Guardiola grateful for patience shown by Man City owners

Manchester City's Spanish midfielder David Silva celebrates scoring his second goal of their English Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium

"So there is progression there, but a lot of people expected them to go through [against Sevilla], the performance by United was very surprising, they never seemed to get going and get up that head of steam".

That means there is a possibility City could complete the job at home to derby against rivals United on April 7, if they beat Everton in their next game on March 31.

"Normally the players with his ability maybe you think he's not a huge competitor, a fighter or helping the team defensively", Guardiola said.

Club captain Kompany is a veteran of City's 2012 side and witnessed Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time victor against Queens Park Rangers, one of English football's most iconic moments. It's unfortunate - well, not unfortunate - it's just one thing that we know a lot of the fans will want.

Furthermore, five wins from their last eight will see City hold the record or the most wins in a Premier League campaign.

And Fernandinho echoed the same sentiments that has made City's title race a procession, saying: "We are close to winning the league but we have to keep working and keep focused, as we did since the first day, game by game, step by step".

His comments echoed those of City manager Guardiola, who was unconcerned as to when his side won the title as long as they did indeed win it.

City captain Vincent Kompany is excited by the prospect of the United showdown, but warned his team-mates and the club's fans that Jose Mourinho's side won't make it easy for the champions-elect. "We have one more game before United and then we'll see, [but] steady, it won't be handed to us".

"I don't know, but when I play football I forget, I forget everything", he said.

Fernandinho and Leroy Sane both came close for Manchester City as they sought to extend their lead, while Stoke's Bruno Martins Indi also fired over the bar from close range. "He controlled the tempo perfectly".

"I'm going to get a little colour, which I'm needing (laughs)".

"Because when you look at City's team, they are so collectively on the same wavelength".

"Manchester City, the facilities, unbelievable experience", Benni McCarthy said after returning from Europe where he watched the Premier League giants in action in the Champions League.

They did carve out numerous chances though and well-worked goals early in each half from David Silva proved enough.

"They are going to find it more hard".

"It feels like the game tonight defines their season", the former United defender told The Debate.

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