Tottenham 1-3 Manchester City: Champions-elect edge closer to Premier League title
By Jack Wilkinson at Wembley
Last Updated: 15/04/18 5:32pm
Manchester City drew an emphatic line under a difficult week by moving to within one win of the Premier League title with a 3-1 victory over Tottenham.
Gabriel Jesus' opener and an Ilkay Gundogan penalty moved Pep Guardiola's men to the brink of the title in a majestic opening 25 minutes at Wembley.
Christian Eriksen fortuitously halved the deficit three minutes before the interval and an improved second-half performance from Spurs left City in jeopardy of surrendering a two-goal lead just as they did in last week's Manchester derby.
But having withstood Spurs' second-half rally, Raheem Sterling's 22nd goal of the season secured the victory which means City can clinch the title at home to Swansea next Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
City could, however, win the title without kicking a ball again if second-placed United lose to West Brom on Sunday.
Tottenham: Lloris (5), Trippier (6), Vertonghen (7), Sanchez (6), Davies (5), Dier (5), Dembele (6), Lamela (5), Alli (5), Eriksen (7), Kane (5).
Subs: Son (5), Sissoko (5), Moura (6).
Man City: Ederson (8), Walker (7), Kompany (8), Laporte (6), Delph (6), Gundogan (8), D Silva (7), Sterling (8), De Bruyne (7), Sane (7), Jesus (8).
Subs: B Silva (6), Otamendi (6), Toure (n/a).
Man of the Match: Raheem Sterling.
City arrived at Wembley licking their wounds having been dumped out of the Champions League four days after Manchester United dramatically denied them the title.
But there was no sign of self-pity from the champions-elect as they quickly settled into their groove, Leroy Sane rattling the post with a sliced fourth-minute volley.
Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne and Gundogan all had shots on goal before Vincent Kompany's simple pass exploited Spurs' high backline, releasing Jesus who clinically finished past the on-rushing Hugo Lloris on 22 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Spurs and their captain as Lloris' reckless lunge on Sterling - which appeared outside of the area - handed City a penalty which Gundogan coolly slotted home.
Tottenham made four changes as Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Erik Lamela were recalled. There was also a spot on the bench for 19-year-old Kazaiah Sterling. Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan and Fabian Delph returned as Manchester City made three changes.
Ben Davies' horrific 27th-minute tackle on Kompany typified Spurs' frustrations but there was salvation before the break for the hosts as Aymeric Laporte's clearance fired into the City goal off Eriksen.
That goal buoyed Spurs after the break but they were unable to convert their new-found vigour into goals, with City continuing to create the clearer chances.
Jesus and Sterling spurned gilt-edged chances to score City's third but Sterling finally restored their two-goal lead on 72 minutes, converting a rebound from close range after Lloris failed to parry a Jesus shot away from danger.
All Spurs could muster by way of a response was a stoppage-time drive from Lucas Moura as the hosts were left to come to terms with their first league defeat since December 16.
- Manchester City have won 14 away games in the Premier League this season - the only side to have won more in a single campaign is Chelsea in 2004/05 (15).
- Spurs were unbeaten in 14 games in the Premier League before tonight's defeat (W11 D3); indeed, the last team to beat them were Pep Guardiola's side back in December (4-1 at the Etihad).
- City have recorded a Premier League double over Spurs for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign (under Manuel Pellegrini).
- Prior to this evening, Spurs hadn't lost a Premier League home game by a margin of two or more goals since August 2014 (0-3 v Liverpool).
- Raheem Sterling scored his 22nd goal of the season for Manchester City, which is now at least twice as many as he's registered in any of his previous seasons in all competitions (11 in 2014/15 and 2015/16).
- Tottenham conceded a goal from the penalty spot in the Premier League for the first time in 59 games, last conceding against West Ham in November 2016.
Man of the Match - Raheem Sterling
Having spurned two clear chances to put last week's Manchester derby to bed and seen former club Liverpool progress at City's expense in the Champions League, it's fair to say Raheem Sterling has had better weeks. After a handful of missed opportunities at Wembley, question marks over his finishing undoubtedly remain, but the England international's character was the latest attribute to show signs of improvement as finally took his chance to propel City to the brink of the title.
Tottenham travel to Brighton on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Premier League, before contending their FA Cup semi-finals against Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday. Manchester City, meanwhile, can win the title with a home victory over Swansea on Nissan Super Sunday.