'In our hands' – Grealish hails response to Madrid misery as Man City leapfrog Liverpool

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Jack Grealish hailed a "perfect" response from Manchester City as a 5-0 thumping of Newcastle United banished their Champions League blues.

City will not be champions of Europe this season after their dramatic semi-final exit to Real Madrid, but they are red-hot favourites for the Premier League title after this weekend's turn of events.

Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Tottenham, which halted the Reds' 12-game winning run in the league at Anfield, allowed City to pull three points clear on Sunday.

With only three rounds of games remaining, City would have to throw it away. They have Wolves, West Ham and Aston Villa to come, and the onslaught against Newcastle saw City go four ahead of Liverpool in the goal difference stakes too.

As Grealish acknowledged, the destiny of the title is very much in City's hands.

Grealish told Sky Sports: "We always knew there was going to be pressure on us today, especially after what happened in midweek, but we bounced back perfectly.

"We've stuck together as a team and a unit in the past few days, which was needed. We'll just try to end the season strongly, and we've certainly done that today."

City were 5-3 ahead on aggregate against Madrid heading into the closing moments in the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, but Rodrygo's late double and a Karim Benzema penalty in extra time left Pep Guardiola's visitors shaken.

"Today was a perfect response and a perfect performance," Grealish said.

"We're in the driving seat. We can't look at what's going on around us. It's in our hands, and we have to go and win every game as we would anyway."

It was the 30th time that City have scored five or more goals in a Premier League game since Guardiola took charge at the start of the 2016-17 season.

Grealish teed up Oleksandr Zinchenko to cross for Phil Foden to score City's fourth, and the former Aston Villa man played in Raheem Sterling for the fifth in stoppage time.

Rodri had earlier headed the third, and the Spanish midfielder said: "The personality we saw today was unbelievable – 5-0 after what happened [in Madrid] is incredible.

"The mood wasn't very high as you can see, but on Friday the team woke up and focused on the game."

Pointing to his head, Rodri added: "I think we do unbelievable work here. Sometimes it's more important than in the legs and that's what the champion teams do."

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