London: Manchester City need just one more win to secure the Premier League title after a blistering first-half display secured a 3-1 win at Everton on Saturday.
Deliciously for City fans, the three points could be secured next Saturday at home against Manchester United although with that game sandwiched between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool, manager Pep Guardiola was keen to play down the chances of a title celebration.
“We have to focus on the Champions League, we have United in the middle but for the line-up we have to think about the Champions League,” the Spaniard told reporters.
City took just four minutes to get in front with a superb volley from Leroy Sane after a fine cross from David Silva.
The game was put beyond Everton within 37 minutes with a Gabriel Jesus header and a Raheem Sterling finish making it 3-0.
Guardiola’s side took their foot off the gas in the second half and Everton restored a little pride with a 63rd minute strike from Yannick Bolasie.
It has long been a matter of time before City formally clinched the title but next week’s opponents head into the derby in second place and with a win under their belt after beating Swansea City 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Palace, however, remained in trouble, only two points above the relegation zone.
“It is a bit of a groundhog day playing against these top teams,” their manager Roy Hodgson said after his side conceded a late winner again, just as they had to Manchester United and Tottenham in their previous two home games.
West Ham jumped above their London rivals with a comprehensive 3-0 home victory over a poor Southampton side, who were three goals down at halftime in manager Mark Hughes’s first league game in charge and stayed in the bottom three.
Marko Arnautovic, who fell out with Hughes after leaving Stoke City for West Ham in the close-season, scored two of the goals.