Manchester City 4-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has now been involved in 14 goals (six goals, eight assists) in his 15 Premier League appearances since the start of September

Manchester City produced another virtuoso display to outclass Tottenham and secure a 16th successive Premier League victory as they stretched their lead at the top of the table to 14 points.

Ilkay Gundogan, in for the absent David Silva, headed City in front from a corner after 14 minutes and the only surprise was that it took until 20 minutes before time until man-of-the-match Kevin de Bruyne's powerful shot extended their advantage.

Gabriel Jesus struck the post with a penalty after Jan Vertonghen fouled De Bruyne but Raheem Sterling crowned a sweeping move with a simple finish to put the game well and truly out of Spurs' reach.

Sterling then took advantage of Eric Dier's mistake to walk in the fourth for his 15th goal of the season before Spurs - for whom Harry Kane and Dele Alli were lucky not to get red cards from referee Craig Pawson for challenges on Sterling and De Bruyne respectively - pulled one back in stoppage time through Christian Eriksen.

How can anyone stop Manchester City?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola:"We made an outstanding performance, we scored four, we created lots of chances against a strong team."

It is the question being asked on a weekly basis - and no-one is any nearer finding the answer after another imperious performance from a City side who are surely now too far ahead to be caught in the Premier League title race.

Jose Mourinho went for a cautious approach with Manchester United in Sunday's derby at Old Trafford and was unpicked by the magic of David Silva as City won 2-1.

Silva was absent here and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham adopted a more positive outlook - but this time the brilliant De Bruyne was the inspiration as another method was tried and failed against Guardiola's almost flawless side.

City swarmed all over Spurs, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris often put under pressure in possession and in the end it was quite simply all too much for Pochettino's side, as it has been for pretty much everyone this season.

Only Everton have taken a point against City this season with a 1-1 draw in the second league game of the season at Etihad Stadium - and it is difficult to see how this winning run can be stopped as they play with such threat and variety.

Even when City are threatened, Guardiola has successfully solved a problem which dogged his first season at the club with the acquisition of an excellent goalkeeper in Brazilian Ederson.

When Spurs looked dangerous for a brief period at the start of the second half, Ederson made a superb flying save to his right from Harry Kane.

If there is a weakness in this City side no-one has yet found it.

De Bruyne's masterclass

Kevin de Bruyne:"There are still more than half the games left and we are not thinking about going through the season unbeaten."

Silva may have been missing but this Manchester City side has more than enough brilliance to rely on one player - and it was De Bruyne who orchestrated the destruction of Spurs.

The Belgian had simply too much in his armoury, even shrugging off Dele Alli's crude challenge which left the England midfielder fortunate only to get a yellow card from referee Pawson.

Indeed, De Bruyne turned his anger on Spurs, scoring City's second shortly after with a shot that was too fierce for keeper Lloris, drawing a foul from countryman Jan Vertonghen to earn the penalty that Jesus missed and playing a part in setting up the third for Sterling.

Spurs, like many before them, found that if they closed down one option, Manchester City found another.

And at the heart of it all was De Bruyne, now a world-class talent in a truly outstanding team.

Spurs disappoint again - Alli most of all

'Dele Alli's main contribution was that spiteful tackle on De Bruyne'

Spurs were yet again found wanting on their travels against a team they had hoped to be challenging for the Premier League title.

As at Manchester United and Arsenal this season, Spurs never looked like securing the sort of statement victory that suggests they could bridge the gap from Premier League runners-up last season to champions this term.

Since they won 2-1 here in February 2016, they have not won in 10 away games against other teams in the so-called "big six", losing six and drawing four.

It is a telling statistic - although Pochettino is unlikely to believe it is because his players are struggling to climb a psychological barrier.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this defeat was the lack of impact from Alli, whose main contribution was that spiteful tackle on De Bruyne.

He was a peripheral figure and was roundly booed by City's fans when he was unsurprisingly substituted late on.

Man of the match - Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

'Thanks to the club for these amazing players'

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola:"They have good quality, but we played really good to beat one of the strongest teams in the Premier League.

"Without the ball we are a humble team.The performance of Kevin de Bruyne, you cannot imagine how good he plays with the ball, but he runs like a player in the Conference league - it is easier for the manager and the club."

