Manchester City 4 Tottenham 1: Silva-less City continues to set the gold standard

Manchester City overcame the absence of David Silva to ease to victory over Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Published : Dec 17, 2017 01:11 IST

Raheem Sterling scored a brace as Manchester City beat Tottenham.
Raheem Sterling scored a brace as Manchester City beat Tottenham.

Raheem Sterling scored a brace as Manchester City beat Tottenham.

Raheem Sterling scored twice as Manchester City extended its record run of victories in the Premier League to 16 games with an emphatic 4-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite the talismanic David Silva, who had scored four goals in his past three outings, missing a league game for the first time this season, Pep Guardiola's all-conquering juggernaut rolled on to move 14 points clear of nearest rival Manchester United at the top of the table.

Ilkay Gundogan's free header from a corner gave City an early lead before Kevin de Bruyne doubled its advantage with a left-footed drive 20 minutes from time.

The home side could even afford to see substitute Gabriel Jesus miss a penalty before Sterling bagged a late brace, taking the England international's tally for the season to 15.

Christian Eriksen struck a late consolation but Tottenham, which will drop to seventh if Liverpool avoids defeat at Bournemouth on Sunday, was thoroughly outclassed on the road, meaning it has now claimed just one point from its last five away trips away from Wembley Stadium.

This result sees Guardiola equal the best winning streak he oversaw while in charge of Barcelona, though his current crop is still three shy of matching the 19-game run his Bayern Munich squad managed in the 2013-14 Bundesliga campaign. On this form, however, it is hard to see when City will lose again.

Read: Mutual trust at Man City a dream, says Pep

Gundogan was the man chosen to fill Silva's void and he took full advantage with a 14th-minute opener. Tottenham failed to pay any attention to the stand-in at Leroy Sane's out-swinging corner from the left, allowing the Germany international to drift in unmarked and, stooping down, nod his team in front.

That the gap remained at one-nil through to half-time was largely down to two men - Hugo Lloris and Craig Pawson.

Tottenham's busy goalkeeper denied Sergio Aguero, Gundogan and Sane before the break, while the visiting team was grateful when Pawson, the referee who awarded Everton a controversial penalty for a push by Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during last Sunday's Merseyside derby, failed to spot Danny Rose's blatant two-handed shove on Eliaquim Mangala.

Despite leaving both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min up front, Spurs failed to register a shot on target in an opening half that saw patchy fog descend over the ground.

Its attacking vision appeared to be a little clearer despite the conditions after the break, with Kane finally forcing Ederson into a save with a long-range drive that required pushing around the goalkeeper's right post.

City, though, demonstrated why its defence deserves as much praise as its high-powered attack this season. The Blues weathered the storm and, as Tottenham was forced to throw bodies forward, capitalised on the counter-attack.

Not long after receiving a heavy challenge from Dele Alli that only resulted in a yellow card, De Bruyne grabbed the all-important second goal when lashing the ball beyond Lloris with a fierce left-footed strike.

The Belgian was fouled by compatriot Jan Vertonghen to earn City a penalty soon after, only for Gabriel Jesus to send the spot-kick against the woodwork. Sterling failed to convert the rebound too, but could not miss the two late chances that came his way.

The England winger first tapped in from a free-flowing move involving Gundogan and Sane, before finishing another devastating City attack from close range.

Eriksen had the last word, denying Ederson a clean sheet when his low drive that rather dribbled into the corner of the net, but Tottenham barely celebrated the Dane's strike, well aware it had been outplayed by the league's runaway leader.

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