After a 2-1 win against Manchester United in the Manchester Derby last week which helped them create an 11 point gap at the top of the table, Manchester City continued their domination of the English Premier League with a 4-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hostpur at the Etihad Stadium during week 18 of the EPL.
The Citizens are enjoying a wonderful season, with no losses on the domestic scene and only one draw coming against Everton early in the season.
Let’s look at the happenings of this game, to see how the philosophical Pep Guardiola managed to better Mauricio Pochettino, control the game and prevent the opposition from playing well to get the three points.
Flexibility: Pep played with the same formation (4-3-3) but made some changes to the starting XI due to a few absences, namely John Stones, Vincent Kompany and David Silva who were replaced by Nicolas Otamendi, Eliaquim Mangala and Ilkay Gundogan respectively. The latter was a very good replacement for Silva, helping the midfield keep the ball and win it back with great chemistry.
Choice: This style of play prevented Spurs from playing comfortably, as even when they passed the halfway line, they became desperate and unable to connect their forward line to their midfield. Gundogan also proved that Guardiola’s trust in him was worthy when he scored the first goal and played a part in the third goal.
Control: As usual, we saw City played with quick passing and constant changing of positions to get past the Spurs defence, with a great performance from Kevin De Bruyne who is on course to win the Premier League Player of the Year. He scored a goal and won a penalty for City and helped his teammates with a variety of excellent through balls.
The character of the champions was evident in this City side during a majority of occasions this year, and even against the aggression of Delle Alli and Mousa Dembele, City focused on the win and nothing else.