EPL

Manchester City Swamp Spurs to Remain 11 Points Clear

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City runs to join the celebrations after Raheem Sterling of Manchester City scored his sides fourth goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Manchester City Swamp Spurs to Remain 11 Points Clear
Pep Guardiola said Kevin de Bruyne is helping Manchester City become “a better institution” after the playmaker put in an inspired performance to help his side outclass Tottenham in a 4-1 win for a 16th successive Premier League victory.
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Ilkay Gundogan, in for the absent David Silva, headed Manchester City in front from a corner after 14 minutes and the only surprise was that it took until 20 minutes before time until man-of-the-match De Bruyne’s powerful shot extended their advantage.
Gabriel Jesus struck the post with a penalty after Jan Vertonghen fouled De Bruyne but Raheem Sterling crowned a sweeping move with a simple finish to put the game well and truly out of Spurs’ reach.
Sterling then took advantage of Eric Dier’s mistake to walk in the fourth for his 15th goal of the season before Spurs – for whom Harry Kane and Dele Alli were lucky not to get red cards from referee Craig Pawson for challenges on Sterling and De Bruyne respectively – pulled one back in stoppage time through Christian Eriksen.
Boss Guardiola singled out De Bruyne for praise as he highlighted the Belgium international’s work without the ball, calling it “a good example for the young players, for our academy”.
“They know how good Kevin De Bruyne is and when they see how he runs and fights without the ball, that is the best example,” added Guardiola.
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“He helps us to be a better club, a better institution for the future, because that is what we want to do. His performance, I have no words to describe what he has done with the ball.
“And overall, without the ball, he is able to make pressure from 40 metres to the goalkeeper. And when that happens, the people who are behind him think ‘if that guy runs like this, I have to run as well.”
Manager Pep Guardiola: “We made an outstanding performance, we scored four, we created lots of chances against a strong team.”
It is the question being asked on a weekly basis – and no-one is any nearer finding the answer after another imperious performance from a Manchester City side who are surely now too far ahead to be caught in the Premier League title race.
Jose Mourinho went for a cautious approach with Manchester United in Sunday’s derby at Old Trafford and was unpicked by the magic of David Silva as City won 2-1.
Silva was absent here and Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham adopted a more positive outlook – but this time the brilliant De Bruyne was the inspiration as another method was tried and failed against Guardiola’s almost flawless side.
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Manchester City swarmed all over Spurs, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris often put under pressure in possession and in the end it was quite simply all too much for Pochettino’s side, as it has been for pretty much everyone this season.
Only Everton have taken a point against City this season with a 1-1 draw in the second league game of the season at Etihad Stadium – and it is difficult to see how this winning run can be stopped as they play with such threat and variety.
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EPL
@alexclapham

An Englishman that is a coach and analyst within the youth academy of a Spanish club whilst studying Sports Coaching. Obsessive over the tactical concepts of the European game, Alex regularly attends games in the La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A.

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