Erling Haaland scored twice as Premier League champions Manchester City maintained their winning streak with a dominant victory over relegation-threatened Leicester City.
The hosts cut the gap to league leaders Arsenal to just three points, but Mikel Arteta’s men can re-establish their advantage when they face West Ham on Sunday.
It was a thoroughly comfortable day for Pep Guardiola’s men, who scored twice in the first 13 minutes through John Stones’ thumping effort and Haaland’s penalty.
The 22-year-old Norwegian goal machine added his second with a delightfully dinked finish 12 minutes later, but could not add to his tally after being substituted at half-time.
Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen made a superb flying stop to deny Riyad Mahrez’s curling strike, the closest the hosts came to a fourth in the second half.
Meanwhile, Dean Smith suffered a nightmare start in his first game in charge of Leicester, although Kelechi Iheanacho grabbed a 75th minute consolation and also hit the post against his old club.
The Foxes remain deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table, sitting in 19th position and two points off safety.
This game went true to form as Manchester City’s juggernaut streamrolled on in their aim for a Treble of trophies.
Guardiola’s side are ominously bearing in on Arsenal, and the Londoners cannot afford any slip-ups knowing City are hitting form at the right time by putting together a 10-game winning streak.
They look on course to reach the last four of the Champions League after taking apart Bayern Munich in the first leg of the quarter-finals on Tuesday, and face Sheffield United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup next Saturday.
But on 26 April comes the huge clash against Arsenal, which could potentially be a title-decider at Etihad Stadium, with the visitors aiming to end their long top-flight trophy wait and stop their opponents from claiming three in a row.
Leading City’s charge is irrepressible frontman Haaland, who continues to wreak havoc with his goalscoring, taking his tally to 47 in 40 games in all competitions.
His spot-kick and cheeky finish from Kevin de Bruyne’s pass extended his total to 32 in the top flight, drawing alongside Mohamed Salah’s record in a 38-game season with eight games still to play.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker’s goals put his side 3-0 up after they were set on their way by Stones’ fabulous first-time finish from the edge of the box.
With the points all-but secure, both players were withdrawn at half-time and the team could not find more goals as Leicester dug in.
This was attack against defence, and was not the start former Aston Villa boss Smith would have wished for, having taken charge of Leicester until the end of the campaign.
A dreadful season shows few signs of improvement, with the Foxes having collected one point from their last nine games. They have earned just eight points since Christmas, the fewest by a top-flight side during that period.
Home goalkeeper Ederson was a virtual bystander for the entire contest, but made a sharp stop to deny James Maddison after substitute Iheanacho had stabbed in from close range.
The Nigerian striker also struck the post in the 90th minute, which would have set up a nervy finish, but ultimately they were well beaten.
Striker Jamie Vardy made his 300th Premier League appearance, but the 36-year-old was given no supply and could not add to the eight goals he has scored against Manchester City before being replaced at the break
Youri Tielemans returned to the side after six weeks out with an ankle injury and defender Caglar Soyuncu made just his third league appearance of the campaign after falling out of favour under Brendan Rodgers.
Although they curtailed a horror start, Leicester slumped to their 20th league defeat of the season, the same number as bottom-of-the-table Southampton.
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