In-form Ilkay Gundogan added another two goals to his impressive tally in Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Tottenham, but he was unable to see the game out after offering Pep Guardiola’s men an injury scare.
The Germany international took his haul for the season in all competitions to 13 with a well-taken brace against Spurs, but was forced off in the 69th minute after appearing to tweak a muscle.
Gundogan made his way from the field suggesting that a groin complaint was causing him problems, with City taking no chances on a player that has hit a serious purple patch of late.
What happened to Gundogan against Spurs?
The 30-year-old had been at his sparkling best before having to be replaced.
It was he who lured Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg into a clumsy challenge just past the 20-minute mark.
City were awarded a penalty as a result of his quick feet, with Rodri taking on spot-kick duties.
The Blues have struggled from 12 yards this season, leading Guardiola to claim that goalkeeper Ederson could be next in line.
He was keen against Spurs, but was waved back to his own area as Rodri drilled a low effort through a weak hand from Hugo Lloris.
The Tottenham goalkeeper will feel that he should also have done better for Gundogan’s first of the game, as he burst into box and poked a shot beyond the French custodian.
Ederson, who was denied his big moment earlier in the game, then got in on the act in the 66th minute as his drilled pass downfield picked out a perfectly-timed run.
Gundogan’s first touch was exquisite, allowing him to leave Davinson Sanchez on the deck and drill into the bottom corner.
11 - Ilkay Gündogan has scored 11 Premier League goals this season - the only German players to score more in a single campaign in the competition are Jürgen Klinsmann (20) and Uwe Rösler (15), both in the 1994-95 campaign. Schützenfest. #MCITOT— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2021
Within three minutes of extending his fine form in the final third, the City playmaker was forced from the field.
Guardiola’s men were comfortable by that point, but will be hoping for a positive update from their medical staff.
What has been said?
Guardiola confirmed after the game that he is hopeful the injury is not serious, but expects to find out more on Sunday.
"We will see tomorrow," Guardiola said. "He told me it was tight. He is intelligent to say it but we will see tomorrow."
The bigger picture
Gundogan has been a key component in City’s well-oiled machine during a stunning run of form.
The Blues have pulled clear at the top of the Premier League table and kept themselves on course for an historic quadruple after sweeping aside all before them.
Victory over Tottenham has extended their run of consecutive victories to 16 in all competitions, with Guardiola’s men boasting a faultless record in 2021.