Tottenham Hotspur

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Manchester City's Raheem Sterling attempts a shot at goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

El extremo Raheem Sterling, del Manchester City, realiza un tiro durante el partido de la Liga Premier frente a Tottenham Hotspur en el estadio Etihad de Manchester, Inglaterra, el sábado 16 de diciembre de 2017. (AP Foto/Rui Vieira)

PHOTO: Tottenham Midfielder Sparks More Outrage as Unseen Stamp on Man City Player Is Revealed

​The Premier League title is certainly Manchester City's to lose after they emphatically defeated supposed title rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 at home.  Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling ensured that City's lead in the Premier League stayed at 11 points and extended their winning run to 16 straight league games. Sweet sixteen WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW#mancity pic.twitter.com/BhPK8TfhTE — Manchester City (@ManCity) December 16, 2017 But much of the discussion after the match...

PHOTO: Tottenham Midfielder Sparks More Outrage as Unseen Stamp on Man City Player Is Revealed

​The Premier League title is certainly Manchester City's to lose after they emphatically defeated supposed title rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 at home.  Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling ensured that City's lead in the Premier League stayed at 11 points and extended their winning run to 16 straight league games. Sweet sixteen WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW#mancity pic.twitter.com/BhPK8TfhTE — Manchester City (@ManCity) December 16, 2017 But much of the discussion after the match...

PHOTO: Tottenham Midfielder Sparks More Outrage as Unseen Stamp on Man City Player Is Revealed

​The Premier League title is certainly Manchester City's to lose after they emphatically defeated supposed title rivals Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 at home.  Goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling ensured that City's lead in the Premier League stayed at 11 points and extended their winning run to 16 straight league games. Sweet sixteen WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW#mancity pic.twitter.com/BhPK8TfhTE — Manchester City (@ManCity) December 16, 2017 But much of the discussion after the match...

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, left, and Tottenham's Dele Alli battle for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Monday Pressure Shift: Rampant City leave Spurs on the outside looking in

Pep Guardiola's men continue to rip up the records books to leave the rest of the league's elite scrambling, none more so than Tottenham Hotspur

Monday Pressure Shift: Rampant City leave Spurs on the outside looking in

Pep Guardiola's men continue to rip up the records books to leave the rest of the league's elite scrambling, none more so than Tottenham Hotspur

Monday Pressure Shift: Rampant City leave Spurs on the outside looking in

Pep Guardiola's men continue to rip up the records books to leave the rest of the league's elite scrambling, none more so than Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling scored two goals in his side's 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, on December 16, 2017

Premier League team of the week - by Jason Burt

Roy Hodgson might bridle at suggestions that he is on a road to redemption at Crystal Palace after the embarrassing end to his career as England manager but there is no doubt he is on the right route to saving Palace. Having lost their first five league games – including Hodgson’s first in charge – Palace have taken 17 points from 13 matches and are unbeaten in seven as they have moved up to 14th. Fears of going down are being quickly dispelled. Here's my team of the week, in a 4-4-2 formation:  Mathew Ryan, goalkeeper In a tight game against Burnley Ryan made a couple of vital saves for Brighton not least in denying striker Chris Wood as he ran through on goal. There was also a smart double save from Scott Arfield to preserve a clean sheet. Kyle Walker, right-back The defeat away to Manchester City was painful enough for Tottenham Hotspur and it was made worse by the powerfully assured performance of their former right-back, Walker, who dominated his side of the pitch. Zanka, centre-back Zanka – or Mathias Jorgensen to give him his full name – formed an impressive partnership with Christopher Schindler at the centre of the Huddersfield defence as they repelled Watford in the win at Vicarage Road. Mathias Jorgensen has been a rock for Huddersfield Town Credit: Reuters Dejan Lovren, centre-back The Liverpool defender scored a rare goal and was never, really, troubled (for once, his critics might add) in the thumping away win away to Bournemouth which again showed how devastating Jurgen Klopp’s side can be. Arthur Masuaku, left-back Masuaku is quickly becoming something of a cult figure at West Ham with his driving runs from left wing-back and he was at it again in the win over Stoke City. Proving to be a highly important player. Kevin de Bruyne, right midfield In the absence of David Silva, De Bruyne assumed the responsibility on his way to run the game for Manchester City in their dominant dismissal of Tottenham Hotspur. They could not live with him and were reduced to some ugly attempts at fouling him. Aaron Mooy, central midfield The Australian midfielder has always had a touch of class to him and when Huddersfield play well it is usually because he is dominating. He did so again against Watford, claiming a goal in a thumping away win. Mesut Ozil, central midfield Arsenal’s narrow victory over Newcastle United was hardly one of their best performances of the season but Ozil showed that touch of world class that he has with the way he claimed the only goal. Manuel Lanzini, left midfield There was controversy over the way Lanzini earned West Ham their penalty for the vital opening goal in the away win against Stoke City but there was no doubting the Argentinean’s talismanic performance. Something he needs to do more often for a player of his talent. Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring the second goal during Crystal Palace's 3-0 win at Leicester Credit: PA Wilfried Zaha, forward One of the great regrets of English football will be that Zaha choose the Ivory Coast over England. The Crystal Palace forward has been in phenomenal form this season and was outstanding again in the win away to Leicester City with his drive and creativity. Mohamed Salah, forward The Liverpool forward has struck 20 goals so far this season which is a phenomenal return since his summer move. Salah is in such an incredible seam of form that it is a shock when he does not score. Which does not happen very often.

