Manchester: Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero were on target as Pep Guardiola and Manchester City continued their relentless march towards the Premier League title with a 3-0 win at home to struggling West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
Despite injuries in his squad, and the decision not to press on with the signing of Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez, the victory marked a successful end to the month for City who have now opened up a 15-point gap at the top of the table.
Hours before kick-off, Guardiola had given up on his pursuit of Mahrez after the Foxes turned down a reported offer of £65 million ($92 million, 74 million euros).
But City did hand a debut to one transfer window signing, the French central defender Aymeric Laporte, who signed from Athletic Bilbao for a City club-record £57 million just 24 hours earlier.
It was a rusty start for the 23-year-old, featuring a couple of mis-hit passes but, otherwise, it was business as usual for the league leaders even though they were without the in-form Leroy Sane, injured in the weekend FA Cup win at Cardiff.
City were dominant from the start, England goalkeeper Ben Foster making a timely save at the feet of Sergio Aguero as he pounced on a Raheem Sterling cross.
David Silva struck a free-kick directly into the wall and Foster had a couple of anxious moments when required to punch away De Bruyne’s opportunistic effort.