Captain Vincent Kompany says Manchester City side have "a once in a lifetime opportunity" to win the title against rivals Manchester United after they restored their 16-point lead at the top of the table with victory at Stoke.
The Spain midfielder then doubled the visitors' advantage, converting after a lovely move five minutes into the second half.
Pep Guardiola's side must feel like they are within touching distance of that crown after David Silva delivered another masterclass to enable City to register their 26th league victory of the season and deepen Stoke's relegation worries in the process.
"And it should not, but it just feels that the game tonight will define their season".
"I'm very specific in saying it's not going to be handed to us", Kompany added.
City rack up the points.More news: Bracketology 2018: Davidson wins the A 10 title, ruining someone's NCAA dreams
City, meanwhile, can look forward to a memorable finale to the season given their current form and dominance over the Premier League although their demanding manager is clearly not in the mood to allow his players to relax.
If all goes well for the Blues and they lift a third Premier League title on April 7, they will also break United's record when it comes to the earliest title win, which is April 14 in 2000/01.
Guardiola was full of praise for his 32-year-old midfield star following the game. As soon as possible will be better but now we can be relaxed, the players go away with their worldwide teams.
"David just explained his story, it puts everything into perspective for us", said the defender.
"The way they play is terrific, you don't really see it until you get close up, it's so hard to stop".More news: Gun control: Trump backflips on stricter measures, pushes to arm teachers
"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".
"Manchester City, the facilities, unbelievable experience", Benni McCarthy said after returning from Europe where he watched the Premier League giants in action in the Champions League.
Their next challenge will come on March 31 when they face Everton at Goodison Park.
"They are as good a team as I've seen in a long time".
"If they had gone through tonight into the last eight of the Champions League, sitting pretty in second place in the league, into the last eight of the FA Cup, it would be a fantastic season".More news: Conners leads, Woods lurks at Valspar
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