Premier League team of the week - by Jason Burt

Roy Hodgson might bridle at suggestions that he is on a road to redemption at Crystal Palace after the embarrassing end to his career as England manager but there is no doubt he is on the right route to saving Palace. Having lost their first five league games – including Hodgson’s first in charge – Palace have taken 17 points from 13 matches and are unbeaten in seven as they have moved up to 14th. Fears of going down are being quickly dispelled. Here's my team of the week, in a 4-4-2 formation:  Mathew Ryan, goalkeeper In a tight game against Burnley Ryan made a couple of vital saves for Brighton not least in denying striker Chris Wood as he ran through on goal. There was also a smart double save from Scott Arfield to preserve a clean sheet. Kyle Walker, right-back The defeat away to Manchester City was painful enough for Tottenham Hotspur and it was made worse by the powerfully assured performance of their former right-back, Walker, who dominated his side of the pitch. Zanka, centre-back Zanka – or Mathias Jorgensen to give him his full name – formed an impressive partnership with Christopher Schindler at the centre of the Huddersfield defence as they repelled Watford in the win at Vicarage Road. Mathias Jorgensen has been a rock for Huddersfield Town Credit: Reuters Dejan Lovren, centre-back The Liverpool defender scored a rare goal and was never, really, troubled (for once, his critics might add) in the thumping away win away to Bournemouth which again showed how devastating Jurgen Klopp’s side can be. Arthur Masuaku, left-back Masuaku is quickly becoming something of a cult figure at West Ham with his driving runs from left wing-back and he was at it again in the win over Stoke City. Proving to be a highly important player. Kevin de Bruyne, right midfield In the absence of David Silva, De Bruyne assumed the responsibility on his way to run the game for Manchester City in their dominant dismissal of Tottenham Hotspur. They could not live with him and were reduced to some ugly attempts at fouling him. Aaron Mooy, central midfield The Australian midfielder has always had a touch of class to him and when Huddersfield play well it is usually because he is dominating. He did so again against Watford, claiming a goal in a thumping away win. Mesut Ozil, central midfield Arsenal’s narrow victory over Newcastle United was hardly one of their best performances of the season but Ozil showed that touch of world class that he has with the way he claimed the only goal. Manuel Lanzini, left midfield There was controversy over the way Lanzini earned West Ham their penalty for the vital opening goal in the away win against Stoke City but there was no doubting the Argentinean’s talismanic performance. Something he needs to do more often for a player of his talent. Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring the second goal during Crystal Palace's 3-0 win at Leicester Credit: PA Wilfried Zaha, forward One of the great regrets of English football will be that Zaha choose the Ivory Coast over England. The Crystal Palace forward has been in phenomenal form this season and was outstanding again in the win away to Leicester City with his drive and creativity. Mohamed Salah, forward The Liverpool forward has struck 20 goals so far this season which is a phenomenal return since his summer move. Salah is in such an incredible seam of form that it is a shock when he does not score. Which does not happen very often.

