Liverpool (UK), May 14 (IANS) Captain Ilkay Gundogan scored a brace and set up one more as Manchester City despatched relegation-threatened Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League fixture, here on Sunday.
With this win, Pep Guardiola’s side moved four points clear of second-placed Arsenal and a step closer to a seventh Premier League title.
The three points put City in pole position to retain the league title, with two more wins from their remaining three matches set to be enough to seal the crown.
After winning the league in 2020/21 and 2021/22, City needed a maximum of six points from their remaining games against Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford to become just the second club in the Premier League era to lift the trophy in three consecutive campaigns.
Gundogan, on his 300th City appearance, opened the scoring with a beautiful flicked finish in the 36th minute before providing for Erling Haaland to head home his 52nd goal of the season just two minutes later.
He added his second and City’s third shortly after half-time with a perfectly executed free-kick.
Gundogan, who was named Player of the Match after an influential display, scored a superbly improvised first goal, with his second coming from a direct free-kick curled into the top corner.
The captain was delighted with the crucial win and said: “It’s the end of the season now so every game is crucial. Every game is like a final now. For the last three years, this place (Goodison Park) has always been very tough for us. Even more so now. We feel like this is a big win.
“I felt that I was free. Both centre-backs were focused on Erling Haaland. I saw the space. The ball was a little bit behind my run. I had to adjust and somehow, I was able to take a touch, I tried my luck and it worked out perfectly.”
The victory extended City’s winning run in the Premier League to 11 matches and their unbeaten streak across all competitions to 22 games.
The loss for Everton left them looking nervously over their shoulders with two games remaining, hovering just one point above the relegation zone.