David Silva scored both goals as Manchester City won 2-0 at Stoke City to restore their 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
The Spain midfielder opened the scoring after 10 minutes and doubled the lead with his second five minutes into the second half.
With eight games to go, it is just a matter of when Pep Guardiola's side will be crowned champions.
There's a growing possibility that City could wrap up a third league title in seven years by beating Manchester United in the derby on April 7.
The prospect would arise if City and second-place United both win their next games - after the international break - against Everton and Swansea respectively.
"We are very close now, we have 81 points which is a lot," Guardiola said.
"We had a solid performance, we controlled the game and conceded no chances.
"Now we have three weeks off, we go to Abu Dhabi and will come back strong."
Guardiola said he didn't mind when the team won the title.
"To be champions is tough, it's complicated," he said.
"As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed... It doesn't matter where we win it."
Stoke remain second-bottom, one point from safety.
Silva turned in a cross from the fit-again Raheem Sterling to put City in front.
City dominated thereafter and Sterling won back possession to start the move that led to the second goal.
Gabriel Jesus looped the ball across the box for Silva to hook in a finish to make sure of the points.
The Spaniard may now miss the trip to the UAE to allow him more time to spend with his son, Mateo, who is receiving medical attention after he was born prematurely in December.
The 32-year-old said that though it has has been tough to balance his work and family life, having a focus has been important.
"When I play football I forget about everything else, it is good for me to play," he said.
"My private life is very hard for me but my son is fighting and getting better."
Stoke manager Paul Lambert was proud of the way his team fought against the best team in the country.
"They are as good a team as I've seen in a long time," he said.
"They have gone to another level. But credit to my team, they never capitulated.
Stoke resume their bid to escape relegation with a home game against Everton on Sunday (NZT).