Premier League team of the week - by Jason Burt

Roy Hodgson might bridle at suggestions that he is on a road to redemption at Crystal Palace after the embarrassing end to his career as England manager but there is no doubt he is on the right route to saving Palace. Having lost their first five league games – including Hodgson’s first in charge – Palace have taken 17 points from 13 matches and are unbeaten in seven as they have moved up to 14th. Fears of going down are being quickly dispelled. Here's my team of the week, in a 4-4-2 formation:  Mathew Ryan, goalkeeper In a tight game against Burnley Ryan made a couple of vital saves for Brighton not least in denying striker Chris Wood as he ran through on goal. There was also a smart double save from Scott Arfield to preserve a clean sheet. Kyle Walker, right-back The defeat away to Manchester City was painful enough for Tottenham Hotspur and it was made worse by the powerfully assured performance of their former right-back, Walker, who dominated his side of the pitch. Zanka, centre-back Zanka – or Mathias Jorgensen to give him his full name – formed an impressive partnership with Christopher Schindler at the centre of the Huddersfield defence as they repelled Watford in the win at Vicarage Road. Mathias Jorgensen has been a rock for Huddersfield Town Credit: Reuters Dejan Lovren, centre-back The Liverpool defender scored a rare goal and was never, really, troubled (for once, his critics might add) in the thumping away win away to Bournemouth which again showed how devastating Jurgen Klopp’s side can be. Arthur Masuaku, left-back Masuaku is quickly becoming something of a cult figure at West Ham with his driving runs from left wing-back and he was at it again in the win over Stoke City. Proving to be a highly important player. Kevin de Bruyne, right midfield In the absence of David Silva, De Bruyne assumed the responsibility on his way to run the game for Manchester City in their dominant dismissal of Tottenham Hotspur. They could not live with him and were reduced to some ugly attempts at fouling him. Aaron Mooy, central midfield The Australian midfielder has always had a touch of class to him and when Huddersfield play well it is usually because he is dominating. He did so again against Watford, claiming a goal in a thumping away win. Mesut Ozil, central midfield Arsenal’s narrow victory over Newcastle United was hardly one of their best performances of the season but Ozil showed that touch of world class that he has with the way he claimed the only goal. Manuel Lanzini, left midfield There was controversy over the way Lanzini earned West Ham their penalty for the vital opening goal in the away win against Stoke City but there was no doubting the Argentinean’s talismanic performance. Something he needs to do more often for a player of his talent. Wilfried Zaha celebrates scoring the second goal during Crystal Palace's 3-0 win at Leicester Credit: PA Wilfried Zaha, forward One of the great regrets of English football will be that Zaha choose the Ivory Coast over England. The Crystal Palace forward has been in phenomenal form this season and was outstanding again in the win away to Leicester City with his drive and creativity. Mohamed Salah, forward The Liverpool forward has struck 20 goals so far this season which is a phenomenal return since his summer move. Salah is in such an incredible seam of form that it is a shock when he does not score. Which does not happen very often.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (R) scores their third goal past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (R) scores their third goal past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen (AFP Photo/Oli SCARFF )

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (R) scores their third goal past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling (R) scores their third goal past Tottenham Hotspur's Jan Vertonghen

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling scored two goals in his side's 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, on December 16, 2017

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling scored two goals in his side's 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, on December 16, 2017

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling scored two goals in his side's 4-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium, on December 16, 2017 (AFP Photo/PAUL ELLIS )

DELE ALLI (21 anos – Tottenham Hotspur)

Dono de uma técnica apurada, o inglês Dele Alli faz sucesso como meia do Tottenham Hotspur (ING). O jovem talento iniciou a carreira no Milton Keynes Dons, clube que o projetou para os gramados da Inglaterra em 2012. Hoje, aos 21 anos, Alli tem contrato com o Tottenham até 2022, porém, pode fazer as malas rumo à Espanha em breve. Segundo a imprensa local, o meia está em negociações com o empresário português Jorge Mendes, que possui grande influência no Real Madrid. Caso leve adiante as tratativas, o clube merengue terá de pagar uma multa de 105 milhões de euros (cerca de R$ 405 milhões) para contratar Dele Alli.

