West Bromwich Albion 2 Blackburn Rovers 0
Often the difference between survival and relegation can be one man, usually a talismanic figure who was signed during the January transfer window.
A year ago, it was Kieran Richardson who arrived at The Hawthorns to revive West Bromwich Albion's season. This year, it could be Nigel Quashie, a midfield player whose effect on matches is subtle but significant.
Quashie was not the sole reason why Albion won on Saturday - there were other players, like Curtis Davies and Jonathan Greening, who were just as impressive - but his performance did much to suggest that, at last, Bryan Robson's team have the ability to gel.
Suddenly, the midfield looks to have more class; more bite.
On the day when Birmingham City lost at home to Arsenal, Albion needed to win and there was little danger of any other outcome. Albion dominated the first half, scoring twice, then defended superbly in the second half when Blackburn dominated.
Kevin Campbell, on his 36th birthday, opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Jonathan Greening effectively sealed the victory in the 32nd minute with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Both goals were as impressive as the performance.
Impressive, too, was Albion's ability to outmuscle a Blackburn team that have gained a reputation, justifiably so, for playing it tough. That is why manager Bryan Robson decided to use Campbell and Geoff Horsfield up front and, consequently, why Blackburn were so fragile at the back.
Albion have enough ability to secure their Premiership status for another year but, for some reason, every time they produce a good result, they lose their discipline and perform badly. Robson does not want a repeat.
"We've done this before where we've had a good game, but then shot ourselves in the foot," he said. "Then, all of a sudden, you are back in amongst it and struggling again and it can easily happen in this game.
"What I want is a good run of consistent performances and results to make that gap between us an the bottom three even bigger over the next few weeks.
"I definitely don't want to go to Everton [on the final day of the season] needing points to survive."
It probably will not come to that but, then, Albion do not always play this well. They were so superior in the first half that there was almost a sense of anticlimax when the half-time whistle heralded a mere two-goal advantage.
But what fine goals they were. For the first, Campbell chested down a pass by Junichi Inamoto to score Albion's first Premiership goal for 214 minutes.
For the secondl, Greening scored with a looping left-footed shot after creating the opportunity for himself with fine control.
Albion's performance did much to ensure a quality match, a rarity at The Hawthorns these days. Greening seemed liberated by the arrival of Quashie, as did Inamoto. Perhaps there was a lack of pace upfront, but that matters less when there is so much creativity in midfield.
Blackburn had little to match Albion in midfield. Robbie Savage did his best but his mastery of the simple pass and his work-rate met with little success. David Bentley did well up front, without suggesting he was going to reduce the arrears.
No, this was definitely Albion's day. They had the best players - Curtis Davies was the pick of the bunch - and the greater hunger.
"We didn't allow ourselves to be bullied," Robson said. "That's why I went with Campbell and Horsfield, to give us a presence. I felt, with their experience, they would not be outmuscled because Blackburn are strong lads."
Strong, yes; consistent, no. They defeated Manchester United 4-3 last week but did not come close here. That was partly because of the way Albion played.
Albion should not be written off when they lose but nor should they be overpraised when they win. The truth, as always, is in between.