MANCHESTER CITY 4 ASTON VILLA 0
MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini is thrilled his side have scored their way to the brink of becoming Premier League champions after moving to the summit last night for the first time since January.
A second-half brace from Edin Dzeko, plus goals from substitute Stevan Jovetic and Yaya Toure – City’s 100th in the Premier League this season – earned the victory to move them two points clear of Liverpool at the top with one game left to play.
A significantly superior goal difference over Brendan Rodgers’ Reds means City will need just a point at home to West Ham on Sunday to seal their second league title triumph in three years.
And Pellegrini has taken great pleasure in the manner with which his team have conducted themselves during his first season in England.
“There are different ways to win the title and I chose this one. I want the fans to enjoy the season and I want to win in this way,” said the 60-year-old, who also saw City lift the Capital One Cup in March.
“We are an attractive team, we score a lot of goals and we always think we can score more. For me, that has just as much importance as winning the title.
“If we win the next game we will win the league. It was a very strange season because we were always chasing. We had three games in hand at most stages, now we are top of the table and I hope we will not lose on Sunday. We expect to win the title, because we’re top of the table.”
Villa sat deep and frustrated City throughout the first half, but the champions elect finally made the breakthrough when Dzeko turned in Pablo Zabaleta’s low cross at the near post on 64 minutes to open the floodgates.
Six minutes later Dzeko netted his fifth goal in three games, tapping in from close range after Samir Nasri’s initial shot was blocked by goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Andreas Weimann hit the crossbar with a header to give City a rare scare, but in the final minutes Jovetic stroked in from 20 yards before Toure burst forwards from deep inside his own half and powered in his 20th league goal of the season.