City wary of title collapse ahead of Spurs showdown — Big Match Focus

City wary of title collapse ahead of Spurs showdown — Big Match Focus

City will be crowned the Premier League champion on Monday (AEST) in the unlikely event of rock-bottom West Bromwich Albion beating Manchester United, but glory will come regardless if it beat Swansea City next weekend. Three points against City would be critical for that plight.

But it quickly became clear that run of three successive defeats wasn't weighing on City.

After sweeping through most of the season in regal fashion, City had crashed down to earth with a bump over the last 10 days.

Tottenham has won its last two home games against Manchester City. Just 24 hours later, with Guardiola claiming he would be on the golf course, City were teeing off for a title party.

With the title wrapped up without kicking a ball thanks to United's shock defeat, City can reflect on a success crafted completely in the image of boss Pep Guardiola.

When Sterling weaved his way towards the Tottenham area, Lloris raced off his line to make a crude lunge that sent the City winger flying.

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.

Most of their goals this season have come with a flourish, but for once City took a more direct approach.

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City raced out of the traps and were nearly ahead after four minutes, Sterling driving down the right to pick out Leroy Sane, who crashed a first-time volley off the post with Hugo Lloris beaten. The Sky Blues didn't let any self doubt hinder them at Wembley Stadium and showed the quality that has propelled them to the top of the Premier League.

This structure presented an opportunity for Tottenham to exploit on quick turnovers as City's transition defense would be challenged with any wide attacks.

While it was a clear foul, the contact appeared to be made just outside the area, yet, to Tottenham's fury, Jonathan Moss awarded a penalty that Gundogan slotted home easily.

The last time that these two clubs met in a Premier League clash was back in December.

Harry Kane was lampooned in some quarters for making what was perceived as a slightly greedy, if successful, appeal to have Tottenham's second goal at Stoke last weekend credited to him instead of Eriksen. Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus combined smartly, changing positions frequently to keep the Spurs defenders guessing, and were deserving goalscorers on the night.

The move allowed City a foundation to bag the decisive third goal that all but sealed the title.

The England winger nearly set up a goal-of-the-season contender for Leroy Sane, won his side a penalty and got himself on the scoresheet with the vital third goal to wrap up the points and edge City closer to the title.

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