David Silva hits double as champions-elect City sink Stoke
Premier League, bet365 Stadium - Stoke City 0 Manchester City 2 (Silva 10, 50')
David Silva scored twice as runaway leaders Manchester City completed a 2-0 win at Stoke to regain their 16-point lead at the top of the table.
Second-placed Manchester United had closed the gap to 13 points with their 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, but two expert finishes from Silva on 10 and 50 minutes was more than enough to overcome Paul Lambert's side, who remain second from bottom and deep in relegation trouble.
Stoke failed to muster a shot at goal such was the visiting side's dominance.
City could yet win the title at home to city rivals United on April 7.
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City holds off Moritz Bauer of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester City at Bet365 Stadium on March 12, 2018 in Stoke on Trent, England.Getty Images
Stoke City are running out of time: While the whole bottom half of the Premier League, and perhaps more, is in danger of relegation, Stoke are one of the three in the relegation zone. There aren't many matches left for them to find inspiration. Xherdan Shaqiri is their single player of quality, but he has nobody else on his wavelength to work with. They have not yet roused themselves to fight for survival.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Silva (Manchester City): After going through a stressful personal period - that is not yet over - he has performed exceptionally despite this. His two goals gave City first the lead and then a comfortable advantage, meaning they were always on the front foot, and then rarely worried. Silva has been one of the most consistently impressive performers of both the Premier League and Manchester City over the last decade.
David Silva celebrates his second goal of the night at Stoke (Nick Potts/PA)PA Sport
10' - GOAL! Stoke City 0-1 Manchester City. Silva scores - Sterling is released down the right, behind the defence, and he squares a cross for Silva to sidefoot past Butland.
17' - STERLING PENALTY APPEAL - Sterling goes down in the box, I think with Geoff Cameron brushing behind him. He wants a penalty, but it's not too convincing and his reputation of being a diver, and his habit of being a diver, probably didn't help.
37' - KOMPANY ERROR - Butland hoofs a long ball that Choupo-Moting reaches, Kompany sticks a leg out to take it away from him, and has Ederson scrambling back to tip it behind for a corner.
50' - GOAL! Stoke City 0-2 Manchester City. Silva scores - Sterling flicks the ball to Silva, 30ish yards from goal. He flicks it into the box for Jesus, who turns it back to Silva for a simple finish to double the lead.
57' - FERNANDINHO SHOT - Fernandinho hits the side-netting after being slipped in by De Bruyne. It was a tight angle, but it looked a dangerous position.
78' - DROP BALL - A drop-ball takes place, and City rush forward from it, the ball worked to Sterling to burst through the middle. It's not really clear if City were cynical, or just disagreeing with Stoke, but Stoke are seriously hacked off.
Manchester City's David Silva celebrates scoring their first goal with team matesReuters
- Manchester City have won 81 points from their 30 Premier League games this season – three more than they earned in the entirety of 2016-17.
- City have now scored 85 Premier League goals this season – only 11 teams have ever scored more in a completed Premier League campaign.
- David Silva has scored eight Premier League goals this season, his second highest tally in a single campaign in the competition (12 in 2014-15).
- Silva also bagged his second league brace of the campaign – he’d only scored three in his previous seven Premier League seasons combined.
- Only Jonas Lössl (50) has conceded more Premier League goals among goalkeepers than Jack Butland (49) this season.
- Gabriel Jesus has played 31 Premier League games without ever being on the losing side (W26 D5). It’s the fourth longest run without defeat from a Premier League debut, after Jens Lehmann (47), Arjen Robben and Didier Drogba (37 each).