Manchester City won their seventh Premier League game in a row at a canter with a 2-0 demolition of hapless Fulham.
The win over Scott Parker’s struggling side, now all but consigned to relegation after a solitary season in the top flight, took City back to the top of the table at least until Liverpool play Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
City played the second half mainly without urgency because there was no need for any. They had the game won inside half an hour. The rest of the match was an exercise in energy preservation for greater tests that lie ahead as their season heads for a stunning climax.
They have seven more league games left to play and with Kevin De Bruyne back in the side after injury and Fernandinho returning as a substitute, too, it is entirely possible that they will not drop points in any of them. City are that well-drilled. City are that confident. City are that good.
At the end of the match, their fans threw blue flares on to the pitch and sang the name of their long-serving club secretary and life president, Bernard Halford, who died last week. It was an echo of the past but this is a team that is on the brink of outdoing anything this club has achieved before.
They have a maximum of 14 games left in all competitions now and suddenly the Quadruple has metamorphosed from an impossible dream into something that actually seems feasible.
Guardiola was pleased that City had breezed through the encounter without any alarms. When he assessed the challenges they had faced on this visit to London, he mentioned the early kick-off, the sunny weather and the effects of the international break. Mere mortals do not pose as much of a threat.
‘We’re privileged to be in all the competitions almost at the beginning of April and to fight for the title,’ the City boss had said before the game. ‘It’s an incredible experience. For the next one-and-a-half or two months together, there is no time for regret.
‘We put everything we have into every single game, every single minute and every competition, to see how far we get. It’s still in our hands. We win all games and we’ll be champions. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy.’