Manchester City are back. After three bad defeats last week, the Blues returned to their dominant selves and truly thrashed Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, with a 3-1 result that does not do justice to how well this team played. Pep Guardiola and his men needed to respond, and they did that and more against one of the best teams in England.
Pep Guardiola wanted his team to be at their best from the very first minute, and the players clearly followed the instructions. The Blues were simply sensational and dominated the match with fantastic work of possession and high pressing to disrupt Spurs’ buildup, and they constantly created chances with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané very active.
It took 20 minutes for the chances to become goals, but they finally came in a span of just three minutes: first it was Gabriel Jesus who scored the opener thanks to a phenomenal long ball from Vincent Kompany, and then Ilkay Gundogan doubled City’s lead from the penalty spot after Hugo Lloris brought down Sterling.
The two goals finally woke up the home team, who began to increase their pressure and trouble the City defense until they got a bit of a lucky goal just before halftime after Christian Eriksen had his shot blocked but unintentionally redirected the ball towards goal when it came back to him.
At halftime, a very good game of football had the Blues on top, but Spurs looked in good position to attempt a second half comeback.
In order to avoid another collapse after getting a big lead like we saw in the Manchester Derby, City had a clear plan for the second half: scoring was not as important as keeping the ball, staying defensively strong and absolutely exhausting Spurs, who were giving everything they had to pressure the Blues in possession. City players were always close to each other and there was always a passing option.
The plan worked perfectly as Spurs were clearly very tired after about 25 minutes, and then came the knockout punch when Raheem Sterling scored the third and practically ended the match. Mauricio Pochettino brought Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura to try an unlikely comeback, but it was just too late and the Blues just ran out the clock.
This is a fantastic response to the last three losses, and now we have another chance to win the league at home against Swnasea City next week. If tonight’s great performance is any indication, we’re winning the title next week.
Tottenham: Lloris; Trippier, Sánchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembélé (Lucas); Lamela (Son), Eriksen, Alli (Sissoko); Kane
Goal: Eriksen (42’)
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Delph; Gundogan; Sterling, De Bruyne, Silva, Sané (Otamendi); Jesus (Bernardo)
Goals: Gabriel Jesus (22’), Gundogan (25’), Sterling (72’)