The scoreline of Manchester City's 1-0 victory over Newcastle didn't really tell the whole story.
As expected, Pep Guardiola's men were utterly dominant and enjoyed 78% possession, mustering 21 shots.
Right from kick-off, it was clear that for Rafa Benitez, this was a damage limitation exercise.
The Magpies defended resolutely and yet were still undone time and again by the effortless class of Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Raheem Sterling, the latter scoring the winner in the 31st minute.
Given that prior to the game, Benitez's men had won just one in ten, it's hard to blame the Spaniard for adopting such negative tactics.
However, in the Sky Sports studio, he was absolutely panned, with Gary Neville saying it was the "most negative" football he had ever seen, adding that it was "not acceptable" for a Premier League team.
They were quite clearly afraid of what City might do to them and understandably so. This is a side leading at the top by 15 points, and one who have now won 18 league games on the bounce.
And while they've been a joy to watch, Jamie Carragher added to Neville's comments that he was concerned at the gulf in class between the top teams and the bottom ones.
"A joke league"
"Not just Newcastle but the Premier League in general, when they come up against the top six, certainly at home, it's becoming embarrassing," he said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"The Premier League now is becoming a bit of a joke league, with the top teams being so far ahead of the ones at the bottom. For those clubs, its almost like they are accepting they are going to lose the game, as long as it is only one or two-nil.
"The Premier League has been built on every team having a go, that's why everyone around the world wants to watch it. Will they keep watching if they keep seeing football like that?
"I've seen it virtually every week. There has got to be some sort of aggression, some sort of plan for winning the ball back and then going forward.
"It's seeing it at home. When every team came to Anfield they played like that, but at home, it's a sad state of affairs for the Premier League."
Even the most optimistic Manchester United fans would have to admit that City winning the title is now a foregone conclusion.
Do you agree with Carragher's comments? Let us know in the comments.
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