City’s win takes them to one point above Manchester United for now with their cross-city rivals playing tomorrow.
City to face rock-bottom Sheffield United this weekend. West Brom now prepares to host Fulham in what will be a relegation six-pointer. It’s surely a must-win for West Brom if they want to stay up.
If Guardiola’s team carry on playing as well as this, they’ll take some stopping this season. West Brom stays 19th, six points from safety and now by far the worst goal difference in the division. Allardyce will have a hard task saving the Baggies from here.
The city had the win wrapped up by half-time with first-half goals from Mahrez, Cancelo and Gundogan before Sterling sealed a five-star victory in the second half. West Brom must feel miserable.
Gundogan played in a false nine position in the absence of injury-prone Kevin De Bruyne he scored his seventh goal of the season with another neat finish before Riyad Mahrez capped an incredible team first-half performance with an outstanding solo effort.
Raheem Sterling got in on the act in the second half as City continued their winning streak in all competitions, which is now at 11 games.
West Brom started the game with good strength as a long throw caused mayhem in the City box but Ederson was quick to react to a Semi Ajayi shot.
Phil Foden, making his 100th appearance for City, forced Sam Johnstone to turn his low drive onto the post after a quick break.
The frantic start to peak when City grabbed the lead after six minutes thanks to Gundogan’s sixth goal in 10 games.
Cancelo’s searching pass was brilliantly collected by the midfielder and he turned before curling a fine effort into the bottom corner from 20 yards.
From that moment, City took control of the football.
The Baggies remained in their defensive pattern but were soon 2-0 down after 20 minutes.
Bernardo Silva teamed up with Cancelo but had been flagged offside – with some of the home defence stopping before Cancelo curled into the top corner from 18 yards.
A lengthy VAR check showed Darnell Furlong had played Silva onside but assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis had already incorrectly motioned for offside.
There was no way back for Albion when City got a third.
Romaine Sawyers was knocked off on the edge of the box by Gundogan before he turned Dara O’Shea and fired past Johnstone.
The opportunities kept on coming towards Johnstone’s goal and he picks the ball out of the net again just before the break. Sterling picked out Mahrez in the box and he was allowed to check inside before sweeping a stunning finish into the top corner.
City’s possession continued after the break, with Rodri’s 25-yard drive hit the bar, and a fifth goal arrived after 57 minutes.
This time Mahrez returned the favour for Sterling, directing Rodri’s lofted pass across for England forward to net his ninth goal of the season from a close range.
City’s win sees them finish on top of the Premier League table for the first time this season, becoming the ninth different team to end a day top this term.