Pep Guardiola saluted his champions-elect for an "outstanding season" after they edged ever closer to the title.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling secured a 3-1 win at Tottenham and ensured the Premier League crown will be City's in less than 24 hours if Manchester United lose to West Brom on Sunday.
Otherwise City have the chance to clinch the title at home by beating Swansea next Sunday.
Guardiola's side arrived at Wembley on the back of three successive defeats, which saw them dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and miss the chance to seal the Premier League title by beating United.
But their response was emphatic and Guardiola said: "It was a good test against one of the toughest teams in the league.
"We now have 87 points with five games left because we have been outstanding all season.
"People say it was a big failure, what happened last week, but they don't understand the reality of football.
"You can win the Champions League in seven games, the league is 10 months. I'm sorry, it's much more important what these guys have done this season.
"Hopefully we can celebrate with our fans against Swansea and be champions because they deserve it."
Guardiola will not be watching United's clash with West Brom, preferring instead to play golf with his son.
He added: "Will I hear the scores? Bogey, double-bogey, birdie.
"Of course, okay football is unpredictable. It doesn't matter. It's in our hands, we had one chance and now we have another.
"The players deserve all my respect for what they have done this season."
Jesus struck in the 22nd minute when he raced onto Vincent Kompany's 60-yard ball and fired home.
Gundogan scored the second from the penalty spot three minutes later after Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris brought down Sterling, although the contact was outside the penalty area.
Christian Eriksen pulled one back for Spurs before half-time but Sterling wrapped up the points in the second half.
"We only started to compete after 2-0 down, we scored, but of course over 90 minutes Manchester City were better," said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino..
"We congratulate them, they are very close to winning the Premier League.
"After 14 games unbeaten for us today was a difficult game to play after three defeats in a row. But we missed the first 20 or 25 minutes.
"The way we conceded was disappointing, but there's nothing to worry about. We are in the top four, we need to move on after this game."