LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Manchester City tightened their stranglehold at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday by trouncing bottom club West Bromwich Albion 3-0 as nearest rivals Manchester United suffered a calamitous 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders, who gave a leisurely debut to their most expensive recruit Aymeric Laporte, surged 15 points clear of their neighbours, who were outplayed by Spurs at Wembley after Christian Eriksen had scored in just 11 seconds.
The last night of the transfer window provided a fascinating backdrop to the midweek fixture list with Chelsea’s final-day signing Olivier Giroud doubtless shocked at Stamford Bridge to see the champions suffer a remarkable 3-0 loss to Bournemouth.
Manchester City’s 12th straight league home win, thanks to goals from Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, took them to 68 points — level with Tottenham Hotspur in 1960-61 as the best record by any club after 25 matches of an English top-flight season.
Manchester United are on 53 points with Chelsea dropping to fourth on 50, the same as third-placed Liverpool. Spurs moved to within two points of the pair on 48.
Pep Guardiola’s City took their tally of goals in all competitions this season to 100 when the brilliant De Bruyne, who had provided a superb first-half assist for Fernandinho to shoot home, scored their second.
In the match of the night at Wembley, though, it proved a chastening occasion for Jose Mourinho as he watched United succumb to one of the quickest goals ever seen in the English top-flight from the brilliant Eriksen.
Phil Jones then inadvertently hammered the ball into his own net from Kieran Trippier’s cross in the first half as United found themselves outclassed. (Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Toby Davis)