Gabriel Jesus, Kevin de Bruyne and Yaya Toure scored the goals for Pep Guardiola’s side and barring a freak combination of results on the final day of the league season, City will finish in the top four.
City will go into Sunday’s trip to Watford in third place, two points above
But the evening was as much about popular City defender Pablo Zabaleta, who played out the final minutes of his nine-year stay with the club after coming on as a second-half substitute.
When City captain Vincent Kompany was replaced after 77 minutes and handed Zabaleta his captain’s armband, the Argentinian appeared to be fighting back tears.
Two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half guaranteed City victory, but given the lack of ambition and enthusiasm shown by the visitors, that outcome had looked all but certain direct from kickoff.
Jesus gave City the lead in the 27th minute with his sixth goal in just seven starts since returning to the side from injury at the start of February.
It was carved out by the impressive De Bruyne, whose cross from the left-hand byline allowed the young Brazilian to turn the ball into an open net.
The build-up play had been excellent, featuring a Toure pass and Sergio Aguero back-heel.
Just two minutes later,
It seemed a question of how many more City could score – and when Guardiola would throw on Zabaleta for his swansong.
Even before the goals had started to fly, Foster had done well to dive sharply to his left to keep out Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick.
As City looked to increase their advantage over
The opening stages of the second half were, if anything, even more comfortable for City as they camped in the visitors’ half.
A De Bruyne cross forced Foster into action and David Silva also made space for a shot that missed the goal by some margin.
The third goal came on 57 minutes as Toure collected the ball just inside the
Satisfied that the result was beyond doubt, Guardiola brought on Zabaleta on the hour.
Foster kept out what would have been a spectacular fourth, tipping a Jesus shot over the bar after the youngster had skilfully weaved his way through three defenders.
City were briefly inconvenienced in the 87th minute when substitute Hal Robson-Kanu turned in West Brom’s consolation goal from Allan Nyom’s cross, but that failed to sour the celebratory mood at the Etihad.