City are six points ahead of Liverpool with one game remaining following a win that was probably even more convincing than the result implies.
Ralf Rangnick’s team was without injured Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, as well as Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw, who are both carrying Covid-19, and were overpowered by the talent and energy of the defending champions.
Kevin de Bruyne was at the centre of everything. He put City ahead early on, then restored their advantage before halftime after Jadon Sancho levelled United with a precise low strike, the Belgian’s second smashed in in a goalmouth scramble.
After the interval, City increased the tempo and received the goal their wide domination deserved after 68 minutes when Riyad Mahrez met De Bruyne’s corner on the half-volley to past United keeper David de Gea. The goal was scored as a result of a deflection from United captain Harry Maguire, who had a miserable afternoon.
In the last minutes, Mahrez surged clear to beat De Gea, the goal coming after a protracted VAR examination for offside.