Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen scored within 11 seconds on Wednesday to overshadow Alexis Sanchez’s Premier League debut for Manchester United as Chelsea crashed 3-0 to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
Manchester City ignored the carnage around them to march serenely on, widening their lead to an enormous 15 points with a 3-0 victory at home to West Brom with just 13 games still to play.
The build-up to Wednesday’s matches was dominated by late moves in the transfer window but Spurs ensured the focus switched back to the pitch immediately, stunning Jose Mourinho’s men with a performance full of attacking verve.
Chelsea, who earlier announced the signing of Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, conceded three second-half goals while Theo Walcott scored twice for his new club Everton in a 2-1 win against Leicester.
The 2-0 defeat for United realistically ends any lingering hopes they may have harboured of catching runaway leaders City.
Mourinho signed Sanchez this month to bolster his attacking options but Spurs caught the visitors cold at a packed Wembley, Eriksen opening the scoring from the kick-off following a long ball from inside the Spurs half.
The goal, timed at 10.48 seconds, was the first United have conceded in 2018 but despite some bright moments of their own they were 2-0 down just before the half-hour after Phil Jones lashed the ball into his own net.
Tottenham, who announced the signing of Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain shortly before kick-off at Wembley, were a constant threat and had multiple chances to stretch their lead.
Mourinho threw on Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini in the 63rd minute but bizarrely took Fellaini off just seven minutes later, replacing him with Ander Herrera. The Belgium international took of his shirt and marched straight down the tunnel.
The impressive win for Spurs puts them right back at the heart of the hunt for a Champions League qualification spot, just two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, while United are a further three points ahead in second place.
– Chelsea defeat –
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were further buoyed by the defeat for Chelsea, who fielded only Pedro up front, showing their need for more firepower. Callum Wilson, Junior Stanislas and Nathan Ake scored the goals for Bournemouth.
It was business as usual for Guardiola’s City, who handed a debut to £57-million-pound ($80 million, 65 million euros) defender Aymeric Laporte, who only signed for the club from Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday.
City struck through Fernandinho midway through the first half and doubled their lead through Kevin De Bruyne in the second half before Sergio Aguero struck late.
City earlier opted out of a bid for Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez, with reports putting the transfer package at £95 million, after ending their chase of Sanchez earlier in the transfer window, which slams shut at 2300 GMT.
In other big-money moves on Wednesday Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a move to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee of around £56 million.
In other results on Wednesday, Newcastle drew 1-1 with Burnley, Southampton drew 1-1 at home to Brighton and Stoke were involved in a goalless stalemate with Watford.
On Tuesday, Swansea shocked Arsenal 3-1 while Liverpool beat Huddersfield 3-0 and West Ham drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace.