Pep Guardiola saluted his champions-elect for an “outstanding season” after they edged ever closer to the title.
Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling secured a 3-1 win at Tottenham and ensured the Premier League crown will be City’s in less than 24 hours if Manchester United lose to West Brom on Sunday.
Otherwise City have the chance to clinch the title at home by beating Swansea next Sunday.
Guardiola’s side arrived at Wembley on the back of three successive defeats, which saw them dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and miss the chance to seal the Premier League title by beating United.
But their response was emphatic and Guardiola said: “It was a good test against one of the toughest teams in the league.
“We now have 87 points with five games left because we have been outstanding all season.
“People say it was a big failure, what happened last week, but they don’t understand the reality of football.
“You can win the Champions League in seven games, the league is 10 months. I’m sorry, it’s much more important what these guys have done this season.
“Hopefully we can celebrate with our fans against Swansea and be champions because they deserve it.
“It’s one of the best by far. Winning titles in every league is important, with Barcelona was special.
“But the Premier League is one of the nicest and most important.”
Guardiola will not be watching United’s clash with West Brom, preferring instead to play golf with his son.
He added: “Will I hear the scores? Bogey, double-bogey, birdie.
“Of course, okay football is unpredictable. It doesn’t matter. It’s in our hands, we had one chance and now we have another.
“The players deserve all my respect for what they have done this season.”
Jesus struck in the 22nd minute when he raced onto Vincent Kompany’s 60-yard ball and fired home.
Gundogan scored the second from the penalty spot three minutes later after Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris brought down Sterling, although the contact was outside the penalty area.
Christian Eriksen pulled one back for Spurs before half-time but Sterling wrapped up the points in the second half.
Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling were on the score sheet for Pep Guardiola’s side at Wembley who can secure the title next week against Swansea City if Manchester United don’t lose against West Brom on Sunday.
Christian Eriksen did pull a goal back for the hosts but they were well beaten in the end and left with plenty to mull over from the encounter.
ERIKSEN HITTING HIS PEAK
Tottenham fans have been fretting over Harry Kane and his potential departure this summer, particularly if the club fail to win the FA Cup and end up trophyless again. However, they may also have to struggle to keep hold of Christian Eriksen to his in his prime.
With 14 goals in all competitions this season, the Dane has already registered his most prolific campaign. He also has nine assists in the Premier League and at 26, if he were to make a big move, this summer would be the ideal time.
He’s always been a class act but this season has hit a new level of consistency and is in a particularly rich vein of form with his strike to drag Spurs back into this tie making it five goals in his last four appearances.
MAN CITY’S BAD HABIT
This was always going to be a tough fixture but the Citizens started the better of the two sides and after going 2-0 up by the 25th minute, should’ve been out of sight.
However, in what has become a recurring theme for Pep Guardiola’s side, they conceded against the run of play and suddenly Spurs were right back in it after creating their first chance of the game moments before the break.
They were 2-0 up at half-time in the Manchester derby before Manchester United came back remarkably to win 3-2, despite having only five shots in the game. With the way they started their second leg Champions League quarter-final clash against Liverpool, a comeback should’ve been on. But again, they were hit on the break – twice – and ended up losing 2-1.
KOMPANY BOSSES HARRY KANE
We all know that it only takes Harry Kane one chance to score but clearly Kompany was well aware of that as well. Thanks to the City skipper, Tottenham’s talisman didn’t have a sniff inside the penalty area.
Kane had 18 touches over the course of 90 minutes, that’s less than any other player who started the game and more than only Bernardo Silva, Yaya Toure and Moussa Sissoko who played a combined 24 minutes.
He didn’t muster a single shot all game and his biggest contribution was his pass for Eriksen’s goal but given the ricochet, that won’t even go down as an assist – or perhaps the Premier League will be hearing from Kane and Spurs shortly?
Pep 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 will be crowned champions if United lose to bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Here are our Spurs player ratings:
Hugo Lloris – 3: Rash tackle to concede the penalty even if the contact may have been just outside the area. Parried Jesus’ shot into Sterling’s path who tucked away the rebound.
Kieran Trippier – 5: Was made to run back towards his own goal first by Leroy Sane and then Sterling. Didn’t get a chance to influence the attack.
Davinson Sanchez – 4: Was beaten by Jesus’ runs in behind a couple of times. Did get a crucial touch on Sterling’s effort later on though.
Jan Vertonghen – 6: A battling performance peppered with several key interventions. Tried to force a few killer passes through as well.
Ben Davies – 5: Horrendous tackle on Kompany and then a heroic block to deny Sterling later in the game.
Eric Dier – 6: Was a formidable presence in midfield and a huge part of Spurs’ brief revival in the second half.
Mousa Dembele – 6: Combined power and grace like only he can but couldn’t have enough of an impact on proceedings.
Erik Lamela – 5: Plenty of trickery at times but needed to get his head up quicker. Wasteful in promising positions.
Dele Alli – 5: Some neat touches but not his best display in a Spur shirt. An ultimately disappointing outing.
Christian Eriksen – 7: Tremendous again, dragging his side back into the game with his goal. Was the home team’s best player.
Harry Kane – 3: Completely anonymous. Didn’t have a sight at goal and was bossed by the City centre-backs. Out of form and out of luck.
Son Heung-Min – 5: Replaced Lamela in the 64th minute and didn’t have an impact.
Lucas Moura – 6: Came on for Dembele in the 73rd minute and was a bright spark. Made a couple of decent runs and finally worked Ederson.
Moussa Sissoko – N/A: Barely had any time to make an impression, good or bad.