LONDON: Manchester City ended a run of three successive Premier League home draws with a comfortable 2-0 victory over bottom club Sheffield United to round off a memorable year.

Goals by Rodri and Julian Alvarez in each half barely did justice to City’s dominance as they enjoyed 84% possession in a routine win that at times resembled a training session.

Phil Foden set up Rodri to open the scoring with a precise finish in the 14th minute and the England midfielder was instrumental in City’s second goal just past the hour mark as his pass was tapped in by Alvarez.

City, who had not won a league match at home since early November, never had to engage top gear as United defended deeply and with great discipline to avoid a heavy loss.

While the points were welcome even better news for City was the sight of key midfielder Kevin de Bruyne appearing on the bench, having been out since the opening game of the season.

City move above Arsenal into third place with 40 points from 19 games, two points behind leaders Liverpool and Aston Villa. The Blades remain bottom on nine points.

Pep Guardiola’s City side have hit unprecedented heights this year, claiming a treble including a first Champions League crown and last week becoming FIFA Club World Cup champions.

In truth a home victory over Sheffield United was tame by comparison, but after a wobble in form it seems City are back in the groove as they move into the second half of the campaign.

“We learned from the last (home) game against Crystal Palace,” Rodri said of that 2-2 draw. “We had to keep focusing and Sheffield didn’t have the intention to come to us so we had to keep the ball. Important for us this victory.”

De Bruyne was not needed in the end but the sight of the Belgium playmaker warming up on the touchline in the second half prompted one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon.

City will also have Norwegian goal-machine Erling Haaland back from injury soon to boost their bid for a record fourth successive Premier League title.

Manager Pep Guardiola detected negative vibes among his players as they walked in to the dressing room.

He said: “(We were) uncomfortable the last three times we were here. The first half was silent. The body language of players didn’t communicate, talk, laugh, or shout. It was a little bit, ‘OK we have to play’.

“At halftime for the first time I didn’t talk one word about tactics — I took a chair and said ‘guys when you go out with a smile on your face and enjoy, we are going to win’.

“In the second half, the first 15 to 20 minutes was the best minutes we had, and that helped us win the game.”

Julian Alvarez wrapped up the points as City brought their epic, treble-winning year to a close with a stress-free win.

Neghbours Manchester United, by contrast, lost 2-1 to struggling Nottingham Forest.