Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Man City one step closer to title

David Silva celebrates a goal with Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus David Silva celebrates a goal with Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus
Isaac Mcdaniel | 14 March, 2018, 06:16

City are now 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester United and if they win their next league game at Everton on March 31, they will set up a Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium where a win over their arch-rivals would secure the title.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has spoken of his side's motivation to seal their Premier League title against rivals Manchester United on April 7 but warned it will be a hard challenge for the division leaders.

Stoke huffed and puffed in the first half, but the closest the hosts came to equalising 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.

"Now we are two or three games away from being champions", said Guardiola, adding it "doesn't matter when we win it".

It would be the ultimate humiliation for Jose Mourinho and his side to lose the game and thereby hand City their second trophy of the season.

Skipper Vincent Kompany, who won the Premier League with Manchester City in 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, certainly understands the emotion that would be generated by winning the title by beating United.

19 more strikes from now until the season's completion will see City hold the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season.

"We are going to be together and make three training sessions in five days", he told media after the win over Stoke.

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Stoke, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone and a point from safety with just eight games left of the season.

Guardiola was full of praise for his 32-year-old midfield star following the game.

Silva, whose term has been disrupted following the premature birth of his son which has forced him to return to Spain regularly, admitted afterwards "it had been good for him to play".

"You can not tell me that the players United have got do not look over there enviously at how brilliant and free they are playing", he said.

"There are always goals to pursue, statistics to overcome, and we will carry on and then work towards next season. But credit to my team, they never capitulated", he said.

"They're a top side, there's no two ways about it", he said.

Now 16 points clear of Manchester United, they are capable of topping United's own record title-winning margin of 18 points over runners-up Arsenal in 1999/2000 - especially if they win the Manchester derby.

Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce's team are also Stoke's next opponents in the league, with the Potters hosting Everton at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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