herald

Monday 23 July 2018

No easing up from City

Jesus warns that Pep's table-toppers have no intention of resting on lead

Kevin de Bruyne is hauled down for a penalty in Manchester City’s win over Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. Photo: Reuters
Kevin de Bruyne is hauled down for a penalty in Manchester City’s win over Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. Photo: Reuters

Gabriel Jesus has warned that Manchester City have no intention of easing up.

The Premier League leaders were at their blistering best as they thrashed Tottenham 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to extend their English top-flight record winning run to 16 games.

City had gone into the game with an 11-point lead at the top of the table and in such form they look unstoppable, but striker Jesus insists nobody in the squad is getting carried away.

The Brazil international said: “This was one of our best performances this season, against a really good opponent that has brilliant players.

“So well done to us, not just because of the result, but also the way that we’ve beaten Tottenham. The score could have been even larger.

Focus

“Our team is performing excellently but there are other clubs doing the same. We can’t think that we’re unbeatable and we have to keep our focus game by game.”

Spurs tried to take City on at their own high-pressing game but the approach backfired as the hosts soon got on top.

Ilkay Gundogan headed City ahead after 14 minutes and, given the chances they went on to create, it was remarkable it took Kevin De Bruyne until the 70th minute to add the second.

Raheem Sterling struck twice in the closing minutes but City could have scored several more. Substitutes Jesus, from the penalty spot, and Bernardo Silva both hit the post while Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris made several good saves.

The visitors were outclassed but did have a couple of opportunities through Harry Kane, while Christian Eriksen scored an injury-time consolation.

“It was just a little bit of a shame we got the goal against,” said De Bruyne, who was outstanding throughout. “It was a stupid goal but I just think we did very well.

“We wanted to win the game, we showed we deserved to win the game. We need to keep going.”

There were some moments of controversy with Kane and Dele Alli both booked for heavy challenges on Sterling and De Bruyne respectively that arguably warranted red cards.

De Bruyne looked in pain at the time but did not want to make a fuss of the incident.

He said: “At the time it hurt a little bit but it looks nastier at the speed we play the game. It is football. It will happen more.”

Spurs now trail City by 21 points but boss Mauricio Pochettino hoped his side could at least learn from their experience.

Pochettino was disappointed with the result and said the opening goal was their downfall.

He said: “(Opening goal) It was our mistake. In this type of game, if you want to win you need to be focused and concentrate and when you concede this type of goal - and then all that happens in the game - it’s difficult to accept, because it changes completely the idea.”

He added: “We’re disappointed, but in the same way, you need to accept that the better team won.

“The problem was that we conceded from the beginning of the game, a very poor goal...and when you play against a team like Manchester City, that is in unbelievable form, you cannot - after 15 minutes concede a goal that you concede and you need to take risks, you need to work for a while, you need to try again to be in the game.

“Of course they have a lot of quality and can punish you.”

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