Manchester City took a step up above Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table in style after securing the much needed victory against Cardiff City.
It took Kevin de Bruyne just five minutes into the game to open the scoring with his first league goal since 22 December, running on to Aymeric Laporte’s pass and squeezing his shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Manchester City possession and chances followed as they mounted pressure on cardiff, before Leroy Sane made it 2-0 just before half-time, burying his shot into the bottom corner after a neat chested knock-down from Gabriel Jesus.
Cardiff, who remain five points adrift of safety, barely threatened at the other end and did not register an effort at goal or a touch in the home area until Junior Hoilett had a hopeful shot blocked at the very end of the first half.
Pep Guardiola’s side, who are chasing an unprecedented quadruple, know they will finish top if they win their remaining matches but it is unlikely many of them will be as straightforward as this one.
An eighth successive league win for the defending champions was seldom in doubt and means they lead Jurgen Klopp’s team by a point with six games remaining.
Manchester city will play twice a week for the rest of April, with their next two tests against Brighton in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday and Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
By Olukayode Oniwinde