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Monday 18 June 2018

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Manchester City bounce back to put one hand on Premier League title

Pep Guardiola’s men put on a sizzling display at Wembley to get back to winning ways.

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

By Jonathan Veal, Press Association Sport

Manchester City responded from a nightmare 10 days in style to put one hand on the Premier League title with a 3-1 win at Tottenham.

City were dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and missed the chance to seal top spot against rivals Manchester United over the last week but Pep Guardiola’s men put on a sizzling display at Wembley to get back to winning ways.

First-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan and a Raheem Sterling effort after the break did the damage, meaning City will clinch a third Premier League crown if Manchester United fail to beat West Brom on Sunday.

If Jose Mourinho’s men win, City can do the business next week against Swansea regardless of any other results.

Tottenham were in the game when Christian Eriksen scored a goal no one could take off him just before half-time but their impressive 14-game unbeaten run – going back to the reverse fixture in December – is over.

There was no sign of City’s recent troubles as they immediately found their groove and could have led with only three minutes on the clock.

David Silva foraged down the right and fed Sterling, whose pinpoint cross was sent crashing into the post by a first-time Leroy Sane effort.

The dominant start was deservedly rewarded with a 22nd-minute lead and it was not out of the usual Manchester City playbook.

A long ball from Kyle Walker saw Jesus outpace Davinson Sanchez to race in on goal and finish coolly.

City’s celebrations were barely over by the time they were 2-0 up just three minutes later.

Sterling broke clear this time and, when Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris charged out and took out the England man with a rash tackle, referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot.

Replays subsequently showed contact was made outside of the area, but that did not stop Gundogan converting with a brilliant penalty.

Guardiola’s men had done enough to be out of sight but Spurs got a lifeline just before half-time when Eriksen netted for a third game in a row.

Harry Kane fed him on the edge of the area and there was a large amount of fortune about the finish as his original effort rebounded off goalkeeper Ederson back onto the Dane and into the corner.

Given City’s capitulation against United last week, Tottenham’s goal changed the dynamic of the game and the hosts were camped in City’s half for the opening 20 minutes after the resumption.

But – for all their possession – they could not muster any chances and it was City that had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed in the 64th minute.

Jesus again left Sanchez for dead but this time dragged his shot from the edge of the area horribly wide.

After Sterling missed another fine chance, the England attacker finally got on the scoresheet in the 72nd minute when he rammed home from close range after Jesus’ shot was parried to put the champagne firmly on ice.

Press Association

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