On City's record winning run:"Since August we are so happy and I admire the most the way we play without the ball - thank you to the club to provide me with these amazing players.

"We are on a good streak, but in three days we have another one."

Man City 4-1 Tottenham:Spurs can learn from big defeat - Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino:"I think it was a good experience for the team, when you win and play well you maybe don't learn, so you must learn this type of game.We have a lot of positive things, because we played a team in very good form with very good momentum.

"It wasn't bad at the start, but the way we conceded from a corner was a big mistake and a massive present for them.When you play a team in very good form, you cannot give away these gifts.

"When you're playing a team with good quality, if we take risks, we give them the possibility of making chances.We tried to play, but they were better, we have to congratulate them.So far, they are the best team in England."

City prove again to be Lloris' bogey side

  • Guardiola is still three victories away from his best-ever winning streak in league football as a manager - 19 consecutive wins with Bayern Munich between October 2013 and March 2014.
  • Since taking over at White Hart Lane in August 2014, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has enjoyed just one victory in his 18 Premier League games away to the 'big six' (W1 D6 L11).
  • Tottenham's first shot on target came in the 55th minute, the longest they've had to wait in a Premier League game this season.
  • Tottenham directed just two shots on target in the game, compared to Manchester City's 11, the biggest negative difference for the Lilywhites in a Premier League game since December 2013 against Liverpool (-10).
  • Sane has been directly involved in 11 goals in eight Premier League home games this season (five goals, six assists), more than any other player.
  • De Bruyne has been directly involved in 14 goals in his 15 Premier League appearances since the start of September (six goals, eight assists).
  • Gundogan's opener was the 200th Premier League goal Lloris has conceded (203 in total now);25 of them have come against Manchester City.

What's next?

City are at Leicester on Tuesday in the Carabao Cup quarter-final (19:45 GMT) and then host Bournemouth in the league next Saturday at 15:00.Tottenham are at Burnley next Saturday (17:30)....

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Five drivers traced over fatal Tulse Hill hit-and-run

The scene of the crash on Norwood Road/South Circular RoadImage copyright Twitter/Lychee Image caption The victim was hit on a pedestrian crossing on the South Circular Road

Five drivers who may have been involved in a hit-and-run which killed a woman in south London have all been traced.

The 29-year-old Polish national was hit by a lorry on a pedestrian crossing on Norwood Road, Tulse Hill, on Monday.

It is thought she was then struck by another lorry and up to three cars.None of the drivers stopped at the crash site, the Met said.

The identity of the victim, who was staying in Wandsworth, has not yet been released.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Dashcam appeal

The 49-year-old driver of the first lorry was interviewed under caution earlier in the week.

The driver of the second car - a 52-year-old man - was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and released under investigation.

Police said the drivers of the first car and second lorry have now been spoken to, as has the driver of a third car which officers believe may also have struck the woman.

None of the three have been arrested.

The force is appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened at about 06:50 GMT and when the lights were on green.

Acting Det Sgt Alastair Middleton, said:"Even though we have traced all the vehicles that we believe were involved, I continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision and the moments afterwards to contact us immediately.

"We are particularly interested in any dashcam footage that may have captured some of the incident before or after the collision."...

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Scottish Open: Cao Yupeng stuns Judd Trump to reach first ranking final

Cao Yupeng plays a shot at this year's World Championship
Yupeng, ranked 67th in the world, was one of 22 Chinese players to start the Scottish Open

China's Cao Yupeng reached his first ranking event final after upsetting Judd Trump 6-4 at the Scottish Open.

The world number 67, who made a maximum 147 break in his first-round win, took the first two frames and led 3-1 at the interval after an 88 break.

Trump won a tense fifth frame on the black and levelled at 3-3 but Yupeng won the next two and held his nerve after a 53 break saw Trump make it 5-4.

Yupeng, 27, will play John Higgins or Neil Robertson in Sunday's final.

They face each other in the second semi-final from 19:00 GMT on Saturday.

Yupeng's previous best effort at a ranking event saw him each the semi-finals of the European Masters in October, when he was beaten 6-1 by world number three Trump....

