Manchester City took a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 4-0 thrashing of Basel at St Jakob-Park.
Pep Guardiola's side tore Leicester City to pieces 5-1 in the Premier League at the weekend and resumed in similarly menacing mood against the Swiss champions.
Basel were left to rue Dimitri Oberlin failing to punish City's early defensive vulnerability and having a penalty shout turned down as a blistering spell of three goals in the space of nine first-half minutes from Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero took the game away from them.
Gundogan did his World Cup hopes no harm with a sublime second as Germany boss Joachim Low looked on from the stands and, by the time that showpiece comes around, Guardiola could be reflecting on a history-making return in Manchester.
League One Wigan Athletic are up next in the fifth round of the FA Cup before a Wembley date with Arsenal in the EFL Cup final.
Throw in a 16-point lead in the Premier League and this coruscating form, and a belief that all things are possible might start to course strongly through the Etihad Stadium.
Oberlin gave an early demonstration of his pace, streaming clear of the City defence before his touch around the onrushing Ederson entirely lacked conviction.
Centre-backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi were unsettled by Oberlin, although penalty claims against the latter found no sympathy from referee Jonas Eriksson.
Raphael Wicky's men undermined such encouraging moments by switching off in their own box and allowing Gundogan to head in Kevin De Bruyne's 14th-minute corner at the near post.
Valentin Stocker was the next Basel forward to almost undo City via the direct route, but the difference in cutting edge was born out once more by Silva's sublime chest control and volleyed finish from Raheem Sterling's chipped 18th-minute cross.
Goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik found himself caught out on that occasion and was rooted to the spot when Aguero seized upon a loose ball to clatter home from 25 yards.
Vaclik regained his poise to scamper out and deny Sterling, but the first half had long become on ordeal for Basel by the time De Bruyne lifted a crisp half-volley narrowly over.
De Bruyne stung Vaclik's palms shortly after the restart, while opposite number Ederson was at full stretch to push Mohamed Elyounoussi's swerving strike around the post.
Seeing De Bruyne and Elyounoussi frustrated in their pitches for the spectacular, Gundogan elected to show them how it was done, curling majestically into the top corner to crown a clockwork move that began with Kompany and Kyle Walker in the City half.
Such a handsome lead allowed Guardiola to give Leroy Sane and David Silva runouts on their returns from injury, with Sterling and De Bruyne afforded a rest.
To their credit, Basel kept asking questions in attack, with Oberlin failing to convert Stocker's cross at the far post and Elyounoussi drilling at Ederson.
Gundogan should have beaten Vaclik from close range to claim the matchball, but his and City's focus remain fixed upon more enduring prizes.
Key Opta facts:
- Manchester City's victory the biggest away win by an English side in the knockout stage of the Champions League (previously Liverpool's 3-0 away victory over PSV in the quarter-finals of the 2006-07 season).
- City have won 34 of their 41 matches in all competitions in this campaign, more than in the entirety of last season (won 33 of their 56 games in all competitions during 2016-17).
- In fact, City have now won 16 of their 21 away matches in all competitions this season, a joint-high across the top five European Leagues, matched only by Paris Saint-Germain (also winning 16 of their 21 away games).
- This is the third consecutive season that City will be going into the second leg of the last-16 stage with a lead, previously beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in 2015-16 and Monaco 5-3 in 2016-17.
- This was Basel's first defeat at St Jakob Park in the knockout stages (previously W1 D1) – indeed, they have never gone further than the last 16 (2011-12, 2014-15).
