Carlos Tevez rubbed salt into Stoke wounds and fired Manchester City into the automatic Champions League places with a brilliant brace at Eastlands last night.
His manager Roberto Mancini had further good news for City supporters after the match by insisting the Argentina striker is to stay at Eastlands.
"He has a five-year contract and has told us he wants to stay," he said.
Tevez struck a goal in each half, with Joleon Lescott on target in between, to propel City up to third, ahead of Arsenal, and deny Stoke any sort of revenge after being edged out in last Saturday's FA Cup final.
City started brightly and David Silva was off target with the first shot in anger, firing over from 20 yards.
The Argentinian hooked the ball over his shoulder to set James Milner up shortly afterwards, but the England midfielder slashed his volley well wide. Tevez decided to take matters into his own hands in the 14th minute when he collected a return pass from Milner inside the box, and beat Ryan Shawcross and Andy Wilkinson before firing into the far corner.
Stoke looked jaded after their cup disappointment and a second goal seemed inevitable. It came after 53 minutes, as Lescott bravely headed home Adam Johnson's cross.
With 25 minutes remaining, any lingering hopes Stoke's travelling fans had about a possible comeback were obliterated when Tevez scorched a wonderful 30-yard free-kick past Thomas Sorensen.
Edin Dzeko almost made it four with a left-footed strike and Tevez went close to completing his hat-trick as City cruised to three points and into that all-important final automatic Champions League spot.