Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany admits the chance to clinch the Premier League title against rivals Manchester United is a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
David Silva struck twice in a sublime performance as the league leaders recorded a straightforward 2-0 win against Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium.
The Spain midfielder expertly converted Raheem Sterling’s 10th-minute cross before getting on the end of Gabriel Jesus’ lofted pass to make it 2-0 early in the second half.
City, who restored their 16-point lead at the top of the table, remain on course to claim the title as early as April 7 after their game with rivals Manchester United.
Kompany knows work has to be done in their next Premier League game against Everton if they are to get that chance, but he told Sky Sports Premier League: “Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. But (we have to be) steady.
“We have one game before then which will be difficult and then we will see. It is not going to be handed to us.”
Silva took his goal tally for the season to nine despite having missed some games over the past three months following the premature birth of his son.
The 32-year-old told Sky Sports Premier League: “When I play football I forget everything. It’s good for me to play. In my private life now it is a very hard moment but my son is fighting. I’m very happy because he is getting stronger.”
Blues boss Pep Guardiola typically downplayed the derby-day title possibility.
“Everybody has asked me about it but the important thing is that on March 12 we have 81 points,” he said.
“We want to be champions and to do that we need to win two or three games.”
Stoke manager Paul Lambert was keen to take positives from a game in which his side could have lost more heavily were it not for some resolute defending.
“They’re a top side, there’s no two ways about it,” he said.
“Their movement, their speed, the way they make the pitch really big when they have the ball and really small when they don’t.
“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up – that’s why they’re going to win the league and are in the race to win the Champions League.
“I’m delighted we didn’t capitulate and kept our spirit there.”