Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised midfielder David Silva after his two goals moved his side a step closer to the Premier League title after a 2-0 win at Stoke on Monday Night Football.
The Spain international found the net either side of half-time at the bet365 Stadium to restore the visitors` 16-point lead the top of the table.
Silva, 32, has now scored eight league goals this season, and victories in City`s next two games - at Everton on March 31 and at home to second-placed Manchester Utd on April 7 - will see them crowned Premier League champions for a third time.
Guardiola was full of praise for his compatriot after his man-of-the-match display.
The goals, I am happy for David today, he has scored a lot of goals this season and the minutes he played, he said at the full-time whistle.
He controlled the tempo perfectly. Normally people talk about his skills and technical ability and after that he cannot be an aggressive competitor. And he has both.
There are no doubts about his skills, but after that, in the bad moments he is always there, he controlled the game, the tempo and to help us have more control.
And I think the mix, with especially David, and Ilkay Gundogan, they are more aggressive and attacking with more runs in behind, and that also helps us a lot to control the games.
As for his own team, Guardiola acknowledged they were now within touching distance of the title after this latest win took them on to 81 points, more than they collected in the whole of last season.
We are very close, it had been 12 months where we have collected a lot of points and just lost one game, he said.
It is always a complicated here, but we put in a solid performance and controlled the game and didn`t concede a goal. They had just one chance, so three points more.
We now have three weeks off and we travel to Abu Dhabi to train there in better weather conditions and to change our habits, stay together and come back strong.
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