Manuel Pellegrini hailed his players after they bounced back from the defeat at Arsenal to beat Sunderland 4-1.
Pellegrini's men suffered a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal on Monday Night Football but bounced back to form in style, racing into a 3-0 lead inside 22 minutes with goals from Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony.
Kevin De Bruyne added a fourth and they could even afford a missed second-half penalty by Bony as they closed to within three points of Leicester City, who lost 1-0 at Liverpool.
Pellegrini said: "It was a very important victory, not only because we won the three points but also in the way we played. We returned to our normal performance - playing attractive football, scoring goals.
"I said after we lost against Arsenal it was very difficult to talk about positive things but I think we had more than 60 per cent of possession of the ball. That gave me a sign we were returning to our style.
"It was very important today to score four goals and create at least four more clear chances."
However, it wasn't all good news for City as Vincent Kompany only lasted nine minutes into his comeback from a calf injury.
Pellegrini attempted to ease his influential captain back into action as a second-half substitute after an eight-game absence as City cantered towards victory at the Etihad Stadium, but the Belgian limped off with a recurrence of the same injury.
Kompany shook his head as he left the field and headed straight down the tunnel.
Pellegrini said: "Vincent is not the best news.
"He was ready to return. I did not want him to play the whole game because we have to play so many games, but he worked the whole week with normality. It is really difficult to understand what happened.
"We will see tomorrow with the doctor's report but it is the same injury, the same calf."