Manchester City continued their record-breaking winning streak with a comfortable 3-0 win over Tottenham to underline their title credentials.
City’s FA Cup win over Swansea at the weekend had made it 15 wins on the spin for last season’s Premier League runners up who had opened up a five-point lead over Manchester United coming into this weekend’s fixtures.
It was Spurs who first came closest to taking the lead though, Harry Kane getting his superb 14th minute free-kick up and over the City wall, only for the England international to see his effort crash against the inside of the post and back into play.
Unsurprisingly though, the game saw Man City dominate possession and the majority of chances, and midway through the first half they were awarded a penalty, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clumsily bringing down Ilkay Gundogan in the box. The Blues have had plenty of issues from the spot in recent seasons, and with Gundogan having blazed one over the bar at Anfield last week, Rodri stepped up to take his first-ever penalty, and despite Hugo Lloris getting a strong hand to the ball he was unable to prevent it from creeping in.
City doubled their advantage five minutes after the break, Mourinho’s side unable to get the ball off Raheem Sterling who dribbled into the box, and after an interchange with Phil Foden, Sterling slipped the ball into the path of the in-form Gundogan whose low effort wriggled past Lloris who really should have done better.
The German put the game beyond any doubt 16 minutes later, latching onto a long pass from goalkeeper Ederson, using his body to brush off the poor challenge of Davinson Sanchez before slotting confidently into the bottom corner.
15 – Man City haven’t trailed for a single minute in any of their last 15 Premier League games – in the competition’s history, only Arsenal have embarked on a longer run of successive games without going behind (a run of 19 matches between December 1998 – May 1999). Momentum. pic.twitter.com/dYgThUhlOM
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2021
Speaking after the game, Pep Guardiola was pleased with his side’s patience against Jose Mourinho’s ‘special’ side.
“Well deserved, they hit the post and that can turn the game but the way we wanted to play was there,” he told BBC Sport.
“Tottenham have special quality, we have played well against them in the past and lost 2-0. They don’t need anything to create chances. It is the quality and the approach of their manager.
“We have a special way to play and we will continue, you have to be patient, patient. Calm.
“The penalty is clear and then the first time we attack in the second half we score, that can happen.”
The Catalan did however express his concern over City’s penalty-taking struggles, and not for the first time, suggested goalkeeper Ederson as a potential taker.
“Is Rodri the taker now? No. I would say I admire the courage to take the penalty but it was not a good penalty. I am not laughing, I am concerned about this. We will have a real specialist to take them with quality. We have to practice.
“When I talk about Ederson and penalties, you see his assist, 60-70 yards, well then he will score from 12 yards!”
Next up for City is their rearranged fixture against Everton at Goodison Park before travelling to north London next weekend to take on Arsenal.