Pep Guardiola hailed his players as Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 to take another step towards the Premier League title.
Bernardo Silva scored the only goal as City moved 18 points clear with victory over a lacklustre Chelsea.
The scoreline did not reflect City’s dominance of a one-sided contest at the Etihad Stadium, with fading champions Chelsea offering little as they slipped to a fourth defeat in five league games.
The visitors did at least make City dig deep for their victory as, playing without a recognised striker they sat back, but Silva’s 46th-minute breakthrough was no less than the hosts deserved.
It extended City’s lead at the top of the table to 18 points and left them only four wins from the title, while Chelsea were cut five points adrift of the top four in fifth place.
“It was so important, a win today is another step closer,” Guardiola told the BBC.
“We need four victories to be champions, it is in our hands and if our behaviour is like today we will be champions.
“Against a strong team like Chelsea, who are still the champions, and beat them in the way we did today, that is why it is so good.
“I never judge what the other guy does. Who can forget the same manager and almost same players were champions last year.
“Our performance today was so good in terms of control and attacking at the right moment. Everybody was good.”