David Silva struck twice as Pep Guardiola’s men moved 16 points clear at the top.
And if City beat Everton away on March 31 and arch rivals United at the Etihad on April 7, they will be crowned champions.
City’s Vincent Kompany said: “Everybody in the blue side of Manchester knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win the title against United.
“But, steady, it won’t be handed to us.
“Every win brings you closer to your goal but we want to keep this standard until the end of the season and into the next season too.”
City swept into the lead after just ten minutes.
Gabriel Jesus laid the ball off to the dangerous Raheem Sterling, and his cross picked out Silva to slide in.
MAUR TO DO Southampton sack Mauricio Pellegrino
Sky Sport’s pundit Gary Neville said: “The first was a wonderful team goal — it’s very hard to defend against.
“But Jack Butland should probably do better.”
And Spanish star Silva doubled City’s lead in the 50th minute.
Fernandinho picked out Silva, who exchanged passes with Jesus, before lobbing the ball over Butland.
The Spaniard has been in red-hot form despite the premature birth of his son.
Asked how he blocked out his off-field worries, he said: “I really don’t know!
“When I play football I forget about everything else, it is good for me to play.
“My private life is hard for me but my son is fighting and getting better.”
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