DELE ALLI (21 anos - Tottenham Hotspur)

Dono de uma técnica apurada, o inglês Dele Alli faz sucesso como meia do Tottenham Hotspur (ING). O jovem talento iniciou a carreira no Milton Keynes Dons, clube que o projetou para os gramados da Inglaterra em 2012. Hoje, aos 21 anos, Alli tem contrato com o Tottenham até 2022, porém, pode fazer as malas rumo à Espanha em breve. Segundo a imprensa local, o meia está em negociações com o empresário português Jorge Mendes, que possui grande influência no Real Madrid. Caso leve adiante as tratativas, o clube merengue terá de pagar uma multa de 105 milhões de euros (cerca de R$ 405 milhões) para contratar Dele Alli.

Pep Guardiola to be offered long-term contract as Mancheter City look to establish Sir Alex Ferguson-like era of dominance

Manchester City will open talks with Pep Guardiola about a new contract at the end of the season, with the club’s Abu Dhabi owners eager for the manager to build a Sir Alex Ferguson style dynasty at the Etihad Stadium. City recorded an extraordinary sixteenth successive Premier League victory on Saturday when a 4-1 hammering of Tottenham Hotspur maintained their stranglehold over England’s top-flight and intensified the debate over whether Guardiola’s rampaging side can finish the season unbeaten. Guardiola is at the halfway point of his three-year contract, worth up to £20 million annually, and City’s hierarchy have agreed to sit down with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach in the summer, confident of thrashing out the terms of a new deal. A one-year contract extension has previously been suggested but City’s powerbrokers would like to tie the 46-year-old to a longer-term arrangement and hope to persuade the Catalan to buy into their vision of him creating a legacy at the club. They recognise the impact Ferguson had over a 27-year tenure at Manchester United and believe that, in Guardiola, they have a similar rarefied talent capable of building his own dynasty over the next 10 years, during which time they hope to have won multiple domestic and European titles. Ferguson spent 27 successful years at Old Trafford Credit: Getty images Guardiola spent four years at Barcelona before taking a 12-month sabbatical and had three years at the Bayern helm before leaving for City. However, City feel managing City is a very different situation to managing Barcelona and the accompanying political pressures that were likened to “being in an oven” and stress the freedom Guardiola has been given in Manchester. Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover at City in 2008, the club have insisted on implementing a robust management structure that is not beholden to the manager, and despite a huge influx of staff from Spain in the lead up to and following Guardiola’s appointment, City reject any suggestion that a vacuum will be left if and when the Catalan departs. It has previously been assumed that chief executive, Ferran Soriano, and director of football, Txiki Begiristain, both of whom worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, would leave if the manager ever went but the pair are not thought to regard their futures as being inextricably intertwined with Guardiola’s position. Guardiola has been challenging at times to man-manage but the club have been dazzled by the improvement his coaching has brought across the full age range of the squad and that was apparent once again on Saturday evening as Spurs were crushed by the runaway league leaders. Sport tweets of 2017 Whereas Tottenham ultimately resorted to kicking Guardiola’s players in a bid to thwart them, City refused to rise to the bait. The sight of the game’s marvel, Kevin De Bruyne, gingerly getting back to his feet after a sickening studs-up challenge from Dele Alli and two minutes later surging forward to thunder home City’s second goal spoke volumes for what this team stand for. Alli could do worse than pay close attention to the Belgian’s performance. The England midfielder’s form has nosedived since his two-goal salvo in Spurs’s 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid on Nov. 1 and he seemed more intent with hurting his opponents physically than figuratively at the Etihad. He was lucky he had not already earned two yellow cards for studded tackles on Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the first half before his appalling challenge on De Bruyne. Referee Craig Pawson, who should be stood down next weekend after an inept performance, had already missed an awful studs-up challenge from Harry Kane on Raheem Sterling by the time Alli left his mark for all the wrong reasons. It is understandable that the Football Association do not want to be seen to be “re-refereeing” games but, in serious cases such as these, there is something inherently flawed about a rule that prevents any retrospective disciplinary action against players who have been booked. City centre-half Nicolas Otamendi might also have been fortunate to escape with a yellow card for catching Kane in the face with a high boot. Harry Kane could have been sent off Credit: Reuters To his credit, Guardiola refused to be drawn on Tottenham’s approach and was similarly reluctant to start demanding greater protection for his players, preferring instead to focus on a bewitching display that yielded another two goals for Sterling and one for the impressive Gundogan. Christian Eriksen’s late consolation was scarcely deserved. “Sometimes the situation is hard and aggressive so with that there’s always a risk,” he said. Guardiola believes City set out as they meant to go on in the swashbuckling 3-0 pre-season win over Spurs in Nashville in July and have not deviated from that template since. “We all saw together then that is the way we have to do it and since then we’ve maintained that level,” he said. The only hint of a problem for Guardiola was Sergio Aguero’s petulant reaction to being substituted, when the Argentina striker threw down his gloves in disgust and trudged off, head bowed, but the manager said he was unconcerned. “I can understand him – he wants to play,” he said.

