Our 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end at Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening as Manchester City ran out 3-1 winners.
The champions-elect scored twice in the first 25 minutes and, although we produced a spirited fightback and reduced the deficit through Christian Eriksen just before the break, Pep Guardiola’s side added a third on 72 minutes to seal the points and take another step closer to securing the title.
The visitors almost went ahead after just three minutes when Leroy Sane sliced a volley against the post, but did open the scoring in the 22nd minute. Vincent Kompany’s long pass over the top found Gabriel Jesus racing clear and he slotted past Hugo Lloris.
Our goalkeeper was involved in their second three minutes later, his sliding challenge on the onrushing Raheem Sterling considered to be inside the area, with referee Jonathan Moss pointing the spot. Ilkay Gundogan converted the penalty to double City’s lead and we were in danger of being over-run.
But we showed great character in the closing minutes of the first half and pulled one back when Eriksen latched onto Harry Kane’s neat pass, his close-range effort deflecting off Aymeric Laporte and back onto him before beating Ederson and going in. That made it double figures in the Premier League for the Dane, who has now scored in four straight games in all competitions.
We enjoyed plenty of possession and forward play in the second period but couldn’t convert it into chances and it needed a couple of superb defensive blocks from Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier on separate incidents to prevent Sterling adding to City’s tally.
However they did make it three when Jesus drilled a shot which Lloris could only parry into the path of Sterling and he lashed the ball into the net.
Eriksen and substitute Lucas Moura tested Ederson late on, but we couldn’t add to our side of the scoreline and suffered a first league defeat since losing to City on December 16 last year.