Premier League: Manchester City close in on title after win over Tottenham

Manchester City moved a vital step closer to being crowned Premier League champions after their win over Tottenham at Wembley.
16 April 2018
by:   Tim Fadipe

City have had a a disappointing few weeks to say the least and to come out of this crucial match with a 3-1 victory will be vital to the dressing room morale.

Although from the opening exchanges of the game, a neutral viewer would assume it was Tottenham who had been put through the ringer in recent weeks. City swarmed all over their opposition and were playing some beautiful football in and around the Tottenham area and the hosts couldn’t get anywhere near them. Tottenham showed their opponents far too much respect and they were made to pay for it.

Kompany picked up the ball in defence and launched a ball over into space for Gabriel Jesus to run on to. The Brazilian latched onto the pass and held off Davinson Sanchez and as we have become accustomed to, kept his composure and slotted under Hugo Lloris. City were rampant and could smell blood and were looking to add a second goal which didn’t take long to come. Sterling was played through by Kevin de Bruyne and Lloris had rushed out to handle the situation, Sterling got there ahead of the Frenchman and was brought down just inside the box for the penalty. Ilkay Gundogan stepped up and dispatched the penalty with aplomb.

Spurs had been tepid the whole of the first half but managed to half the deficit just before half-time thanks to their first piece of good play. Harry Kane picked up the ball on the edge of the area and shaped to shoot, but instead, he reversed the pass into Christian Eriksen and a lucky ricochet gave the Danish international his 10th Premier League goal of the season.

Tottenham for sure would have got an earful from Pochettino at the half and it showed in the second half. Spurs had an extra yard of pace, they were closing City down with much more vigour and were coming out on top during the 50/50 battles. But they couldn’t take advantage and secure the equaliser and City began to wrestle back control of the game. Tottenham were pressed so high up the field that if not for some woeful finishing by City, the game would have been far out of reach.

City put the game to bed on the 72nd minute as after a series of misses by Sterling, he finally got his just desserts. He should have scored a few seconds earlier as he had sat Lloris down put his attempt was cleared off the line but this time, a shot from Jesus was parried by Lloris and Sterling was first to react and rifled the ball into the roof of the net for this 17th league goal of the season. The goal seemed to sap the energy out of the stadium but galvanised the City players.

Spurs failed to create anything of note in the final 15 minutes of the game and City will need some extra shooting practice at training because this game should have been put to bed much earlier.

Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his men “After what happened this week, to come here and play the way we did, the guys were awesome, fantastic – they are incredible.” The Spaniard reserved special praise for Raheem Sterling saying “The moment Sterling increases his goals, he will be one of the best players in the world because he has everything. He is young and able to do it.”

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