Ben Youngs celebrated his 100th cap with a double as England gave themselves a great chance of winning the Six Nations by securing a bonus-point 34-5 victory over Italy.
The Red Rose only held a 10-5 half-time lead at Stadio Olimpico, but stepped it up after the break to move four points clear of Ireland at the top of the table.
Eddie Jones' side can now only watch on and hope that second-placed Ireland and France, who also have a chance of being crowned champions, fail to get the result they need to lift the trophy in the final match of the tournament later on Saturday in Paris.
Youngs opened the scoring with an early try and Owen Farrell added a penalty, but rusty England - playing their first game since the tournament was suspended in March due to the coronavirus - were pegged back by a Jake Polledri five-pointer.
Scrum-half Youngs added a classy second two minutes into the second half before Jamie George marked his 50th cap with a third try and Tom Curry secured the bonus point 14 minutes from time
Henry Slade scored England's fifth try and Farrell booted nine points as England boosted their points difference and consigned ttaly to a 27th consecutive Six Nations loss
Youngs got England off to a great start when he cruised under the posts four minutes in after taking a pass from Farrell, who added the extras and slotted over a penalty soon after.
Italy hit back, though, with Polledri bursting from midfield and finishing superbly in the corner after showing a sharp turn of foot midway through the first half.
The fired-up Azzurri applied the pressure after Red Rose debutant Jonny Hill was sin-binned for a high tackle, but were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage and England were frustrated when they were penalised as they drove towards the line following a yellow card for Polledri.
England failed to fire in the first half, but Youngs caught Italy out again with a moment of magic just after the interval, throwing a clever dummy at the breakdown and shrugging off a tackle before dotting down for a double.
George applied the finish when Italy were unable to stop a driving maul following a lineout and Curry showed great awareness to dart down the left touchline and touch down for the bonus point.
Ben Earl set up Slade for a simple score after getting on the end of Farrell's grubber kick as Italy ran out of steam and England piled the pressure on Ireland and France.