Alli, Spurs outclassed in every area in loss to dominant Manchester City
There is little shame in losing to Manchester City these days -- Pep Guardiola's side have now won their last 16 Premier League matches. Yet the margin and manner of this 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium was still chastening for Tottenham.
The hosts took the lead through Ilkay Gundogan in the 14th minute and should have been out of sight before the break.
Somehow it was only 1-0 in the 70th minute, but the floodgates then opened and Kevin De Bruyne struck before Raheem Sterling netted twice.
Christian Eriksen grabbed a late goal for Spurs, but that was scant consolation and the visitors will want to forget this thrashing as quickly as possible.
City could easily have won by more -- they had 11 shots on target to Tottenham's two and missed a penalty -- while Eriksen's strike made the final scoreline slightly less embarrassing. That's it.
Where to start? Spurs were outplayed in every area and conceded the all-important opener from a set piece -- the third time they have conceded from a corner in four league matches. The north Londoners continue to have a lousy record away against their top-six rivals and have now lost at Manchester United (1-0), Arsenal (2-0) and City (4-1) this season, with visits to Chelsea and Liverpool yet to come. They have also dropped from fourth to seventh in the table.
Manager rating out of 10
4 -- Mauricio Pochettino's insistence on playing with the same approach and ambition in every game, regardless of the opposition or the location, leaves his side vulnerable to beatings such as these. He did little to stem the tide, waiting until the 77th minute to make his first change. He left Kieran Trippier on until the end, even though the right-back was clearly struggling against Leroy Sane from the start. There has also been no obvious improvement in Spurs' defending at corners.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- Made some good saves, particularly from a rising Sterling drive in the second half, but was exposed time and again and will not have enjoyed being nutmegged by Sterling for the fourth goal.
DF Kieran Trippier, 3 -- Had a torrid time against Sane and was beaten repeatedly, inside and out. City's third goal came when a through ball was played inside the right-back and Sane crossed to Sterling. Trippier also made a negligible impact offensively.
DF Eric Dier, 3 -- Continues to lose concentration. He got a let-off when he allowed Gabriel Jesus to run in behind him, but then failed to cut out a simple pass to Sterling for the fourth goal. He could also have got across quicker to challenge De Bruyne for the second goal.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 4 -- Started well, making some key interventions and making brave passes under pressure. But he got rattled as the assaults kept coming and slid in recklessly on De Bruyne to concede a penalty, which was missed.
DF Danny Rose, 4 -- Got tight to Sterling in the early stages but gradually lost that battle. The left-back looked up for the fight and bravely threw himself in the way of a Sergio Aguero shot, but he was poor going forward, shanking an attempted cross over City's crossbar and shooting over in the second half.
MF Mousa Dembele, 3 -- Got overrun in the middle and spent much of the game desperately chasing after nimbler players as they attacked the back line.
MF Harry Winks, 4 -- Was hassled and harried into mistakes on the ball and passed up a couple of shooting chances, most frustratingly when he took too many touches in the box and ended up running the ball all the way to the touchline before losing it.
MF Christian Eriksen, 5 -- Struggled to get involved consistently but often played a part in Spurs' better moves and encouraging periods, and he scored just before the end, netting for the second time in three matches.
MF Dele Alli, 4 -- Offered very little.
MF Heung-Min Son, 4 -- Ran the channels diligently but was unable to pose the same threat as in previous matches. When he got a rare sight of goal 20 yards out in the second half, he fired high and wide.
FW Harry Kane, 5 -- Had very little service but still worried Ederson on a couple of occasions, sending a first-half snapshot narrowly wide and drawing a flying save with a powerful strike. The Spurs striker was perhaps fortunate to escape with only a yellow card, though, after a shin-high tackle on Sterling.
MF Erik Lamela, N/A -- Replaced Son 13 minutes from time and wriggled to the byline to set up a chance for Winks, who could not capitalise.
MF Moussa Sissoko, N/A -- Came on in place of Alli with six minutes left to share in the misery.
DF Ben Davies, N/A -- Replaced Rose in the final moments, just before Sterling made it 4-0.
Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.