Mauricio Pochettino: I will talk to Dele Alli about Kevin De Bruyne tackle and his lack of form

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he will have talks with Dele Alli in the wake of the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s collapse in form and disgraceful studs-up challenge on Kevin De Bruyne. Alli was fortunate not to be sent off after careering through the Manchester City midfielder in the second half on a day when the 21-year-old’s form again deserted him. He had earlier caught Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho with his studs in poor tackles. The England midfielder’s performance level has dropped sharply since scoring twice in Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid on Nov. 1, since when he has failed to score in nine matches. Alli, who scored 22 goals last season, has only netted once in the Premier League since August and Pochettino, while reluctant to criticise the youngster, does plan to speak with him. “I am not going now to talk about individual players,” the Tottenham head coach said. “You can assess, people can assess. I’m going to say what I need to do and try to help him and help everyone.” Pochettino wants to see more from Alli Credit: Reuters There has been a 29-point swing between Spurs and City since the end of last season, but while Pochettino acknowledged his side were struggling in the league, he waved away concerns and also insisted that he was unfazed about Tottenham’s travel sickness in big games. Since he took charge in 2014, Spurs have won just one of 18 league away matches against the established elite. “You see me concerned?” he said. “Not really, no. It’s about how you finish in the league and the position in the table. Last season we were above Manchester City in the table. This season we are below. Maybe we need to improve our results not only away from home but at home. The expectation was massive during the season but yes we struggled maybe with different competitions but in the Champions League we are doing fantastic. In the Premier League we are not in the position we wanted but we are fighting for the top four.”

Mauricio Pochettino: I will talk to Dele Alli about Kevin De Bruyne tackle and his lack of form

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he will have talks with Dele Alli in the wake of the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s collapse in form and disgraceful studs-up challenge on Kevin De Bruyne. Alli was fortunate not to be sent off after careering through the Manchester City midfielder in the second half on a day when the 21-year-old’s form again deserted him. He had earlier caught Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho with his studs in poor tackles. The England midfielder’s performance level has dropped sharply since scoring twice in Tottenham’s 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid on Nov. 1, since when he has failed to score in nine matches. Alli, who scored 22 goals last season, has only netted once in the Premier League since August and Pochettino, while reluctant to criticise the youngster, does plan to speak with him. “I am not going now to talk about individual players,” the Tottenham head coach said. “You can assess, people can assess. I’m going to say what I need to do and try to help him and help everyone.” Pochettino wants to see more from Alli Credit: Reuters There has been a 29-point swing between Spurs and City since the end of last season, but while Pochettino acknowledged his side were struggling in the league, he waved away concerns and also insisted that he was unfazed about Tottenham’s travel sickness in big games. Since he took charge in 2014, Spurs have won just one of 18 league away matches against the established elite. “You see me concerned?” he said. “Not really, no. It’s about how you finish in the league and the position in the table. Last season we were above Manchester City in the table. This season we are below. Maybe we need to improve our results not only away from home but at home. The expectation was massive during the season but yes we struggled maybe with different competitions but in the Champions League we are doing fantastic. In the Premier League we are not in the position we wanted but we are fighting for the top four.”