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|Mickelson ready for Masters after third straight top-six finish|
|Gattuso: My job is to be the players´ nightmare until season´s end|
|I wasn´t good enough – Guardiola reveals Wigan rejection|
|Dillon reigns supreme with overtime win at Daytona 500|
|Bubba Watson ends drought with third Genesis Open title|
|Brazilian derby between Vitoria and Bahia abandoned after red-card frenzy|
|Anderson ends barren spell with New York Open triumph|
|It was crazy, but I like that - Zidane revels in eight-goal Betis thriller|
|Asensio credits Zidane for Madrid´s thrilling Betis comeback|
|Zidane hopeful over Marcelo hamstring injury|
|Overton replaces injured Plunkett for Blacks Caps ODI series|
|Bonaventura claims Milan can catch Inter|
|Bravo for Claudio! Guardiola to pick keeper at Wembley|
|Mourinho hoping for reinforcements at Sevilla|
|´Quick-healer´ Groves hopeful over shoulder injury|
|Real Madrid become first side to score 6,000 goals in LaLiga|
|Real Betis 3 Real Madrid 5: Asensio at the double in LaLiga classic|
|AC Milan 1 Sampdoria 0: Bonaventura makes it 10 unbeaten for Rossoneri|
|Schurrle excited to finally link up with Reus and Gotze|
|Fit-again Hughes included in England squad|
|New number one Federer revels in ´unbelievable´ week|
|Real Madrid defender Marcelo suffers hamstring injury|
|Costa fumes referees ´want to give me a card´, but Simeone plays down penalty row|
|Thiem regains Argentina Open title|
|Stoger makes Dortmund history with Gladbach win|
|Championship Review: Leeds fight back for point, Norwich & Ipswich share derby spoils|
|Racing beat La Rochelle to go second, Castres edge out Bordeaux|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Burki unbeatable as Reus returns to haunt Foals|
|FA Cup ´magic´ no surprise to Pochettino after Rochdale thriller|
|Rochdale hero Davies: This is every kid´s dream|
|Atletico Madrid will not stop in pursuit of Barcelona, promises Gameiro|
|Banks boot pays dividends for Treviso|
|Lucky 13 and second successive title for Kvitova after Muguruza classic|
|´Wrong image´ to blame for VAR confusion in Manchester United´s FA Cup win|
|Rochdale 2 Tottenham 2: Davies denies Kane in FA Cup classic|
|Rieder stretchered off as Wasps extend Chiefs´ slump|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 0: Gameiro and Costa settle cagey clash|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Visser, Scott and Nel among six recalled by Scotland|
|Bhuvneshwar and Dhawan inspire India´s Wanderers win|
|Napoli set club record with another Serie A win|
|Froome disappoints in time trial as Wellens wins Ruta del Sol|
|Napoli 1 SPAL 0: Allan sends hosts top of Serie A again|
|Federer makes short work of disappointing Dimitrov|
|Allegri allays Higuain injury fears|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Allegri convinced Juve can get past Spurs|
|Sri Lanka sweep series after dominating Bangladesh|
|Everton fear ´long-term´ injury for Mangala|
|If it isn´t Madrid, it´s Paris - Hazard tires of speculation|
|Luiten claims Oman Open title|
|Torino 0 Juventus 1: Champions win derby but lose Higuain|
|Neymar exit made Barcelona stronger - Ter Stegen|
|Remove T20 cricket from international schedule - Bayliss|
|Injured Higuain forced off against Torino|
|Jesus confident of returning strong after knee injury|
|DeGale launches Twitter attack on beaten Eubank Jr|
|We had to change hotels – Ovrebo recalls fury after 2009 Chelsea-Barcelona semi-final|
|Spalletti: Inter board will decide my future|
|Munro blitz helps Black Caps progress despite defeat|
|Fabregas still wary of timeless Iniesta|
|Liverpool´s 30-goal hero Salah: There´s more to come|
|Valverde: Coutinho dropped for the good of Barcelona|
|Garcia floors Rios for ninth-round TKO|
|Ronaldo better than Neymar? No says Xavi|
|Donovan Mitchell caps NBA All-Star challenges with dunk success|
|Anderson outlasts Nishikori to reach New York Open final|
|Steve Nash, Ray Allen among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists|
|Kevin Love: It was necessary to clean house in Cleveland|