Manchester City moved up to third in the Premier League with a routine win over Stoke ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.
Fernando headed the hosts in front from a corner before a Sergio Aguero penalty – awarded for Ryan Shawcross’s foul on Kelechi Iheanacho – doubled the lead.
Iheanacho, 19, added the third from close range, then the teenager rounded the keeper to seal an emphatic win.
Stoke conceded four goals for the third straight Premier League game.
Relive the action from the Etihad Stadium
Reaction from the Etihad and from Saturday’s Premier League and FA Cup games
City ready to face Real
Manuel Pellegrini rested a number of players, including captain Vincent Kompany and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, with the first-leg visit of 10-time champions of Europe Real Madrid in mind.
Yet his side go into one of the biggest games in the club’s history with confidence high after moving above Arsenal, who play at Sunderland on Sunday, in the table.
City’s place at the top of table of European football next season is by no means certain but, a slow start notwithstanding, they showed their ruthless side to dispose of a Stoke team that missed several good chances.
Such was City’s dominance, Pellegrini could afford the luxury of bringing off influential players David Silva and Sergio Aguero to rest legs for the heavyweight meeting with Real.