David Platt hailed the importance of Manchester City super-sub Edin Dzeko after his two late goals earned a 2-1 victory at West Brom.
City looked in danger of falling seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea after James Milner was sent off in the first half and then Shane Long broke the deadlock for West Brom. But Dzeko equalised within 60 seconds of entering the action with 20 minutes left and then in injury time snatched the winner with his sixth goal of the season.
City first-team coach Platt said: "If you look at Edin's career for Manchester City, the goals he has scored, he has got a lot of heavy goals, goals that are very important."
He added: "I remember goals at Blackburn the season before last which more or less gave us Champions League qualification.
"You look back at last season as well and he got some vital goals. To win the league, Aguero's goal will always be the one but remember Edin equalised. He has been a threat all season and his form has been very good all season."
Milner was sent off for a professional foul after bringing down Long midway through the first half. But Platt felt City deserved their victory after controlling the game for long periods despite their numerical disadvantage.
Platt, deputising at the press conference for sore throat victim Roberto Mancini, said: "Watching it live it didn't seem a goalscoring opportunity to me for the sending-off. Equally you can see why it is given."
He added: "We said at half-time if we keep our control and discipline, stay together, we know we can impose our play on them and in that second period we controlled the match."
The Baggies surrendered their 100% home record and manager Steve Clarke admitted they paid the penalty for chasing the winner in the closing stages.
"I thought we deserved something out of the game. I thought we played well, stood up to Manchester City, but they showed when they went to 10 men that they are champions for a reason," Clarke said. "Credit to them, their performance with 10 men was excellent and the only feeling I have now is being disappointed to lose the game so late."