x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Tevez double puts Man City in pole position to claim automatic Champions League place

Joleon Lescott also scores in City's 3-0 win against Stoke to move them into third the Premier League.

Carlos Tevez scores the opening goal in Man City's 3-0 win against Stoke City.
Carlos Tevez scores the opening goal in Man City's 3-0 win against Stoke City.

Manchester City 3 // Stoke City 0

MANCHESTER // Carlos Tevez struck a superb double as Manchester City rose to third in the Premier League and closer to a guaranteed Champions League spot with a 3-0 victory over their FA Cup final opponents Stoke City.

The Argentine showed his importance to City with emphatic finishes either side of a Joleon Lescott header that enabled the home side to leapfrog Arsenal and boost their chances of avoiding a qualification match to reach Europe's elite competition next season.

The win moves Roberto Mancini's City side into a coveted automatic Champions League place with 68 points while Arsenal are on 67 with the final round of league matches to play on Sunday.

A pedestrian start to the first half at Eastlands was brought to life after 14 minutes when Tevez fired City in front against the team they beat 1-0 to lift the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday.

The striker played a one-two with James Milner before beating Stoke defenders Ryan Shawcross and Andy Wilkinson and hitting the ball into the top corner.

Lescott doubled City's advantage eight minutes into the second half when he rose above goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and headed into an empty net.

Tevez then wrapped up all three points with a ferocious curling free kick from 30 metres to round off what has been a magnificent eight days for the club.

City travel to Bolton on Sunday, while Arsenal are away at Fulham.