Manchester City beat Portsmouth 2-0 to move up to sixth place in the Premier League and increase the pressure on its troubled opponent.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Vincent Kompany scored first-half goals at City of Manchester Stadium to put City level on 41 points with Liverpool and just one point behind Tottenham.
But Liverpool and Tottenham, which occupies fourth place and the last of the Champions League qualifying spots, have both played two games more than City.
Portsmouth, which sold another key player Saturday to further alleviate the financial problems threatening its future, remained last in the standings with 15 points - five fewer than the next worst side and without a league win in six weeks.
Adebayor put City ahead in the 40th minute, taking one touch on Stephen Ireland’s perfectly placed pass from halfway and smashing a half volley past England goalkeeper David James.
Kompany made it 2-0 five minutes later with a firm header from Martin Petrov’s corner.
City is a strong contender to join Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal in the top four.