Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany has urged his side to seize a “once in a lifetime opportunity” and clinch the Premier League title against rivals Manchester United after beating relegation-threatened Stoke.
City moved to within two victories of landing the first top-flight crown of manager Pep Guardiola’s reign after playmaker David Silva netted twice, once in each half, as City eased past Paul Lambert’s Stoke.
Their latest triumph restored City’s 16-point lead at the summit, which could mean City are presented the opportunity to seal the title by overcoming United on 7 April, which follows their showdown with Everton later this month.
“I think everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but steady, we have one more game before United and then we’ll see. I’m sure it won’t be handed to us,” said Kompany.
“It’s a massive boost for us to play the game like we do and every win brings you closer to your goal but we want to keep this standard until the end of the season and into the next season too.”
Guardiola, meanwhile, played down the significance of where the moment of glory is secured. He said: “To be champions, it’s complicated. Our club doesn’t have a history of a lot of titles.
“As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed. It doesn’t matter where we win it. I understand that it is important to our fans to win it against United. But if we play like today, sooner or later we will be champions.”
City opened the scoring on 10 minutes as Raheem Sterling burst down the right and provided the perfect cross for Silva, arriving from deep, to sweep beyond Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.
Stoke, who remain 19th and a point from safety, were cast aside five minutes after the restart, cut to shreds by City, as Silva exchanged passes with Gabriel Jesus and steered the bouncing ball beyond Butland.