Manchester City 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1: De Bruyne masterclass sees Blues extend winning run

By Ric Turner, Mon 18 December 2017 17:03

Manchester City 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1: De Bruyne masterclass sees Blues extend winning runPep Guardiola's side have now won an incredible 16 Premier League games in a row

FA Premier League
Saturday 16 December 2017, 17.30 KO

City: Ederson, Walker, Delph, Otamendi, Mangala, Fernandinho, Gundogan (Foden 83), De Bruyne, Sterling, Sane (B Silva, 85), Aguero (Jesus, 58)
 Bravo, Danilo, Zinchenko, Toure
Goals: Gundogan (14), De Bruyne (70), Sterling (80 & 90)
Booked: Otamendi, Delph

Referee: Craig Pawson

Man of the match: De Bruyne

City extended their winning run in the Premier League to a staggering 16 games, following the 4-1 victory against Spurs at The Etihad. The Blues have now amassed a scarcely believable 52 points out of a possible 54, and will surely go on to clinch their third Premier League title in the last six years.

Prior to the game, there was a sense that Spurs made provide the stiffest test yet of City's title credentials, but Mauricio Pochettino's side were unable to cope with City's incessant pressing and attacking intent. With David Silva absent for personal reasons, Kevin De Bruyne put in a man of the match performance, scoring City's second and winning a penalty that Gabriel Jesus failed to convert.

It mattered little in the end, as a brace from Raheem Sterling gave a fairer reflection to the scoreline before Christian Eriksen netted a late consolation for the visitors.

City started impressively, and took the lead after 14 minutes when an unmarked Ilkay Gundogan headed in Leroy Sane's corner. Sergio Aguero nearly extended City's lead, but saw his shot saved by Hugo Lloris before Sterling blasted over. Harry Kane curled a shot just wide before the break, but City were very much the dominant force. Spurs' petulance grew in the face of a superior opponent, and both Kane and Dele Alli were fortunate not to receive red cards for shocking challenges on Sterling and De Bruyne respectively.

Alli's lunge on De Bruyne seemed to fire up the Belgian midfielder, and moments after the challenge he burst through to send a powerful shot past Lloris to double City's advantage. He was then tripped in the area by international team mate Jan Vertonghen, only to see substitute Jesus strike the post with his spot kick.

Sane and Sterling combined ten minutes from time to give the Blues a three gaol advantage, before some calamitous defending from first Eric Dier and then Lloris presented Sterling with the simplest of tasks to make it 4-0. Eriksen pulled one back in the final minute but Pocettno's side had been comprehensively beaten.

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After the game, Pep Guardiola eulogised about De Bruyne's performance:

"I can just say thank you to all my players, especially Kevin. He is one of the most talented players and you see how he runs without the ball.

"He's a good example for the young players, for our Academy, for Phil Foden, for Brahim Diaz, for the young players. They know how good De Bruyne is, and when they see how he runs and fights without the ball, that is the best example.

"He helps us to be a better Club for the future. His performance today - I have no words to describe. With the ball so many assists, shift plays, all the time he was playing with his head, and overall without the ball he was able to pressurise the goalkeeper.

"When that happens the people who are behind him feel they have to run like him. And after that a team like Tottenham, who are able to play so well, we minimised their situations."