Tottenham Hostpur 1 Manchester City 3 – Premier League Match Report
Manchester City put their horror week behind them as they impressively saw off Tottenham at Wembley.
A smart finish from Gabriel Jesus and a penalty from Ilkay Gundogan put the Citizens in control, but Spurs fought back through Christian Eriksen to retain hope going into half-time.
City regained control after the break however, and sealed the points when Raheem Sterling lashed home a rebound.
Spurs stay in fourth, seven points clear of Chelsea, while City are one win from securing their first league title in four years.
With an extra three days’ rest, Spurs made four changes from their 2-1 victory over Stoke last weekend.
Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies came in at full-back for Serge Aurier and Danny Rose, while Eric Dier and Erik Lamela deputise for Victor Wanyama and Son Heung-Min in midfield.
Pep Guardiola shuffled his pack as well, Fernandinho served the first of a two-match suspension, while Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi were sacrificed after Tuesday’s loss to Liverpool.
Ilkay Gundogan replaced Fernandinho, while Fabian Delph and Vincent Kompany moved into defence. Kompany partnered Aymeric Laporte in the middle with John Stones unfit and Otamendi left out for only the second league fixture this season.
Man City again began at a lightning pace, Leroy Sane seeing a spectacular volley cannon back off the post after only four minutes.
The game quietened down following that frantic start, but on 22 minutes City’s persistence bore fruit.
A pinpoint ball over the top from captain Vincent Kompany set Gabriel Jesus in on goal, and the Brazilian forward slotted home confidently for his tenth league goal of the season.
They extended their lead only six minutes later. Ilkay Gundogan slamming home a penalty after Hugo Lloris recklessly wiped out Raheem Sterling, though some replays suggest that contact occurred outside the box.
It was no more than City deserved however, as David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne controlled the game in midfield.Embed from Getty Images
Ben Davies was lucky to only see yellow for a rash challenge on Vincent Kompany shortly after, and the waves of City attacks continued as Silva was thwarted by a smart stop from Lloris.
Spurs began to see more of the ball as half-time approached and a stroke of luck saw them pull a goal back, Christian Eriksen ricocheting the ball past Ederson after a clever flick from the quiet Harry Kane.
Jonathan Moss brought the first half to an end minutes later, with the score line an accurate reflection of the action so far, City shading the half but Spurs fighting back at the end.
The home side maintained that standard into the second half, with visiting keeper Ederson called into action to punch clear a dangerous freekick from Eriksen, under pressure from Jan Vertonghen.
Just before the hour mark, Spurs fans were left cursing after Moss waved away claims for a penalty after Dele Alli went down under pressure from Vincent Kompany. Replays showed that the big Belgian was perhaps lucky to escape.
Jesus missed an excellent chance to make the points safe when through two-on-one with Sterling, but wastefully dragged his effort wide.
Both sides made changes soon after, in-form Son replacing Erik Lamela for Spurs, while Leroy Sane was taken off for Nicolas Otamendi.
The introduction of the Argentine changed the game, with City regaining control of the middle of the park and as the Spurs legs grew tired, the game opened up. Raheem Sterling guilty of wastefulness on one occasion, but the Englishman made amends moments later.
After a wicked deflection, Hugo Lloris could only parry Gabriel Jesus’ effort to Sterling, who lashed it into the net and wheeled off in relief.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs looked a beaten side from the moment the net bulged, and the Citizens comfortably closed out the victory which takes them 16 points clear.
That means Manchester United must gain at least four points from games against West Brom and Bournemouth to continue their title challenge.
Spurs are next in action at Brighton on Tuesday, with City will next line up against Swansea next Sunday, perhaps already crowned Champions.
Written by Sam Hanys.