Mon, Apr 16, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Slick City on brink of title after sinking Spurs

AFP, LONDON

Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany celebrates with fans after helping to defeat Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in London.

Photo: Reuters

Pep Guardiola said winning the Premier League will be one of the greatest achievements of his glittering career after Manchester City on Saturday moved to the brink of the title with a stylish 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Guardiola’s side extended their lead over second-placed Manchester United to 16 points thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling at Wembley.

Christian Eriksen had reduced the deficit to 2-1 in the first half, but City were still to be crowned champions if United lost to bottom-of-the-table West Brom yesterday.

If United drew, the race would also effectively be over, as City would have been 15 points clear with a maximum of 15 available to Jose Mourinho’s team, who have a vastly inferior goal difference.

Guardiola has won titles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, while also conquering the Champions League during his Camp Nou reign, but the Spaniard believes leading City to the title would rank among his finest moments.

“It’s more difficult [to win in England]. Physicality, weather conditions, the amount of games. The Premier League is so, so tough,” Guardiola said. “That’s why winning next week, hopefully we will, it will remain in our hearts forever.”

After sweeping through most of the season in regal fashion, City had crashed down to earth with a bump over the past 10 days.

Their limp Champions League quarter-final exit against Liverpool came either side of their failure to clinch the title two weekends ago, when United came from two goals down to beat them.

However, it quickly became clear that their three successive defeats was not weighing on City.

“People said it was a big failure last week. They don’t understand anything. The Champions League is seven knockout games. The league is nine months,” Guardiola said.

Asked if it would be extra special to win a league in which some said his purist principles would not work, Guardiola said: “Yes. We did it... We almost did it!”

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