Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

Manchester City extended their record-breaking run to 16 consecutive wins as they easily dismantled an overly defensive Tottenham team, with a Rodri penalty and a brace from Ilkay Gundogan sealing the points.

Spurs had gained seven points from the previous three league meetings between the sides, despite being completely outplayed in each, but that luck deservedly ran out today.

Despite City’s early dominance, however, the away side did come within a whisker of snatching the lead.

With a quarter of an hour played, Harry Kane won a freekick from Aymeric Laporte in a promising position on the right, and his powerful set piece crashed against the inside of the post and away with Ederson completely beaten.

Spurs fans might have been hoping that their team could press on from this opening, but within 10 minutes hopes of a positive result were greatly diminished.

There was no immediate danger as Gundogan advanced into the box by the byline, but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg then needlessly clattered the German for a stonewall penalty.

Jose Mourinho called it a modern penalty after the match. Quite frankly, if it had been replayed in the year 1900, it would have still been a penalty.

It is unclear whether this has been mentioned previously, but City have had some very slight difficulties from the spot in recent times. Today, despite Ederson advancing in apparent anticipation, the responsibility fell to Rodri.

The positive was that he actually managed to hit the target. The negative was that it was well in from the post, and Hugo Lloris had dived the right way. Despite getting a firm hand on the shot, the Frenchman could only divert it into the top corner, and City had the lead.

Spurs were doing a good containment job without threatening themselves, but a minute before halftime they were very nearly undone by a flowing City move.

Raheem Sterling exchanged the ball with Joao Cancelo, with Ben Davies completely beaten by the winger’s pace. Sterling’s cutback to Gundogan saw the midfielder’s shot brilliantly blocked on the line by Davinson Sanchez, with the loose ball falling to Cancelo. His quick pass found Jesus, but the shot just clipped the top of the bar with Lloris beaten.

Half time: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham

Gundogan had scored just three minutes into the second half at Liverpool. Here, it only took him an extra two.

Sterling was the architect, jinking and twisting his way from the right touchline all the way to the far side of the box. After a one-two with Phil Foden, a quick pass found yet another late bursting run from Gundogan, who controlled brilliantly and toe-poked past Lloris.

If the Tottenham goalkeeper should probably have saved the first, he definitely should have saved the second.

Just 15 minutes later, and he was picking the ball out of his net yet again.

Ederson had come close to an assist several times already this season, but this time his forward made no mistake. Or, should that be, his midfielder.

Yes, once again, it was Ilkay Gundogan. The ball bounced awkwardly for him but he controlled it with style, before leaving the recovering Sanchez face-planting the turf and then drilling low into the bottom corner.

However, the sight of him limping off barely a minute later with an apparent groin strain is something City fans will be anxious about for the games ahead.

The game settled with the substitutions, but Gareth Bale then almost dragged Spurs back into the game single-handedly, as he effortlessly dribbled around three players before launching a powerful effort that Ederson did well to beat away.

City almost made it four in the final minute as Sterling again drove through the massed Tottenham defensive ranks, but this time his low shot was well saved by the boot of Lloris.

The whistle sounded as City established a seven point lead at the top of the table, while Spurs remain in 8th place, and still four points from the final Champions League position.

Full time: Manchester City 3-0 Tottenham

Man of the Match: Rodri

Now, it may appear strange to give this to neither Gundogan nor Sterling, with both being fantastic for the second league game running. However, the Spaniard is the one currently dictating games to perfection, and today he nullified his opposite number Lucas Moura so effectively that the Brazilian was substituted at halftime. That says it all, really.

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