Manchester City got the job done against Sunderland as they eased to a 2-0 win over the Black Cats.
It may have taken Pep Guardiola's men a little while to go through the gears, but goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane ultimately saw them pick up a vital three points.
City are still eight points behind pace-setters Chelsea, and that could be eleven by close of play on Monday if the Blues beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
Yet, all they could do was to beat Sunderland to close the gap as much as possible, and that's what they did.
Jermain Defoe hit the post in the first half and later saw his header ruled out for offside, but other than that the hosts didn't cause City too many problems.
It was a thoroughly professional performance from the Premier League's third-placed side.
A great team effort from City
Aguero proved his worth to make a case for himself when Gabriel Jesus eventually returns - Guardiola must be delighted with the Argentine's form going into the business end of the season.
David Silva also deserves a special mention for his performance, setting up the Sane goal and winning Man of the Match for an all-round top notch showing.
The Spaniard was eventually substituted for Kevin de Bruyne in the 78th minute to raptuous applause from the travelling fans.
After the game, however, it was De Bruyne who was receiving the adoration of the City supporters.
Absolute class from De Bruyne
The Belgian didn't have much time to make an impact on the pitch, but he showed just what a classy guy he is by going out of his way to give his shirt to a fan and signing it.
Check it out below:
In an age where it's easy to hit out at players for their bad attitudes - we're looking at you, Alexis Sanchez - this is truly great stuff from De Bruyne, especially after he'd been dropped to the bench.
City fans were loving it:
Even if they don't end up winning anything this season, having a player of De Bruyne's caliber on the bench just sums up the strength-in-depth Guardiola can call upon this season.
Can City still catch Chelsea? Have your say in the comments.
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