MANCHESTER City brushed aside struggling Cardiff to leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday as Tottenham opened their glittering new stadium in style.
City’s 2-0 victory over Cardiff took Pep Guardiola’s quadruple-chasers to 80 points – one clear of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, with both sides having six matches to go.
Tottenham marked their long-delayed move into their state-of-the-art new home with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, while Chelsea thumped Brighton 3-0.
Kevin De Bruyne gave City the lead in the sixth minute, firing in from a tight angle after being played in by Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane doubled the lead for the defending champions with a sharp finish just before halftime.
Guardiola, whose team take on Brighton at Wembley in the FA Cup semifinal on Saturday, made seven changes to his starting line-up, handing teenager Phil Foden his first Premier League start.
The defeat leaves Neil Warnock’s Cardiff third from bottom, five points from safety, with only relegated Huddersfield and Fulham below them.
Spurs, who were on the edge of the title race for a large chunk of the season, started their match at home to Palace in fourth spot, behind north London rivals Arsenal.
But Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen made sure the celebrations did not fall flat, scoring second-half goals that enabled Spurs to end a wretched run of four defeats in five league games.
City’s victory against Cardiff at the Etihad Stadium was their eighth consecutive Premier League win and puts them back in pole position in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Southampton will welcome Liverpool to the St Mary’s Stadium in the opening game of the weekend’s Premier League ties. Liverpool are aiming to boost their title hopes with a victory.