Man City 4-1 Tottenham: Unbeaten leaders breeze past Spurs
By Lyall Thomas at the Etihad Stadium
Last Updated: 17/12/17 7:17am
Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and two from Raheem Sterling gave Man City a 4-1 win over Tottenham to extend their historic winning run to 16 Premier League matches.
Gundogan headed home the opener from a Leroy Sane corner on 14 minutes after the hosts had seen off early Spurs possession and begun to dominate the game.
De Bruyne's fierce strike on the breakaway ended a Spurs resurgence after the interval and Sterling twice tapped home from close range after missing an open goal from Gabriel Jesus penalty that struck the post.
Man City: Ederson (7); Walker (8), Otamendi (7), Mangala (7), Delph (7); Fernandinho (7), Gundogan (8), De Bruyne (9) Sterling (8), Sane (8); Aguero (7)
Subs: Jesus (5), Foden (NA), B Silva (NA)
Tottenham: Loris (6), Tripper (4), Dier (5), Vertonghen (6), Rose (6); Dembele (6), Winks(5); Son (6), Alli (6), Eriksen (7); Kane (5)
Subs: Lamela (5), Davies (NA), Sissoko (NA),
Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne
Christian Eriksen found a late consolation for the visitors late on but the gap between them and the league leaders is now a massive 21 points.
City have now beaten all of their title rivals this season and their march towards the Premier League trophy appears unstoppable.
They scored the first with just their second chance, as Gundogan's run confused the visiting defenders and they conceded sloppily from a set-piece for the third time in four league games.
Man City made three changes from the side that beat Swansea 4-0 as Walker, Gundogan and Sane replaced Danilo, Bernardo Silva and the in-form David Silva, who didn't make the bench. Spurs made three changes; Trippier, Dembele and Alli came in for Aurier, Sissoko and Lamela.
A chilling fog descended on the Etihad but it did little to cloud City's dazzling movement and the away side needed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to keep the score 1-0 at half-time, the France international getting down low to twice deny Gundogan a second.
Harry Kane curled a shot just wide of the far post as Spurs struggled to threaten on the counter, and the England striker went closest to a leveller when he forced Ederson into a full-stretched save after the break.
Spurs had upped their intensity but were left open to the counter-attack and the power and pace of De Bruyne saw him smash home the second through Lloris' outstretched palm on 70 minutes.
Jan Vertonghen then felled De Bruyne in the box for a clear penalty, but substitute Jesus found the foot of the upright before Sterling skied the rebound way off target.
Sterling made up for the miss with the first of two easy tap-ins on 80 minutes, rounding off a superb passing move at the back post for his first, before capitalising on Eric Dier's poor error, nipping the ball through Lloris' legs and rolling into the empty net for the fourth.
Spurs had been as bewildered as any side that has visited the Etihad this season, and Eriksen did not even celebrate when he slotted home a Spurs goal in stoppage time.
Pep Guardiola: "What we believe now is that we trust each other. When I give some opinions they follow us, and that is the dream for the manager.
"What is the most important thing is that, what we believe is the best way to play, they don't have doubts. They know that the manager and the staff and everybody wants the best for them - that is the best present, when you believe the players follow you."
Mauricio Pochettino: "We need to learn from this situation. Today was a very good example to see a team that believes, that has a lot of quality and strength, and is in very good form.
"They deserved the victory completely. We were poor but, not only that, the way that we conceded the first goal was a massive mistake for us. We need to improve.
Man of the match - Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian dominated the game from all areas of the midfield and his goal was superb. Not only was it a near-total display of powerful, pacey attacking play but it was also timely, halting a Spurs resurgence in the second half.
He is becoming a complete midfield player under Guardiola.
- Manchester City extended their winning run in the league to 16, the longest-ever in the top-flight.
- However, Pep Guardiola is still three victories away from his best-ever winning streak in league football as a manager - 19 consecutive wins with Bayern Munich between October 2013 and March 2014.
- Since taking over at White Hart Lane in August 2014, Mauricio Pochettino has enjoyed one just victory in his 18 Premier League games away to the 'big six' (W1 D6 L11).
- Tottenham's first shot on target came in the 55th minute, the longest they have had to wait in a Premier League game this season.
City now go to Leicester on Tuesday night in their Carabao Cup quarter-final, before hosting Bournemouth on Saturday in the Premier League. Tottenham go to Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.