Manchester City licked the wounds of its heartbreaking Champions League exit by taking a step towards the Premier League title with a dominant 5-0 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday.
Liverpool’s frustrating draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday offered City the opportunity to go three points clear at the summit with just three games to play, and Pep Guardiola’s side made no mistake with a scintillating performance at the Etihad Stadium.
Raheem Sterling’s opener settled any lingering nerves following Wednesday’s semifinal collapse against Real Madrid, which had seen City — seemingly cruising through to a second straight final — concede twice at the death before Karim Benzema completed the fightback in extra-time.
Goals from Spanish duo Aymeric Laporte and Rodri against Newcastle were followed by late strikes from Phil Foden and Sterling, adding further gloss on a near-perfect weekend for City, who will retain its Premier League crown with victories over Wolves, West Ham, and Aston Villa regardless of Liverpool’s efforts.
Despite the continued elusiveness of the Champions League, another league victory would mark a fourth in five years for the Citizens, and simultaneously end Liverpool’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple.
After a tumultuous week, it was a “perfect afternoon” for Guardiola, whose faith in his team responding to midweek’s defeat was never shaken.