Pep Guardiola to be offered long-term contract as Mancheter City look to establish Sir Alex Ferguson-like era of dominance

Manchester City will open talks with Pep Guardiola about a new contract at the end of the season, with the club’s Abu Dhabi owners eager for the manager to build a Sir Alex Ferguson style dynasty at the Etihad Stadium. City recorded an extraordinary sixteenth successive Premier League victory on Saturday when a 4-1 hammering of Tottenham Hotspur maintained their stranglehold over England’s top-flight and intensified the debate over whether Guardiola’s rampaging side can finish the season unbeaten. Guardiola is at the halfway point of his three-year contract, worth up to £20 million annually, and City’s hierarchy have agreed to sit down with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach in the summer, confident of thrashing out the terms of a new deal. A one-year contract extension has previously been suggested but City’s powerbrokers would like to tie the 46-year-old to a longer-term arrangement and hope to persuade the Catalan to buy into their vision of him creating a legacy at the club. They recognise the impact Ferguson had over a 27-year tenure at Manchester United and believe that, in Guardiola, they have a similar rarefied talent capable of building his own dynasty over the next 10 years, during which time they hope to have won multiple domestic and European titles. Ferguson spent 27 successful years at Old Trafford Credit: Getty images Guardiola spent four years at Barcelona before taking a 12-month sabbatical and had three years at the Bayern helm before leaving for City. However, City feel managing City is a very different situation to managing Barcelona and the accompanying political pressures that were likened to “being in an oven” and stress the freedom Guardiola has been given in Manchester. Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover at City in 2008, the club have insisted on implementing a robust management structure that is not beholden to the manager, and despite a huge influx of staff from Spain in the lead up to and following Guardiola’s appointment, City reject any suggestion that a vacuum will be left if and when the Catalan departs. It has previously been assumed that chief executive, Ferran Soriano, and director of football, Txiki Begiristain, both of whom worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, would leave if the manager ever went but the pair are not thought to regard their futures as being inextricably intertwined with Guardiola’s position. Guardiola has been challenging at times to man-manage but the club have been dazzled by the improvement his coaching has brought across the full age range of the squad and that was apparent once again on Saturday evening as Spurs were crushed by the runaway league leaders. Sport tweets of 2017 Whereas Tottenham ultimately resorted to kicking Guardiola’s players in a bid to thwart them, City refused to rise to the bait. The sight of the game’s marvel, Kevin De Bruyne, gingerly getting back to his feet after a sickening studs-up challenge from Dele Alli and two minutes later surging forward to thunder home City’s second goal spoke volumes for what this team stand for. Alli could do worse than pay close attention to the Belgian’s performance. The England midfielder’s form has nosedived since his two-goal salvo in Spurs’s 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid on Nov. 1 and he seemed more intent with hurting his opponents physically than figuratively at the Etihad. He was lucky he had not already earned two yellow cards for studded tackles on Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the first half before his appalling challenge on De Bruyne. Referee Craig Pawson, who should be stood down next weekend after an inept performance, had already missed an awful studs-up challenge from Harry Kane on Raheem Sterling by the time Alli left his mark for all the wrong reasons. It is understandable that the Football Association do not want to be seen to be “re-refereeing” games but, in serious cases such as these, there is something inherently flawed about a rule that prevents any retrospective disciplinary action against players who have been booked. City centre-half Nicolas Otamendi might also have been fortunate to escape with a yellow card for catching Kane in the face with a high boot. Harry Kane could have been sent off Credit: Reuters To his credit, Guardiola refused to be drawn on Tottenham’s approach and was similarly reluctant to start demanding greater protection for his players, preferring instead to focus on a bewitching display that yielded another two goals for Sterling and one for the impressive Gundogan. Christian Eriksen’s late consolation was scarcely deserved. “Sometimes the situation is hard and aggressive so with that there’s always a risk,” he said. Guardiola believes City set out as they meant to go on in the swashbuckling 3-0 pre-season win over Spurs in Nashville in July and have not deviated from that template since. “We all saw together then that is the way we have to do it and since then we’ve maintained that level,” he said. The only hint of a problem for Guardiola was Sergio Aguero’s petulant reaction to being substituted, when the Argentina striker threw down his gloves in disgust and trudged off, head bowed, but the manager said he was unconcerned. “I can understand him – he wants to play,” he said.

