Manchester: Manchester City kept control of the English Premier League on Saturday with a straightforward 2-0 win over Bolton.
Gretar Rafn Steinsson's 23rd-minute own-goal put City ahead and Mario Balotelli doubled the advantage in the 69th, scoring his 11th Premier League goal of the season from a backheel pass by Adam Johnson.
The victory preserved City's perfect home record and leaves them top with 66 points with 11 games of the season remaining. Second-placed Manchester United can stay within two points of their local rivals if they win at third-placed Tottenham on Sunday.
City's 19 straight home wins across two seasons matches the Premier League record set by United between October 2010 and October '11.
Balotelli could have had a hat-trick before City took the lead in the 23rd but made sure of victory.
The Italian might have been dropped following newspaper reports he had been on a night-out in Liverpool in breach of a club curfew into the early hours of Friday morning. But coach Roberto Mancini chose his team before reading the story, retaining Balotelli in his starting line-up and deploying him as a lone striker.
Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva were all on the bench and Balotelli responded with a display of pace and vigour.
City went straight on the offensive and Samir Nasri had a great chance with just a minute gone as Pablo Zabaleta pulled the ball back. The Frenchman took too long to shoot and David Wheater blocked.
Balotelli went even closer as he struck the post from a tight angle from a pass by Yaya Toure. Nasri pounced on the rebound but goalkeeper Adam Bogdan made a reaction save and Steinsson cleared.
Balotelli had another great chance soon after as Johnson combined with Zabaleta on the right and crossed low, but the striker turned and shot wide. Balotelli then found himself onside and in the clear but blazed over.
City's opener eventually came from an unlikely source as a speculative long-range effort from Gael Clichy deflected off Steinsson and beat Bogdan at the near post.
Chances flowed and City finally doubled their lead when Balotelli tapped in from Johnson's clever pass between Bogdan and Wheater.