Man City 4 – Tottenham 1: Pep Guardiola’s men batter Spurs to go 14 points clear | Football | Sport

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Manchester City thrashed Tottenham to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League

Another stunning exhibition of mesmeric football crushed Tottenham and put Pep Guardiola’s team 14 points clear at the top – with still another match to play before Christmas. 

This was the 16th consecutive league victory for City, extending their English record and matching the best Guardiola ever managed with Barcelona. 

The scale of the achievement is clear enough. What makes it so much more compelling is the style and beauty of their play; forever taking risks in possession, forever passing the ball with clinical grace. 

It left Spurs boss boss Mauricio Pochettino graciously admitting: “When you’re playing a team with good quality, if we take risks, we give them the possibility of making chances. We tried to play, but they were better, we have to congratulate them. So far, they are the best team in England.”

Once again, the goals flooded in. It was four here as the crowd roared in pleasure; it could have been several more. Spurs were left completely flummoxed.

In recent weeks David Silva had been City’s talisman. He was missing for personal reasons, but it mattered not. They just brought in German international midfield ace Ilkay Gundogan – who scored within 14 minutes. 

It was a simple bullet header when Gundogan was left totally unmarked at a corner. He literally strolled in from the edge of the box to meet the cross from Leroy Sane. The goal was stamped: Made in Germany. 

Sane was a devastating threat on City’s left flank, running at sprinter’s pace with dexterity and intelligence and causing endless problems for Spurs full-back Kieran Trippier. 

The home side might have scored again in the 24th minute from a quite brilliant move. 

Goalkeeper Ederson drilled a precision pass to Sane in the centre circle, who instantly laid it off to Kevin De Bruyne. His first-time pass sent Sergio Augero running free and a fierce shot was well saved. Raheem Sterling fired the loose ball inches over the bar. 

In this mood, Guardiola’s team are captivating. The passing and movement was sheer magic at times, and Spurs found it hard to keep possession or build any momentum. 

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Raheem Sterling netted twice for the Premier League leaders

They were feeding on scraps in the first half; their only effort on goal curled just wide by Harry Kane. 

Moments later the England striker was caught in face by a high boot from Nicolas Otamendi. The City defender was booked; an angry Kane felt it merited more serious punishment. 

Roles were reversed just after the break when Kane caught Sterling on the shin with a studs-first lunge. His yellow card might have been red. 

It was 50 years to the week since the most famous City v Spurs match of history; the ‘Ballet on Ice’ played in a snowstorm on a treacherous Maine Road pitch and won 4-1 by City. Here it was fog that swirled around on a cold night. 

Spurs were a different prospect for a spell after the break, forcing City back into defence with intense pressing and controlled possession when they had the ball. 

It forged a chance for Kane in the 55th minute with a powerful shot from 20 yards, but it was foiled by a superb flying save from Ederson. The keeper is a crucial cog in City’s spinning wheel. 

Guardiola responded by introducing Gabriel Jesus for Aguero. The latter was unimpressed, throwing his gloves to the ground and walking off to the bench.  

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Kevin De Bryune put in a Man of the Match display for City

City regained their elegant dominance, and should have scored midway through the second half. Sane burst into the box and when his powerful shot was stopped by Lloris, the loose ball was sent over the bar from five yards range by Sterling.

The frustration was evident for Spurs, and Alli ought to have been sent off for an over-the-top foul on De Bruyne. It was only a booking. De Bruyne survived – and flourished. 

Two minutes later City burst forward on the counter attack and the Belgian ace finished the move with a fierce left foot drive. That was that. City were rampant. 

Jesus wasted a penalty, hitting the post, but a few minutes later Sterling applied the finishing touch to a scintillating move for a third goal. Sterling added a fourth in the final minute after an error by Eric Dier to complete the crushing victory. 

A goal in injury time from Christian Eriksen for Spurs was irrelevant. Despite City’s dominance De Bruyne insisted the title is not sealed.

“No, definitely not,” he said. 

“We’ve had a great start but there is still more than half of the season to go – though we will always try to win every game we play.”



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