continue to work hard and believe until the last game.”
Toure’s star man display was sparked after Mancini pulled him aside before the match.
Toure said: “He said I had to deliver as it was an important game.
“I always thought I came to this club to make a story; we are not there yet at the moment but it’s important to keep going and try to help our team-mates.”
Mancini changed the course of the game when he brought on Nigel de Jong in the second half and pushed Toure further forward.
The tactical switch worked as the Ivorian first curled a beauty past Tim Krul before sealing the deal from close range at the death.
Both strikes sparked wild celebrations on the City bench and Toure said: “The boss was brilliant when he brought Nigel de Jong on.
“He is a fantastic player and the second half was difficult as Newcastle are a physical, strong team.”
Mancini knows his men are almost there but remains wary with just QPR standing between him and the Premier League trophy.
The Etihad chief said: “It was difficult as Newcastle are a good team but we deserved to win because we had a lot of chances.
“When you don’t score in the first half, the game is difficult.
“The pressure is not important, it is important we have 86 points. I will be confident after QPR.”
Newcastle remain in the hunt for Champions League qualification despite crashing to their first home defeat of 2012.
Proud boss Alan Pardew said: “Arsenal only need a point to finish in the top four but they need to win because fourth spot will not get a Champions League place if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the final.
“Arsenal have got to win really in case Spurs finish above them. That could be significant.
“For our part, we have to win at Everton — which might not be enough, but that’s what we need to do.
“It was a terrific game, you have to say that.
“You could sense on the touchline it was a real tight, tense affair and we’d probably done our homework on each other.”