No David Silva, no problem: Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne lead Man City to win
Manchester City answered all the questions posed of them by the latest of their "tough test" fixtures this season. It was thought that Tottenham would be one of the teams best suited to combat Pep Guardiola's style, but they were left looking like a poor imitation of the hosts on Saturday evening. The 4-1 scoreline could have been larger, as City missed chances, and the domination the league leaders showed was a joy for the home fans to watch.
With the news that David Silva had to miss the game for personal reasons, City could have struggled like they have done in the past without the Spaniard. Instead, Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to the mark and ran the show, while Ilkay Gundogan, given the chance to impress in Silva's absence, looked more at home in the midfield than he ever has.
There was still a pesky goal at the death that should have been cut out earlier on in the build-up, which will undoubtedly annoy Guardiola. The manager might also wish to have a word with Nicolas Otamendi, who could have been more severely punished for his rash high boot on Harry Kane. That said, how the referee missed blatant red cards for disgusting challenges by Kane and Dele Alli is a mystery.
Manager rating out of 10
9 -- This was Guardiola's final "big test" in terms of opponents that could cause him problems this season and he didn't allow Tottenham to get anywhere close.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson Moraes, 8 -- The goalkeeper was commanding of his box and was quick off his line to sweep up behind his defenders when necessary. He showed excellent footwork to continually pick out teammates in space while under pressure.
DF Kyle Walker, 8 -- Up against his former club and under pressure to do well, Walker was a force to be reckoned with. He was up and down the right flank to cause Spurs problems on the front foot while not allowing any space for his opposition to exploit.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 7 -- A rash challenge on Kane could have had worse consequences and was a flashback to the old Otamendi, who would dive into tackles without thinking. Aside from that, he was in control of the Spurs attack and was excellent in the air.
DF Eliaquim Mangala, 8 -- Who is this player and what has he done with the Eliaquim Mangala City fans have come to know over the last three years? While he might have been uncomfortable with the ball at his feet at times, he was solid, dependable, and didn't take any risks.
MF Fabian Delph, 7 -- This was another game to add to Delph's portfolio of solid performances. He wasn't spectacular but kept the ball moving and found space to make sure he was always available for a pass when other defenders needed help.
MF Fernandinho, 8 -- One of the key figures of why City were able to control the middle of the pitch, the Brazilian was strong in pressuring Spurs into giving up possession and getting the ball to his side's forward players. Perhaps he could have been stronger on the visitors' consolation.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, 9 -- After scoring the opening goal with a thumping header, the midfielder went from strength to strength. His range of passing was excellent, was always on the scene to put out any fires that Spurs tried to start and showed great vision to spot runs from teammates.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 9 -- Can De Bruyne do it when Silva isn't on the pitch? That's a question that was on a lot of fans' lips before the game and De Bruyne answered it with an emphatic yes. He also showed great mental strength to be on the receiving end of a despicable challenge from Alli and then, moments later, smash a shot through Hugo Lloris.
MF Raheem Sterling, 7 -- Despite scoring twice, it was actually a disappointing evening for Sterling -- though not so bad as he scored particularly lowly! He missed several good chances, including two open goals, though got his head down and worked to score twice late on to secure the win.
MF Leroy Sane, 8 -- The winger took Kieran Trippier to the cleaners in the opening minutes, which was key to City getting on top. The full-back was terrified of Sane for the remainder of the game, which meant City always had an outlet on the left flank that could drive into the box.
FW Sergio Aguero, 7 -- It was a difficult afternoon for the striker. He had a couple of good chances to score, forcing a decent save from Lloris in one instance, but it didn't quite come together. Aguero worked tirelessly throughout.
FW Gabriel Jesus, 7 -- A missed penalty blotted his copybook, but his movement after replacing Aguero on 58 minutes was causing Spurs no ends of problems.
MF Phil Foden, NR -- More time on the pitch was definitely welcome for the youngster and he impressed after replacing Gundogan on 83 minutes.
MF Bernardo Silva, NR -- A late change for Sane, the creative midfielder held the fort down in the closing stages.
David Mooney is ESPN FC's Manchester City blogger. Twitter: @DavidMooney