Manchester City had Liverpool to blame for 37 tense rounds of Premier League football.
They had Liverpool to thank for the ease of round 38.
Faced with an obstinate, stodgy West Ham team, Manuel Pellegrini's men looked twitchy, misplacing passes and looking ever so slightly vulnerable at the back.
For a short time at least, it seemed that something extraordinary might happen.
But, when news of Martin Skrtel's catastrophic own goal at Anfield filtered through to the Etihad Stadium, the pressure evaporated.
City's players visibly relaxed, began to express themselves and five minutes before half-time, Samir Nasri smashed home the goal that removed all doubts.
Liverpool recovered after the break and eventually won their game, but by then it was far too late.
City were already home and hosed.
By the time that Daniel Sturridge had put Liverpool 2-1 ahead, Vincent Kompany had given City a two-goal cushion, swiping in from close range after Edin Dzeko's knock-down.
The Belgian centre back has not enjoyed a vintage season.
To score a goal of this importance will have provided more than adequate compensation.
For all the talk of goal difference proving critical, City eventually finished two points clear after securing five consecutive wins.
Liverpool's astonishing surge to the top of the table was admirable, but titles are won over a season and City sustained their form when it mattered.
West Ham sustained the tension for 40 minutes before they made the mistake of backing just a little too far away from Nasri as he trundled into range.
With a glimpse of goal, the French midfielder fired in a devastatingly accurate shot that clipped Adrian's far post and bounced into the net.
The City supporters went wild. Two years ago, they had to wait until the fourth minute of injury time to seal their title win. Not this time.