Pep Guardiola to be offered long-term contract as Mancheter City look to establish Sir Alex Ferguson-like era of dominance

Manchester City will open talks with Pep Guardiola about a new contract at the end of the season, with the club’s Abu Dhabi owners eager for the manager to build a Sir Alex Ferguson style dynasty at the Etihad Stadium. City recorded an extraordinary sixteenth successive Premier League victory on Saturday when a 4-1 hammering of Tottenham Hotspur maintained their stranglehold over England’s top-flight and intensified the debate over whether Guardiola’s rampaging side can finish the season unbeaten. Guardiola is at the halfway point of his three-year contract, worth up to £20 million annually, and City’s hierarchy have agreed to sit down with the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach in the summer, confident of thrashing out the terms of a new deal. A one-year contract extension has previously been suggested but City’s powerbrokers would like to tie the 46-year-old to a longer-term arrangement and hope to persuade the Catalan to buy into their vision of him creating a legacy at the club. They recognise the impact Ferguson had over a 27-year tenure at Manchester United and believe that, in Guardiola, they have a similar rarefied talent capable of building his own dynasty over the next 10 years, during which time they hope to have won multiple domestic and European titles. Ferguson spent 27 successful years at Old Trafford Credit: Getty images Guardiola spent four years at Barcelona before taking a 12-month sabbatical and had three years at the Bayern helm before leaving for City. However, City feel managing City is a very different situation to managing Barcelona and the accompanying political pressures that were likened to “being in an oven” and stress the freedom Guardiola has been given in Manchester. Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover at City in 2008, the club have insisted on implementing a robust management structure that is not beholden to the manager, and despite a huge influx of staff from Spain in the lead up to and following Guardiola’s appointment, City reject any suggestion that a vacuum will be left if and when the Catalan departs. It has previously been assumed that chief executive, Ferran Soriano, and director of football, Txiki Begiristain, both of whom worked with Guardiola at Barcelona, would leave if the manager ever went but the pair are not thought to regard their futures as being inextricably intertwined with Guardiola’s position. Guardiola has been challenging at times to man-manage but the club have been dazzled by the improvement his coaching has brought across the full age range of the squad and that was apparent once again on Saturday evening as Spurs were crushed by the runaway league leaders. Sport tweets of 2017 Whereas Tottenham ultimately resorted to kicking Guardiola’s players in a bid to thwart them, City refused to rise to the bait. The sight of the game’s marvel, Kevin De Bruyne, gingerly getting back to his feet after a sickening studs-up challenge from Dele Alli and two minutes later surging forward to thunder home City’s second goal spoke volumes for what this team stand for. Alli could do worse than pay close attention to the Belgian’s performance. The England midfielder’s form has nosedived since his two-goal salvo in Spurs’s 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid on Nov. 1 and he seemed more intent with hurting his opponents physically than figuratively at the Etihad. He was lucky he had not already earned two yellow cards for studded tackles on Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho in the first half before his appalling challenge on De Bruyne. Referee Craig Pawson, who should be stood down next weekend after an inept performance, had already missed an awful studs-up challenge from Harry Kane on Raheem Sterling by the time Alli left his mark for all the wrong reasons. It is understandable that the Football Association do not want to be seen to be “re-refereeing” games but, in serious cases such as these, there is something inherently flawed about a rule that prevents any retrospective disciplinary action against players who have been booked. City centre-half Nicolas Otamendi might also have been fortunate to escape with a yellow card for catching Kane in the face with a high boot. Harry Kane could have been sent off Credit: Reuters To his credit, Guardiola refused to be drawn on Tottenham’s approach and was similarly reluctant to start demanding greater protection for his players, preferring instead to focus on a bewitching display that yielded another two goals for Sterling and one for the impressive Gundogan. Christian Eriksen’s late consolation was scarcely deserved. “Sometimes the situation is hard and aggressive so with that there’s always a risk,” he said. Guardiola believes City set out as they meant to go on in the swashbuckling 3-0 pre-season win over Spurs in Nashville in July and have not deviated from that template since. “We all saw together then that is the way we have to do it and since then we’ve maintained that level,” he said. The only hint of a problem for Guardiola was Sergio Aguero’s petulant reaction to being substituted, when the Argentina striker threw down his gloves in disgust and trudged off, head bowed, but the manager said he was unconcerned. “I can understand him – he wants to play,” he said.

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Manchester City fans celebrate during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Ederson Moraes during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus, front, comes on for Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Tottenham's Harry Kane during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City manager Josep Guardiola during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Tottenham's Eric Dier during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad stadium, in Manchester, England, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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