Leroy Sane, David Silva 9/10 as Man City breeze past Everton
It has reached the point of this fabulous season from Manchester City where the number of passes matters little, where the amount of possession provides little of interest and the heat maps do little more than confirm what we have known all season: this is a team of exceptional quality, led by an exceptional manager and populated by truly exceptional players.
Saturday saw yet another win, this time 3-1 at Everton, illustrate the exemplary standards of a majestic season, which means the title can be delivered extra early with a win against Manchester United a week from now.
A smooth as silk first-half, where expertly exerted early pressure provided the first goal, further incursions were rewarded richly and the game was signed, sealed and delivered by half-time. The simple victory, secured at a ground where City have been thoroughly harassed out of their stride year after year in the past, broke a new club record of 13 wins on the road. Displaying such arrogant comfort at a ground known only for displeasure underlines what has been achieved under pep Guardiola.
Manager Rating out of 10
9 -- For a manager with his mind on a midweek clash in the same city against a different team, this was a case of the usual positive thinking. The fast-out-of-the-blocks appetite for battle put the game to bed early and allowed him to conserve legs and minds for midweek. The win marked 50 victories in his 69 games in charge of City and provided the starkest contrast possible with last season's 4-0 defeat at the same venue.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson, 7 -- Highlight of a quiet game was his swift delivery down the middle to Leroy Sane, who produced an impudent bit of skill to set up the second goal. Beaten by Yannick Bolasie's shot, which caught him by surprise given that it took the scenic route through Kyle Walker's legs.
DF Kyle Walker, 8 -- Produced a 45-yard diagonal ball to Sane's feet in the first minute to show that City meant business. Energetic and alert from then on.
DF Vincent Kompany, 8 -- Fell awkwardly challenging Theo Walcott for a high ball but spent most of the game on his feet, shepherding Everton's attack towards the sidelines.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 7 -- Had little to do in a first half dominated by his teammates at the other end. As a result, managed to find time to saunter forward for a couple of attempts on goal. Untroubled by the usually tricky Bolasie.
DF Aymeric Laporte, 7 -- Played his part in the first goal, slotting David Silva through for the critical cross into the middle. At times looked slightly ill at ease in the left-back slot as Walcott tested him for pace. Replaced by Danilo after 86 minutes.
MF Fernandinho, 8 -- Little to do in defensive mode during an all-action first half. Unique holding skills kept Everton at bay while others romped forward and had more to do after the break as City sat on their lead.
MF David Silva, 9 -- Looked at times in the first half like a matador, showing the ball to Everton's midfield, then turning away gently and delivering a simple beguiling pass just out of reach of the snorting opposition. If there was a soundtrack of oles to each pass he makes, it would not be out of place.
MF Raheem Sterling, 8 -- A quiet start was livened up by a low shot inches wide after 17 minutes. More involved from the 30-minute mark on and rewarded with the third goal, a clean hit from Silva's perfect ball into the middle.
MF Kevin de Bruyne, 8 -- Operating at 75 percent of where he was before Christmas but still a joy to watch. A little dinked ball to set up the magnificent second goal was perfectly weighted, but the miss-kicked crossfield pass I did not please him much.
MF Leroy Sane, 9 -- Reminded Everton's defence that he was the man to watch with a second-minute volley of crisp precision. The Germany international has found form right at the appropriate time, swerving and slaloming his way through time and again. Juggling to set up second goal was worth the entrance fee alone.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 -- Got his goal, a nod in that was impossible to miss, but also carried a threat in his chasing down of Everton's defenders. Disciplined performance.
MF Bernardo Silva 7 -- Came on for Sterling for the last 40 minutes (63) and wafted a couple of lovely left foot passes infield from the right wing as City managed the second half in unflappable style.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, NR -- Replaced Kevin de Bruyne with the match well won. Easy run-out.
DF Danilo, NR -- Came on for Aymeric Laporte on 86 minutes to see out the final acts of a game long decided.
Simon is one of ESPN FC's Manchester City bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @bifana_bifana.