Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling struck twice against Crystal Palace as the reigning champions got their ninth straight Premier League win.
The impressive victory briefly lifted Pep Guardiola‘s side, who had started the day second in the table, one point clear to the top.
However, Liverpool returned to the summit after beating Chelsea 2-0 in the late kick-off at Anfield, leaving City, who have one game in hand, two points behind the Reds with five games remaining in this fascinating title race.
Sterling opened the scoring after Kevin de Bruyne‘s beautifully weighted pass saw his team-mate outsprint Patrick van Aanholt before an exquisite finish beyond Vicente Guaita.
The England international added a second for his 17th league goal of the season after the break, meeting Leroy Sane‘s first-time cross into the box with a calm left-footed finish that wrong-footed Guaita as it rolled in.
Palace ensured an entertaining finish to the contest when Luka Milivojevic scored from a free kick with nine minutes to go after midfielder James McArthur was brought down on the edge of the penalty area.
City, however, sealed the deal with their third of the match as De Bruyne latched on to a poor pass from defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka before feeding substitute Gabriel Jesus who finished emphatically.
Guardiola’s side now face a crucial ten days starting with a home game against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg, trailing 1-0 from the opening game.
City then play Spurs at the Etihad again, in the league, on Saturday before the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on April 24.