To say that Pep Guardiola’s second season in charge at Manchester City was going well would be something of an understatement. By the time the blues faced Spurs on this day in December 2017, City had won 16 and drawn 1 of their 17 league games and had won 15 Premier League matches in a row. The blues sat at the top of the table, 11 points clear of United in second place and a goal difference of +41, so yes, the season was going very well.
Spurs were no pushovers, sitting in fourth place in the Premier League table and had won their last two matches, so the match would be a huge test of both team’s credentials, but it would turn out to be what had become a routine victory for City.
The blues were all over Spurs form the start and it would only be a matter of time until City took the lead, and when it did, it was an unlikely goal from an unlikely source. A corner on the City left was whipped in and an Ilkay Gundogan headed home. Yes, City had scored from a corner!
City were denied a penalty when Yaya Toure was clearly pushed inside the area and the blues poured forward in search of more goals. Aguero was denied by Lloris and Sterling blazed the rebound over.
Ederson was called into action in the second half, making a good save from Harry Kane before Leroy Sane saw his shot after a weaving run into the penalty area saved by Lloris, and Sterling again blasted over the rebound when it seemed easier to score.
On 70 minutes, City tore forward again and this time, Lloris’ efforts would be in vain. Gundogan charged into the Spurs half and with four against three in City’s favour, the German midfielder had options either side. His pass found Kevin de Bruyne, and the Belgian kingpin took a couple of touches before hammering a shot into the back of the net. Lloris did his best to keep it out, but the shot from de Bruyne was just too powerful.
Gundogan was at the heart of City’s next move, and another pass to de Bruyne sent the Belgian racing into the penalty area, only to be upended by Jan Vertonghen, giving Gabriel Jesus the opportunity to score from the spot. The Brazilian’s penalty beat the keeper but not the post as it cannoned off the woodwork, with Sterling achieving a hat-trick of over the bar chances as he again blazed the rebound into Row Z.
On 80 minutes, Sterling made up for those misses after an excellent move involving Gundogan and Sane. The two Germans combined, with the former playing in the latter, whose ball across goal was met by the England winger to tap home. And Sterling was on hand to grab City’s fourth of the afternoon when a ball over the top was completely misjudged by Eric Dyer, and Sterling flicked the ball through the legs of Lloris to tap home the easiest goal he will ever score.
Christian Eriksen pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but it was a 16th straight win for the blues which put them 14 points clear of United.
Final Score: Manchester City 4-1 Spurs