Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 14 points as they blew away Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The league leaders continued their ruthless pursuit of the title as they yet again plundered a hat-full of goals and took their winning run to 16 games. İlkay Gündoğan, making only his second league start of the season, opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a deft header. City had to wait to extend their lead as Kevin De Bruyne netted a thunderous effort in the 70th minute.
Raheem Sterling got involved with two strikes of his own as he scored in the final ten minutes. Christian Eriksen scored a consolation goal for Mauricio Pochettino’s men on a bitterly disappointing night in Manchester.
Changes pay off for Pep
Both sides looked a little tentative in the opening stages but it was City who carved out the first real opportunity of the first half. Leroy Sané, who had been drafted back into the starting XI, skipped past Kieran Trippier and aimed to find Sergio Aguero with a low cross. The ball was cut-out by Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. The Argentine striker then nodded wide from a free-kick.
It did not take much longer for Pep Guardiola’s men to seize the initiative via İlkay Gündoğan, who replaced David Silva in the team. Sané curled a corner into the box, and the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder was unmarked as he powered a header past Hugo Lloris.
Raheem Sterling was then guilty of passing up a fantastic opening. Sané again found space and looked to find Aguero in the box but Lloris thwarted the Argentine with a good save. Sterling latched onto the loose ball but could only find the stands as his shot went marginally over the bar.
No mercy from the Sky Blues
The chances continued to flow for the league leaders against a Tottenham side who really struggled to find any kind of foothold in the first half. Aguero again looked to stretch the lead only for his shot to be halted by an excellent block from Danny Rose. Harry Kane was the man to have Spurs’ only real opening and was unlucky to see his drive from the corner of the box just curl wide of the far post.
The England striker was then booked after half-time for a crunching challenge on Sterling before seeing another effort from outside the box well-saved by Ederson.
Red mist descends on Spurs as City disappear into the distance
Whilst Tottenham were attempting to get back on level terms, midfielder Dele Alli was lucky to remain on the pitch. The youngster challenged De Bruyne very high and looked to have injured the Belgian. He however was fortunate to just to escape with a yellow card.
City’s midfield dynamo recovered in time to stretch the lead nonetheless. He found space on the left-hand side and with most expecting a cross, smashed the ball into the top corner via a touch from Lloris.
Penalties the only problem for City
The Citizens began to turn the screw in the closing stages and were awarded a penalty after De Bruyne was scythed down by Vertonghen. Substitute Gabriel Jesus stepped up but hit the base of the post before Sterling put the rebound high over the bar.
The former Liverpool man though couldn’t miss with his next opportunity. Gündoğan played a lovely through-ball to Sané into the Spurs box. The German then found Sterling in space at the far post, who duly tapped into the empty net to surely secure the three points for the Citizens.
He did have time however to strike again in the closing minutes. Latching onto a floated ball from Bernardo Silva, the 23-year-old skipped past Lloris and walked the ball into the unguarded goal, wrapping up an excellent evening. Christian Eriksen though had the last word on the night as he struck low from distance to at least get Mauricio Pochettino’s men on the score sheet.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to predict who can stop Manchester City at the current time. The Sky Blues produced another eye-catching showing and deservedly came away with yet another emphatic win. The task to assign the man-of-the-match is also becoming harder as every single player at the Etihad Stadium are putting in display after display. Kevin De Bruyne though was a star man against Tottenham.
The Citizens now sit 14 points clear atop the Premier League. They travel to Leicester in the Carabao Cup quarter-final on Tuesday evening before a clash with AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
Tottenham meanwhile were under-par and did not get close to Guardiola’s men. Harry Kane struggled to get in the game and really only had one chance to test Ederson. They will hope to rectify their form ahead of next weekend’s clash with Burnley. Spurs now languish in 7th in the Premier League table, two points off of the top four.
Manchester City: Ederson (7); Walker (8), Otamendi (7), Mangala (7), Delph (7); Gündoğan (8) (Foden (N/A), 83′); Fernandinho (7); De Bruyne (9); Sané (8) (B. Silva (N/A), 85′), Aguero (6) (Jesus (6), 58′), Sterling (8).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (6); Trippier (5), Dier (5), Vertonghen (5), Rose (5) (Davies (N/A), 89′); Dembélé (5), Winks (5), Eriksen (6), Alli (4) (Sissoko (N/A), 84′), Son (5) (Lamela (N/A), 77′); Kane (5).
Goals: Gündoğan (14′), De Bruyne (70′), Sterling (80′, 90′), Eriksen (90+3′)
Referee: Craig Pawson
Yellow Cards: Otamendi (38′), Delph (51′), Kane (52′), Dembélé (62′), Alli (68′), Sissoko (90+1′)
Red Cards: N/A
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