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Man City broke the deadlock after just 10 minutes at the bet365 Stadium thanks to Silva’s neat side-footed finish. The Spain midfielder then doubled the visitors’ advantage, converting after a lovely move five minutes into the second half.

As a result, Pep Guardiola’s side will now win the Premier League by beating Everton and second-placed Manchester United in their next two fixtures. Stoke, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone and a point from safety with just eight games left of the season.

The champions-elect made the perfect start to proceedings, taking an early lead thanks to yet another brilliant team goals that began with Vincent Kompany at the back. Man City’s captain fed the returning Fernandinho in midfield and, after a slick exchange of passes involving Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, the England forward’s right-wing cross was swept home by Silva’s composed finish, although Jack Butland may have done better in Stoke’s goal.

Stoke huffed and puffed in the first half, but the closest the hosts came to equalizing was when Xherdan Shaqiri’s quick feet saw the Swiss get free to the byline on the right, only for Fernandinho to crucially deflect Badou Ndiaye’s goal-bound shot just past the far post.

The visitors made Stoke pay for that miss when Silva scored his second of the night after 50 minutes, and his eighth league goal of the campaign, as Paul Lambert’s team were again undone by a breathtaking goal. Fernandinho picked out the Spain international, who then found Jesus lurking just outside the box, with the forward’s lovely return pass allowing Silva to hook the ball over the advancing Butland to give Man City breathing space.

Man City moved up a further gear and were unlucky not to add more goals in the final quarter, but a combination of poor finishing, excellent goalkeeping and bad luck denied both Sterling and the impressive Leroy Sane. Not that that mattered, and with Man City having now collected 81 points from their 30 league games this season, they have now equaled Leicester City’s total as champions three years ago.

 

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