City recovers from setbacks to beat Spurs, on brink of title
LONDON (AP) — Manchester City recovered from a troubled period to put one hand on the English Premier League title with a 3-1 win at Tottenham on Saturday.
Over the last week, City was dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and missed the chance to seal top spot by losing to Manchester United.
But Pep Guardiola’s side was back in fine form to see off fourth-place Tottenham. First-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan and a Raheem Sterling effort after the break did the damage.
City will clinch a third Premier League crown since 2012 if United fails to beat West Bromwich Albion on Sunday or loses to Bournemouth on Wednesday.
Regardless of United’s results, City will be crowned champions by beating Swansea next Sunday.
Tottenham was in the game when Christian Eriksen scored to reduce the deficit to 2-1. But an impressive 14-game unbeaten run in the league — going back to the reverse fixture at City in December — is over.
There was no sign of City’s recent troubles as the visitors 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 rewarded when City took the lead in the 22nd in a manner not out of the usual Guardiola playbook.
A long ball from Kyle Walker saw Gabriel 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 goalkeeper Hugo Lloris charged out and took out the winger with a rash tackle, referee Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot and Gundogan converted the penalty.
City had done enough to be out of sight but Tottenham got a lifeline just before halftime 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, the hosts could not muster any chances and it was City that had a golden opportunity to put the game to bed in the 64th.
Gabriel 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, he finally got on the score sheet in the 72nd. He struck from close range after Gabriel Jesus’ shot was parried.
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