Manchester City returned to winning ways in style by thrashing hapless Newcastle at Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side were surprisingly beaten at Southampton in their previous Premier League game but two goals in the opening 20 minutes against the Magpies effectively settled this contest.
Gabriel Jesus ended his nine-game goal drought by converting from David Silva’s cutback, while Riyad Mahrez swept home the second from Kevin de Bruyne’s pass.
It got worse for Newcastle in the second period when Federico Fernandez inadvertently deflected Matt Ritchie’s attempted clearance into his own net and David Silva added the fourth by curling in a sublime free-kick.
Raheem Sterling came off the bench to add the fifth for City in injury-time, rolling in from Silva’s pass.
With four games remaining, City have strengthened their claim to second place, moving nine points clear of Chelsea, while Newcastle drop to 13th.
Manchester City’s unsatisfactory title defence has seen them drop 33 points this season, three more than in their previous two campaigns combined, but they were a class apart against Newcastle.
The swift movement and quick passing in the final third tore apart the Magpies backline with ease time and time again and though their aggregate score from their last five home games now reads 19-0, it could have been much more.
Phil Foden’s growing influence in the starting line-up is clear to see, buzzing around in the final third, but the young Englishman will be disappointed by missing a hat-trick of chances, all dragged wide from promising positions.
The man Foden is tipped to replace next season, David Silva, showed why he will depart as one of the finest players the Premier League has seen, completing 106 of his 112 passes, contributing two assists as well as scoring a glorious free-kick.
The first two goals were similar, both coming from the left of the box, with Belgium international De Bruyne taking his assist tally to 18 for the campaign, just two short of Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s record.
Newcastle’s form since the restart has been excellent with two victories and two draws, but this heavy defeat ended a run of six unbeaten games in the league.
The appointment of Steve Bruce to replace Rafael Benitez last summer was not universally well received by the club’s fans, but the 59-year-old has kept them away from the relegation zone and they are only two points short of matching last season’s tally.
But Bruce extended his wretched record as manager against City. He has never beaten them, losing nine out of 12 matches.
They had several first-choice players missing, including Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Jamaal Lascelles, and conceding two early goals did not help their cause.
Defender Fernandez, who saw Ritchie’s attempted clearance ricochet off him into his own net, recorded the away side’s only shot on target, a weak header which was easily gathered by Ederson.
Man of the match – David Silva (Man City)
Manchester City travel to Brighton on Saturday (kick-off 20:00 BST), while Newcastle go to Watford earlier on the same day (12:30).