Aymeric Laporte expects Manchester City to go all out to get the title wrapped up with victory over rivals Manchester United next weekend.
The runaway Premier League leaders can now claim the trophy with six games to spare by beating their neighbours at the Etihad Stadium after disposing of Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday.
But next Saturday’s game comes between two huge Champions League quarter-final clashes against Liverpool and manager Pep Guardiola has stressed that Wednesday’s first leg at Anfield is his immediate priority.
Yet derby thoughts cannot entirely be put aside and Laporte recognises the potential dream scenario for supporters.
The defender said: “Obviously that is a very important game on Saturday. I think it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we must take advantage of it. We must try to win and get the Premier League we all want.”
Laporte, signed for a club record £57million in January, had a hand in Leroy Sane’s fourth-minute opener as City swept Everton aside.
The Frenchman played in the outstanding David Silva, whose floated cross was lashed in on the volley by the equally impressive Sane.
Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling added two more before the interval as lacklustre Everton were ripped apart.
Yannick Bolasie scored a consolation for the hosts as City eased off after the break to conserve energy for Liverpool.
“We fight every game like it is the last one and it was very important to win,” said Laporte.
“Always you try to play the best you can and I had the chance to give that pass, but we need to keep on improving.”
Laporte was deployed at left-back in a possible selection hint for Wednesday, with City needing to quell the threat of Liverpool’s prolific Mohamed Salah.
The 23-year-old said: “It felt really good. It is a different position but we worked over the week in training sessions and I felt fine.
“We know Liverpool is a difficult game. They have great players and are in great shape. We need to be 100 per cent focused to have a chance to win.”
As scintillating as City were, it could also be said Everton were poor with their shortcomings brutally exposed.
But manager Sam Allardyce preferred to look at the contest in terms of City’s brilliance, believing that any point achieved against them would have been a bonus.
Allardyce said: “If you are going to win anything you are better off winning home and away against the bottom 10 and that will give you more points than winning against the top six.
“You want to do your bread-and-butter games, the games that get you up there. If it’s a win against the top four it is a bonus, if it’s a win against the team running away with the Premier League it is a bonus.”
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