City raced out of the traps and were nearly ahead after four minutes, Sterling driving down the right to pick out Leroy Sane, who crashed a first-time volley off the post with Hugo Lloris beaten.
But the Catalan produced the flawless counter by introducing Nicolas Otamendi as a second half substitute to tighten up the City defence.
Erik Lamela’s advances at Manchester City’s defence were not welcomed as the visitors defenders were on their toes to avoid surrendering their lead the same way they did in their last two games against United and Liverpool. Of course, we need to work hard to try to achieve or reach the level of Manchester City.
Spurs were in fine form going into the encounter, having not lost in the Premier League since the 4-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium on December 16.
Beyond the inevitable title win though, it has been a season of records broken by the Shark Team, and more may still follow before the campaign ends.
That goal buoyed Spurs after the break but they were unable to convert their new-found vigour into goals, with City continuing to create the clearer chances.
The way Guardiola and his players celebrated this win showed how much the PL success means and how relieved they were to get back to winning ways.
De Bruyne, a player-of-the-year candidate and arguably the driving force behind the title charge, admitted after this game that better defending and resilience were important following a hard run.
Indeed, Pep Guardiola’s “army” still have to be officially crowned as Premier League champions and need a total of six points from six games to capture the crown. Dele Alli nearly got the second goal but he was challenged by a Manchester City defender as the host continued to probe further for their second goal.
“It’s been a tough two weeks for us with five games”, De Bruyne said.
In response to City’s goal attempt, Dele Alli also tried one against the opponent’s goal post but his shot was deflected off target. They are awesome, they are incredible.
“The Champions League is seven knockout games”.
Speaking after the game, and quoted on the Sky Sports website, the Spurs boss said: “There’s nothing to worry about”.
There were a few doubts starting to emerge after three consecutive losses suffered by Guardiola’s side over the last 10 days, a period where they were emphatically knocked out of the Champions League by Liverpool and suffered a tough loss to their derby rivals United in the league. Golf, my son, friends, tomorrow is golf. I will be happy but I think United will win.
Pochettino added: “The most important thing is to accept sometimes during the whole season it will go for you and sometimes it will go against you, so I will not complain”.