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Manchester City's Portuguese midfielder #20 Bernardo Silva (centre right) celebrates with teammates on the pitch after the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in north west London on April 20, 2024. Manchester City won the game 1-0. Photo: GLYN KIRK

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Manchester City took another step in their bid to win a fourth consecutive Premier League title with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest Monday morning (NZT), with Josko Gvardiol and Erling Haaland on target.

Pep Guardiola's men kept the pressure on leaders Arsenal, pulling to within a point of the Gunners - who held on to win 3-2 at Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the day - in the table with a game in hand.

"I think the most important thing is to not think [about the title race], especially these moments, but take it day by day," Haaland told Sky Sports. "Honestly if you overthink, you're going to be crazy in your head, so relax now, enjoy, focus on the next one."

Forest had matched City in a nervous first half at the sundrenched City Ground before Gvardiol got the holders on the scoreboard with his second career league goal when he headed in Kevin De Bruyne's corner kick from the near post in the 32nd minute. Forest had only 10 men on the pitch at the time following an injury to Neco Williams.

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"We need to be focused on ourselves, and that's what we're doing," Gvardiol told Sky of the title race. "Four more finals until the end."

Haaland made a quick impact when he entered the game as a substitute in his first action since missing two matches with a muscle injury.

The Norwegian took a pass from De Bruyne in the 71st minute, took three steps, then launched it into the far corner for a league-leading 21st goal of the season. He had previously been level with Chelsea's Cole Palmer.

Forest, who are a point above the drop zone in 17th, looked little like a team facing potential relegation and had travelling City fans - including musician Noel Gallagher - breathing sighs of relief at several times.

The home side had 14 shots to City's 11, including an absolute sitter that a wide open Chris Wood missed when he got his feet tangled up in front of the net.

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Forest have won just two of their last 15 league games, going back to 30 December.

City's Stefan Ortega replaced keeper Ederson at halftime. The visitors were also missing Phil Foden, who scored five goals in his previous two league appearances, to illness.

City's final four games are against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

- Reuters

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