Manchester City moved within two wins of the Premier League title after seeing off Stoke 2-0 at the Bet365 Stadium on Monday night.
- Silva fires City in front early on
- Ederson prevents Walker OG
- Silva strikes again in second half
- Martins Indi misses from close range
Stoke City 0 Manchester City 2
David Silva scored early in each half to take Pep Guardiola’s side ever closer to top-flight honours. City could be crowned champions if they beat Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on April 7.
The visitors quickly got into their rhythm and a crisp passing move on 10 minutes opened up the Stoke defence and brought the opening goal.
Raheem Sterling was played into space on the right and his low cross was expertly guided into the left corner of the net by Silva with a first-time finish from 12 yards out.
Paul Lambert’s men weren’t providing too much threat going forward, although Badou N’Diaye went close on 21 minutes as Xherdan Shaqiri skinned Oleksandr Zinchenko on the right and cut the ball back for the Senegalese midfielder, whose first-time shot was deflected just wide of the left post.
Fernandinho failed to test Jack Butland five minutes later when he latched onto a clearance and blazed over the crossbar from 20 yards out, but the home keeper was called into action on 32 minutes as he raced out to deny Kevin De Bruyne with a sliding challenge after a poor backpass from Bruno Martins Indi let the Belgian midfielder in.
Kyle Walker had his heart in his throat five minutes later when he attempted to cut out Jesse’s flick-on from a goal-kick, but Ederson spared the defender’s blushes to tip his miscued clearance behind the goal.
— Leroy Sané (@LeroySane19) March 12, 2018
Silva looked to set up Fernandinho five minutes before half-time, but the Brazilian midfielder’s bouncing shot from 21 yards out was parried away by Butland, while Leroy Sane steered a volley to the right of the goal on 42 minutes after being picked out by De Bruyne’s cross to the back post.
Leading 1-0 at the break, the Citizens wasted no time in doubling their advantage as Silva struck again on 50 minutes. It was another fine finish from the Spaniard, who beat Moritz Bauer to Gabriel Jesus’ lofted pass and volleyed home from eight yards out.
Fernandinho nearly made it 3-0 six minutes later, but he could only find the side-netting from an angle on the left, before Zinchenko tested Butland on 58 minutes with a swerving effort from distance that was parried away and sane curled a shot narrowly wide of the left post from 25 yards out soon after.
The hosts had a rare sniff at goal on 64 minutes when Geoff Cameron directed a header back across the goal, but Martins Indi volleyed over inside the six-yard box.
City also already have more points – 81 – than five PL champions finished with, including Arsenal 1998 and Manchester United 1999.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 12, 2018
Walker should have extended City’s lead nine minutes later after being played in by De Bruyne on the right, only to lash wide of the near post from six yards out. Sane then drew a sharp save out of Butland with a fierce right-footed shot from 17 yards out after cutting inside from the left.
N’Diaye was alert to the danger on 78 minutes after Sterling raced away from a drop ball, with the Potters midfielder getting back to put the England winger off inside the six-yard box after rounding Butland.
Silva looked to complete his hat-trick eight minutes from time as he turned on the ball inside the box and shifted to his right before shooting wide of the right post.