Sports Desk, Feb 13 (efe-epa).- Hours after Liverpool’s defense of their Premier League championship collapsed, leaders Manchester City dominated Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Saturday to go 7 points clear at the top.
It was an 11th consecutive Premier League win for Pep Guardiola’s men and their 16th straight in all competitions, a record for any team in the English top-flight.
The match lacked the spark that usually accompanies a clash pitting Guardiola against long-time rival Jose Mourinho, whose Spurs arrived at the Etihad exhausted after being eliminated from the FA Cup by Everton in extra-time just days earlier.
City had 61 percent possession and set the pace and the only sign of danger from Spurs in the first half was a strike from Harry Kane in the 14th minute that hit the post.
Even so, the hosts had to wait for a mistake by Tottenham to open the scoring. Just after the 20th minute, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fouled City’s Ilkay Gündogan and the referee pointed to the spot.
Amid their run of great form, City have struggled recently on penalties and goalkeeper Ederson came forward in expectation of taking the kick, but Rodri claimed it and converted, albeit in less than impressive fashion.
The second half belonged to Gündogan, who scored in the 50th and 66th minutes to boost his goal total for the season to 11, having scored just 15 times in all over the previous four campaigns.
City, with 53 points, have an advantage of 7 over second-place Leicester City and 8 points over Manchester United. Liverpool sit in fourth place with 40 points after their loss earlier Saturday to the Foxes.
Tottenham remained 8th on 36 points, but slipped to ninth a few hours later when Aston Villa, who have a better goal difference than Spurs, drew 0-0 against Brighton & Hove Albion to improve to 36 points.
Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez posted his 12th clean sheet of the season, second only to Man City’s Ederson with 14, in a contest dominated by the hosts, who put nine shots on target to one for the visitors.
Now undefeated in their last six Premier League games, Brighton edged up to 15th with 26 points.
In London, Crystal Palace fell 0-3 to Burnley. The Eagles conceded twice inside the first 10 minutes – to Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez, respectively, and Matthew Lowton added a third for the visitors early in the second half.
Palace stay 13th on 29 points, while Burnley improved to 26 points. The Clarets are 16th behind Brighton by virtue of goal difference. EFE