Champions-elect inflict 2-0 defeat upon Potters in front of live television cameras...
MANCHESTER CITY were simply too hot to handle at the bet365 Stadium on Monday evening as Pep Guardiola’s men took another giant stride towards the Premier League crown.
A clinically taken brace from Spanish international David Silva either side of the half-time interval proved to be enough to claim maximum spoils for the visitors and deny the Potters the chance of elevating themselves outside of the bottom three.
Silva claimed his first after just 10 minutes, gracefully clipping the ball home from close range following a scintillating break down the left by England ace Raheem Sterling.
The home side rallied and had opportunities of their own to level the scoreline with January acquisition Badou Ndiaye flashing a strike agonisingly wide of goal, following an exquisite piece of skill from Xherdan Shaqiri, before Kyle Walker very nearly inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
That was as close as Lambert’s well drilled troops came to fashioning a leveller however, as Jack Butland made several decent saves to keep the scoreline down to one in front of the watching Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
There was nothing he could do to deny Silva a second of the game four minutes after the restart however, as the midfield maestro latched onto a clever ball across the penalty box by Gabriel Jesus and guided a half volley past the helpless Potters number one.
Bruno Martins Indi arguably should have pulled the home side back into the contest moments after the introduction of Peter Crouch, only for his finishing to let him down six-yards out - lashing over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The Potters were far more resolute and dogged than the previous meeting, at the Etihad Stadium, back in October, but in truth a positive outcome never appeared likely with Guardiola’s troops showcasing some more of the football that has seen them establish a 16-point cushion at the summit of the table.
Next up for Stoke is a crucial encounter against Everton this coming weekend, an encounter that could prove instrumental to the Club’s hopes of preserving Premier League status for an eleventh successive campaign.