David Silva struck twice as Manchester City took another stride towards their seemingly inevitable coronation as Premier League champions with a 2-0 victory at Stoke.
Silva found the net early in each half as Pep Guardiola’s men enjoyed a comfortable night at the bet365 Stadium to re-establish a 16-point lead at the top of the table.
The result leaves City needing only a maximum of three wins from eight remaining games to take the title, but two would suffice if one of them comes against second-placed Manchester United.
Sterling has the better of Stafylidis... thatâs Stokeâs fullback not a disease.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 12, 2018
The sparkling Spaniard’s superb form continues despite ongoing trauma in his personal life. Silva’s creativity, including his role in setting up his own second goal, was as magical as ever, coupled with two brilliantly-taken goals.
English fans around the country will have breathed a sigh of relief in a World Cup year as Stoke keeper Jack Butland shook off what looked a potentially damaging coming-together with Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City managed to do the league double over Stoke for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign, when they were in the third tier of English football.
Stoke: Jack Butland 7, Moritz Bauer 5, Joe Allen 6, Kurt Zouma 6, Maxim Choupo-Moting 5, Jese 5, Bruno Martins Indi 5, Geoff Cameron 5, Kostas Stafylidis 5, Xherdan Shaqiri 6, Badou Ndiaye 6. Subs: Peter Crouch (for Jese, 5), Ramadan Sobhi (for Cameron, 6)
Manchester City: Ederson 7, Kyle Walker 6, Vincent Kompany 7, Raheem Sterling 8, Kevin De Bruyne 8, Leroy Sane 8, David Silva 9, Fernandinho 8, Nicolas Otamendi 7, Gabriel Jesus 8, Oleksandr Zinchenko 6. Subs: Bernardo Silva (for Sterling, 6), Ilkay Gundogan (for Jesus, 6)
Stoke v Everton (Premier League, March 17)
Man City v Everton (Premier League, March 31)