De Bruyne sinks Chelsea to give Manchester City huge 13-point lead
For Pep Guardiola, the biggest challenge now will be convincing his Manchester City players the English Premier League title race is not over.
"My job is to take it out from the brain and heads of my players," Guardiola said after City beat nearest rival Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday. "To try not to believe what other people are going to say."
With City holding a 13-point lead, it's hardly surprising that people have already basically handed Guardiola's relentless team a sixth title in 11 seasons.
After all, the defending champions are on a 12-match winning run in the league after Kevin De Bruyne's brilliant curling strike in the 70th minute sealed victory at Etihad Stadium. City has lost two games all season — it would have to lose at least three of its remaining 16 matches to drop out of first place — and already has played all of the top teams away from home.
Liverpool, in third place 14 points behind having played two games fewer, looks to be the only team realistically capable of stopping City. Even that is improbable, given City's form and pedigree.
Chelsea was well beaten even if Thomas Tuchel's team didn't give up many chances against City, which dominated possession and kept the visitors penned in their own half for much of the match.
"We won’t give up," Tuchel said, "but if City keep on winning every game, nobody can catch them."
Liverpool will look to trim the gap to City by beating Brentford at home on Sunday.
At the other end of the standings, Norwich climbed out of last place with a 2-1 win over Everton, whose supporters' frustrations with manager Rafa Benitez appear to be boiling over. One fan ran onto the field in the first half at Carrow Road and was making his way toward Benitez before he got stopped by stewards.
Newcastle stayed in the relegation zone after conceding an 88th-minute goal to draw at home to Watford 1-1 and remain with just one win.
Wolverhampton defeated Southampton 3-1 in other match and jumped to eighth.
Aston Villa hosted Manchester United in the late game.
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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80