Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points by batting aside Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Rodri gave the hosts a first-half lead as he converted a penalty won by recently-named Premier League Player of the Month Ilkay Gundogan. The German went from provider to scorer with two strikes; the first being a low, close-range finish and the second an excellent finish from Ederson’s long ball.
Here are five things we learned from the game:
Lloris weak for Tottenham
It sometimes harsh for criticism to be directed at players for a defeat, however Hugo Lloris will surely be disappointed with his performance at the Etihad. The French stopper really should have saved Rodri’s penalty attempt, instead getting a weak wrist to the ball and directing it into the top scorer. He was also unconvincing as Gundogan doubled the hosts’ advantage, eventually fumbling the German’s shot into the back of the net.
Lloris has certainly saved more points than he has cost Spurs in his time at the club but he certainly needs to get back to his best.
Gundogan setting sights on another gong
After being crowned Player League Player of the Month for January for his performances throughout the month, Gundogan has continued his stunning form with another two strikes at the Etihad Stadium. Having been granted a more advanced position, he was in the right place at the right time to double the lead.
He then showed immense intelligence to get on the end of Ederson’s ball, bamboozle Davinson Sanchez and score with a cool finish. Gundogan has scored more goals than any other Premier League player and it was a huge shame to see his evening ended with an injury.
Rodri the metronome
Whilst one City midfielder was instrumental in the win with his two goals, one of his teammates, Rodri, was also as key. The Spaniard has earned a fair amount of criticism in his time at the Etihad Stadium but he set the tone against Spurs.
Of players starting the match, only Oleksandr Zinchenko completed more passes than the former Atletico Madrid man. Rodri also had the best pass accuracy rate of all 22 starting players with an exquisite 96% completion rate.
Couple this with his opening goal and it was an extremely impressive performance.
Spurs really struggling to create
From their exhilarating attacking performance in the FA Cup at Goodison Park, Spurs were back to the same kind of performances that supporters have become accustomed to – struggling to create.
Jose Mourinho’s men only had three shots on target throughout the 90 minutes and of their last five matches in the Premier League, they have only scored three goals. Considering that this is a side that starts the likes of Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son, that impotence really is damning.
City a free run at title?
With Liverpool falling to a shock defeat at Leicester City earlier in the day, Jurgen Klopp conceded the title and it now only looks to be a formality for Pep Guardiola’s en route to another crown.
The Citizens are now seven points clear at the top and still have a game in hand. Only Manchester United could potentially stop the Citizens but even then, they would need to match the incredible consistency displayed by their near neighbours. City can now be backed at a price as low as 1/25 with William Hill to lift the title come the end of the campaign.
Manchester City: Ederson (8); Zinchenko (6), Stones (7), Laporte (7), Cancelo (7); Rodri (8), Gundogan (8) (Torres (6), 69′), Silva (6); Foden (7), Sterling (7), Jesus (6) (Mahrez (N/A), 80′).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (4); Davies (5), Dier (5), Sanchez (4), Tanganga (5); Hojbjerg (5), Ndombele (6) (Alli (5), 64′), Lamela (6) (Bale (6), 72′); Son (5), Moura (5) (Sissoko (6), 46′), Kane (6).
Goals: Rodri (pen 23′), Gundogan (50′, 67′)
Referee: Paul Tierney
Yellow Cards: Silva (29′), Lamela (65′), Dier (77′)
Red Cards: N/A