Ilkay Gundogan's incredible scoring run continued with two goals in Manchester City's stylish 3-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday, as Pep Guardiola's side pulled seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
With City already leading through a first-half Rodri penalty, Gundogan fired his first through Hugo Lloris - who had a game to forget - and then outmuscled Davinson Sanchez for a long pass forward from Ederson before tucking in number two to take his tally to nine goals in nine Premier League games in 2021.
Worryingly, Gundogan limped off with a groin problem soon after, but by then he had already put City in complete control against a poor Spurs side who only really threatened when Harry Kane hit the woodwork with an early free-kick and Gareth Bale tested Ederson late on.
City, who are unbeaten since losing to Spurs in November, extended their record run to 16 wins in a row across all competitions, while Jose Mourinho's men remain eighth, four points off the top four.
Man City: Ederson (8), Cancelo (8), Stones (8), Laporte (7), Zinchenko (8), Rodri (8), Gundogan (9), Foden (7), Silva (7), Sterling (8), Jesus (6).
Subs: Torres (6), Mahrez (6)
Tottenham: Lloris (3), Tanganga (6), Dier (6), Sanchez (5), Davies (6), Ndombele (6), Hojbjerg (5), Lamela (5), Moura (6), Son (6), Kane (7).
Subs: Sissoko (5), Alli (5), Bale (6)
Man of the match: Ilkay Gundogan
How City pulled Spurs apart...
Following Jurgen Klopp's concession that Liverpool were out of the title race earlier in the day, City went out on Saturday evening intent on stamping their authority on this Premier League campaign and began on the front foot, with Rodri heading over from a corner and Eric Dier and Sanchez forced to block Gabriel Jesus' early efforts.
Tottenham were largely limited to counter-attacks, with Tanguy Ndombele shooting at John Stones after one driving run before Kane almost gave the visitors the lead against the run of play after winning a free-kick off Aymeric Laporte on the edge of the City box and then firing against the woodwork.
- Ruben Dias was on the bench after a recent illness, along with Sergio Aguero as he recovers from COVID, while Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus – in for Riyad Mahrez – were the two changes from the win over Liverpool.
- Tottenham were without Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso but there was a first Premier League appearance of the season for Japhet Tanganga, while Eric Dier replaced Toby Alderweireld. Gareth Bale began on the bench.
But City's early pressure paid off on 21 minutes when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clumsily tumbled Gundogan to give away a penalty.
There had been speculation in the week that goalkeeper Ederson may take the next City spot-kick, after six different players in the league had returned a combined record of eight missed out of 17 since the start of last season, but penalty-taker number seven Rodri stepped up and found the net - just.
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Spurs keeper Lloris will feel he should have kept the midfielder's tame effort out after getting a hand to it but he was thankful for another Sanchez block from Bernardo Silva soon after, before referee Paul Tierney rightly waved away more City penalty appeals when Raheem Sterling's cross hit Ben Davies at close range.
City should have doubled their advantage moments before the interval when another Sanchez block led to Jesus hitting the bar but it didn't take them long to make it two after the restart, with Raheem Sterling exchanging passes with Phil Foden before playing in Gundogan to drive his shot through Lloris on 50 minutes.
The third came 16 minutes later and in a fashion Mourinho won't at all be happy with, as Gundogan shoved away Sanchez to control a long ball from Ederson and then slot clinically into the bottom corner.
No player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals in this calendar year than Gundogan, who has 11 in total during this Premier League season, so it was a blow to see him go off with what appeared to be a groin injury soon after.
In the final stages, Spurs sub Bale produced a moment of magic, skipping past three City players before drawing a good save from Ederson to deliver a reminder of what he can do, while Lloris saved from Sterling to lift his reputation after a bad week which had also seen him concede five at Everton in the FA Cup, but for Man City, their march towards the title continues to gather pace.
Man of the Match: Ilkay Gundogan
⭐️ Ilkay Gundogan’s contribution for @ManCity today— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) February 13, 2021
60 touches, 7 in opposition box
Completed 45/52 passes
1 chance created
Fouled to win a penalty
4 shots, 2 on target
10th & 11th PL goals this season - all in last 12 apps pic.twitter.com/4GtVeIusgB
Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp:
"Gundogan is in such good form right now, he's full of confidence, and he's getting numbers now which I didn't think he had. But it just sums up this Man City side - they're full of confidence."
Sky Sports' Micah Richards:
"He's in the form of his life. He looked like he got a knock so he had to come off, which is a massive blow for the team, but he just seems to have a freedom. I remember watching him in the early part of his City career and he was getting into those areas but he wasn't putting it away, he was more trying to get an assist. But he's confident now and he really has come into his own."
What the managers said...
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "We beat an exceptional team. They hit the post, in a situation which can change the game, and the last action from Gareth Bale, but they didn't [create] anything else, so that is so good in terms of defensive commitment.
"And in terms of the way we were playing with the ball was really good, especially in the second half. Another victory, important against a good team, and we continue our good rhythm. We will see tomorrow [about Gundogan's injury]. He said it was nothing, it was tight, but we will see tomorrow, day after tomorrow."
On Rodri's penalty and whether he's City's new penalty taker: "No! The taker was not good. We were lucky! I love and admire the courage to take it but it was not a good taker, we were lucky!"
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: "A fresh team against a very tired team, but the team that started the game very, very well. We hit the post, 1-0 could give us that fuel that you need when you are tired like the boys were, and then one more of these modern penalties, I call them modern penalties, to put us in a difficult situation.
"But I'm very, very happy with the players' attitude. I have guys on the pitch that played two hours a couple of days ago, they gave everything, of course we have guys in difficulty. Brave attitude, great dignity, of course losing 3-0, a team that is not united, not together, would give up and be punished. But I saw guys like Harry, like Pierre, like Ben, just a few names but there are five, six, seven.
"They give everything, so I have nothing to say against my players, not even a couple of defensive mistakes that are always present, but I cannot complain with the attitude of the boys."
- Manchester City remain unbeaten in their last 23 matches in all competitions (W20 D3), conceding just six goals during this period - indeed, the Citizens have extended their all-time record winning run for a top-flight side in all competitions to 16 matches.
- Manchester City haven't trailed for a single minute in any of their last 15 Premier League games, since a 2-0 loss to Tottenham in November - in the competition's history, only Arsenal have embarked on a longer run of successive games without going behind (a run of 19 matches between December 1998 - May 1999).
- Tottenham have lost four of their last five Premier League games (W1), as many defeats as in their previous 28 league matches.
- Manchester City are the first side to keep 14 clean sheets from their opening 23 Premier League games in a season since Manchester United (17) and Chelsea (14) in 2008-09.
- Tottenham have conceded a combined eight goals in their last two games (5 v Everton, 3 v Man City) - the most José Mourinho has conceded across a two-game period in all competitions in his managerial career.
- Ederson's assist for Manchester City's third goal was the third assist he has registered for the Citizens in all competitions, also doing so against Huddersfield in August 2018 and FC Schalke 04 in February 2019.
City now go to Everton in the Premier League on Wednesday night at 8.15pm, before going to Arsenal on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm.
Tottenham are now at Wolfsberger in the Europa League round of 32 first leg on Thursday at 5.55pm, before going to West Ham, also on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at midday.