A competent display secured a comfortable 2-0 win at Stoke’s expense before Manchester City jetted off to Abu Dhabi for some warm weather training.
Here, we take a closer look at some of the game’s key talking points.
1 Silva service
Brilliant. But then again, he always has been.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to bestow any new praise on David Silva, such is the level of performance he reaches week in week out.
He was majestic against Stoke. Typically probing in his passing to knit things together for the Blues and showing great desire and instinct to finish off two fine moves.
But perhaps the biggest indicator of his form this season is that those beyond the confines of the Etihad Stadium are starting to recognise what we’ve known since his earliest days in Manchester.
He’s quite simply, one of the finest players we've seen on these shores.
2 Goals all over
Pep Guardiola’s approach, in which off the ball movement combines perfectly with a passing style that drags defenders across the pitch, leaves space for a host of players to profit from.
It gave Silva his eighth Premier League goal of the season, leaving him, Jesus and Leroy Sane only two away from Aguero and Sterling in double figures.
Goals win games and even without our sharpest shooter, City have them in abundance.
3 Game management
There’ll be bigger tests to come this season, be that domestically or in Europe, which is why City’s in game management is important.
Capable of upping the tempo with a single, defence-splitting pass, we are equally adept at taking the sting out of the game when required.
At 2-0 we did that, confidently keeping the ball in a manner which allowed us to conserve our energy.
It’s sensible stuff and it could be crucial as this gruelling campaign reaches its finale.
4 Returning stars
A period on the side line has evidently done nothing to hamper Fernandinho or Sterling’s form.
The duo were back in the starting line-up after injury and performed as if they’d never been away.
Sterling’s weaving runs were a constant thorn in Stoke’s side and one nearly produced a remarkable goal, while his pace stretched the Potters’ defence to allow him to expertly tee up Silva for the game’s opener.
Fernandinho meanwhile, proved why his ability to excel on either side of the halfway line make him the fulcrum of the midfield.
The chief menace to Stoke’s forays forward, his passing allows him to turn defence into attack, as he did for Silva’s second.