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European Champions Cup: Bath 26-21 Toulon

Anthony Watson
England winger Anthony Watson scored two first-half tries for Bath playing at full-back
European Champions Cup Pool 5
Bath (23) 26
Tries:Obano, Watson 2 Cons:Priestland Pens:Priestland 3
Toulon (13) 21
Tries:Mathewson, Manoa Cons:Trinh-Duc Pens:Trinh-Duc 3

Bath avenged last weekend's agonising defeat[1] in France with victory over Toulon at the Recreation Ground to move top of their Champions Cup pool.

The hosts scored after 44 seconds through Beno Obano, but Alby Mathewson crossed for Toulon before two tries from Anthony Watson saw the hosts take a 10-point half-time lead.

Samu Manoa scored two minutes after the break but Bath held on.

Toulon picked up a losing bonus point but fall to second place in Pool 5.

Bath suffered an last-gasp 24-20 defeat at the Stade Mayol last weekend after a 77th-minute try from replacement fly-half Anthony Belleau.

But a week later, roared on by their home crowd, they held their nerve to end Toulon's unbeaten run in this season's competition.

And Todd Blackadder's side are now in a good position to gain automatic qualification for the quarter-finals as they lead three-time Champions Toulon on points difference with two rounds remaining.

They face a home tie against Scarlets, who moved back into contention with a second victory over Benetton[2], before a trip to bottom-side Benetton.

Bath back with a bang

Bath prop Beno Obano scored after just 44 seconds at the Recreation Ground on Saturday

Bath were once again dominant in the first period as wing Aled Brew, after a brilliant performance in France, bulldozed through two Toulon defenders to set up Obano after just 44 seconds.

Rhys Priestland slotted two penalties to make it 13-0 after 13 minutes but for all their errors in defence, Toulon got a foothold in the game through Alby Mathewson.

The scrum-half darted past Max Lahiff from behind the line-out, although the Bath prop looked to have been held-back in a piece of cynical play by Florian Fresia.

But the English side wrestled the game back to restore a healthy lead at the the break courtesy of the scintillating pace of full-back Watson.

The England international first stepped back inside to dart through visitors' defence before a change of pace on the left wing saw a tired Toulon defence breached once again with the clock on red.

But Toulon came out roaring after the break and Ma'a Nonu showed his class as he broke through the middle as Manoa finished off just three minutes into the second half.

As Bath struggled to control the tempo, South African flanker Francois Louw came up with a vital turnover on his own line and was commanding throughout in the absence of injured Wales international Taulupe Faletau.

The hosts could have added the bonus-point score through replacement Wilson, but referee Nigel Owens, in conference with the referee, gave a forward pass by number eight Paul Grant in the build-up.

With 10 minutes to play at the Stade Mayol last weekend, Bath lead by six points - and it was a similar scenario on Saturday as the visitors looked to steal another victory.

Toulon fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc missed a penalty with 10 minutes remaining, before his counterpart Rhys Priestland also hit one wide to deny the visitors a losing-bonus point.

CHAMPIONS CUP POOL 5
Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Bonus Pts Points
Bath 4 3 0 1 87 58 1 13
Toulon 4 3 0 1 96 95 1 13
Scarlets 4 2 0 2 97 79 4 12
Benetton 4 0 0 4 69 117 3 3

Bath:Watson;Brew, Joseph, Tapuai;Banahan;Priestland, Cook;Obano, Dunn, Lahiff, Stooke, Ewels, Garvey, Louw, Grant

Replacements:Van Vuuren, Auterac, Thomas, Douglas, Mercer, Fotuali'i, Burns, Wilson

Toulonnaise:Bonneval;Tuisova, Bastareaud, Nonu, Ashton;Trinh-Duc, Mathewson;Fresia, Guirado, Van Der Merwe, Manoa, Taofifenua, Lobbe, Isa, Vermeulen

Replacements:Etrillard, Delboulbes, Setiano, Lakafia, Pietersen, Rebbadj, Escande, Kruger

For the latest rugby union news follow @bbcrugbyunion on Twitter....

References

  1. ^ agonising defeat (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ second victory over Benetton (www.bbc.co.uk)

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