City may have been denied all three points against Spurs at the weekend but there is still praise-a-plenty for the manner of the champions’ superb all-round performance in Monday’s back pages.
Meanwhile, following his own bravura performance in the 2-2 draw, there are further plaudits for Kevin De Bruyne with his display drawing comparisons with the likes of David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
And in the wake of yet more drama and controversy involving VAR, one City player reveals why he might not now celebrate our next goal!
Daily Telegraph You would not put it past City scoring 10 goals in a game
James Ducker: “A quick glance at the result between City and Tottenham might suggest this game was closely fought, that Spurs went toe-to-toe with City and the teams traded plenty of punches, that there was not too much to separate the opposition.
“That would be an illusion and even the Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, conscious his side had got out of jail long before the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) denied City victory in stoppage time, made no attempt to pass this game off for something it was not.
“There must be Premier League managers up and down the country shuddering at the thought of visiting the Etihad this term.
“It is certainly not unreasonable to think that, over the course of the next 10 months, City might threaten the Premier League’s record win of 9-0, set by neighbours Manchester United against Ipswich Town in March, 1995.
“City created 22 chances to Tottenham’s three - the irrepressible De Bruyne alone was responsible for nine of them - and Spurs managed just five touches in the opposition penalty area.
“City? Well, they had registered 52 in Tottenham’s box by the time referee Michael Oliver called a halt to proceedings, moments after signalling that Gabriel Jesus’s winner had been ruled out by the VAR for a handball by Aymeric Laporte.”
Daily Mail Focus should be on the majesty of Guardiola’s side
Martin Samuel: “City did not win on Saturday, but they did just about everything else. “They had 30 shots to Tottenham's three; they had ten on target to Tottenham's two; they had 52 touches to Tottenham's five in the opposition penalty area; and if expected goals are your thing, the score was Manchester City 3 Tottenham 0.22.
“Except it wasn't, because there is no such thing as expected goals. There is the score and it shows that Manchester City dropped points in the Premier League for the first time since a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle on January 29.
“Nobody knew how they lost that night, either, just as nobody knew how they drew here. Even Mauricio Pochettino did not attempt to confuse his audience with unsustainable claims of equality.
“He admitted City were the better side. How could he deny it? He saw the 90 minutes, as we all did. This was one of the finest performances of Pep Guardiola's time in England and, in the circumstances, a draw felt like defeat. Not just because it was a VAR call that snatched two points away in injury time, but because to play as City did and not win was a travesty.”
The I De Bruyne the fulcrum of City’s irrepressible attacking machine
Seb Stafford-Bloor: “Last season’s hidden and slightly terrifying sub-text was that De Bruyne was really a non-participant. He appeared periodically, but never with his usual dynamic effect and so City, 98 points or not, could really have been considered under-power.
“Without De Bruyne they remained an excellent side and were well worth their domestic treble, but with him and when endowed by his preposterous range of abilities, all their virtues are accentuated.
His literal effect on Saturday’s game was striking enough: a perfect cross for Raheem Sterling to open the scoring and then a flat, drilled ball which Sergio Aguero turned home for City’s second. But perhaps the most instructive part of his performance was just how often he found space in the same attacking areas and – yet – how powerless Tottenham were to subdue his influence.
“The perception was of a disorganised Spurs and a muddled strategy. But what it revealed – or re-emphasised – was just how quickly an in-form De Bruyne processes the game and how fast his recognition of opportunity generally is. Essentially, how redundant he makes all of that planning seem.”
Daily Mail De Bruyne is City’s David Beckham, says Jamie Redknapp
Jamie Redknapp: "I was fortunate enough to play and train alongside Steven Gerrard and David Beckham for club and country, and their crossing never ceased to amaze me.
"The secret of their success at whipping balls into the box was that they didn’t need to stop to take a touch. They could put the goal on a plate for you at the first time of asking.
"Stevie and Becks wouldn’t take unnecessary touches, and neither does Kevin De Bruyne. Right now, there is no better crosser of the ball than the 28-year-old Belgian.
"The way he gets it into City’s forwards in a flash, it is like a sixth sense. That is what he did brilliantly against Tottenham.
"It sounds easy, but it is a skill in itself. He spots a team-mate, finds him with a single touch, bang, goal.
"My old England team-mate Beckham was the best I’ve ever seen when it came to crossing. He knew his strengths. He didn’t have to beat a man — he was confident of finding space and creating goals.
"De Bruyne is City’s equivalent. When you’ve got someone like him, it makes your job as a striker so much easier. You know that if you burst into the empty space, then he will find you. Sterling knew that on Saturday and so did Aguero."
Goal.com Get set for more VAR shocks, says Neville
“It is not the first time in 2019 City have had a decisive goal taken away against Spurs, as VAR denied them a late winner in their Champions League quarter-final in April.
“And former Manchester United and England right-back Gary Neville says Premier League teams will need to get used to the shocks that VAR offers as the rules state a goal will be chalked off if it strikes a hand or arm in the build up regardless of intent.
"There was just disbelief, but we’re going to get more of that," the pundit said on Sky Sports.
"It’s the first time I’ve seen VAR in the last minute of a game like that shocked everyone in the stadium, I know we saw it in the Champions League last season.
"It’s a matter of fact that if it hits the arm on a way to a goal, it will be disallowed so you could argue that it is right, there’s no doubt about that. The City fans are shocked."
Manchester Evening News Shearer fumes at handball decision
Paul Clarke: “Match of the Day pundits Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker are the latest to add their thoughts on what transpired at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday in an entertaining encounter.
“Raheem Sterling opened the scoring when he headed home Kevin de Bruyne's delightful cross, before Erik Lamela equalised for Spurs.
“Sergio Aguero restored City's advantage when he guided home another De Bruyne ball in, but Lucas Moura's second-half header again levelled the contest.
Then came the late drama which saw Gabriel Jesus' potential winner ruled out due to a debatable handball decision which was called by VAR on Aymeric Laporte .
Shearer said: "Something very similar was cancelled out last week between Leicester and Wolves. That handball law is just ridiculous. It is ridiculous.
"There is not one player on the field who appealed. Hugo Lloris for instance was laughing about it."
From the players
Manchester Evening News Bernardo – I may not celebrate next City goal
Simon Bajkowski: “Bernardo Silva - a supporter of VAR - says he may not celebrate goals as quickly in future after the experience of the last fortnight.
"I am starting to get used to it so probably next time I won’t celebrate it, I don’t know.
"It is [sad] in a way because last season we celebrated the goal Raz scored that was disallowed and it is even a bigger frustration when it is disallowed after one minute the same," he said.
"Last week as well, last week against West Ham, a lot of decisions that went both ways that no one knew what was really happening.
"But as I said, it is the first year, it needs improvement, it needs to be quicker but it is normal for them, it is not an easy job.”