Manchester City crushed West Bromwich Albion with a 5-0 win at the Hawthorns to head to the top of the Premier League.
It took just six minutes for Pep Guardiola to take the lead through the great Ilkay Gundogan, with the City playmaker curling a wonderful finish past Sam Johnstone in the West Brom net. And that was just the beginning of what turned out to be a torrid night for the Baggies.
Joao Cancelo made it two with a rather controversial score, lofting a clean finish home when half of the West Brom defense had reacted to an offside flag. Yet the whistle had not gone out, VAR overruled the offside decision, and the objective stood.
With his second of the night at 30 minutes, Gundogan all-but wrapped up the victory and Riyad Mahrez made the game secure with a fourth on the cusp of half-time.
It didn’t last long for West Brom to hope the City would take their foot off the gas after the break, with the visitors continuing to make chance after chance despite the withdrawal of both Gundogan and Phil Foden soon after the restart.
And in 57 minutes, when Rodri selected Mahrez, who in turn discovered the clever run of Sterling with an excellent first-time cross on the half-volley, Raheem Sterling added a superb sixth, a shot of such quality that even Pep Guardiola was unable to hide his delight on the bench of the Capital.
The result sends City top of the league, a point ahead of local rivals Manchester United after 19 games each. United could return to the top with a victory over Sheffield United on Wednesday night, but the amazing form of Man City (seven wins on the bounce with just one goal conceded) means that they will escape as in the second half of the season the title chase unfolds.