However, Sunday’s press reflections on a dramatic Etihad clash, which saw City denied a late Gabriel Jesus winner by VAR, still draws on numerous positives for Pep Guardiola’s men – not least a magnificent all-round display from Kevin De Bruyne.
No surprise then that KDB is the subject of universal praise in Sunday’s media round-up...
Goal.com – De Bruyne in a league of his own
Josh Thomas: “Tim Sherwood believes Saturday’s encounter emphasised that the Belgian midfielder is in a league of his own this season
“Fit again, the City midfielder appears to be firing on all fronts, with the former Tottenham manager declaring he put a Spurs star in his shadow.
"People talked about Christian Eriksen before the game and how important he is to Tottenham, and we think he's a world class player, if you're talking of world class, he's nowhere near the level of this kid," Sherwood said on Optus Sport.
"This kid Kevin De Bruyne is top, he could play anywhere in the world, he is the most valuable player at this moment in time for Manchester City.
"He pops up everywhere. He's so important to this side, they won the league last season without him for a large portion, that is a huge plus.
"He keeps himself fit, I don't see anyone stopping him, he is unbelievable."
The Guardian – De Bruyne’s treasure chest supplies Sterling with rich pickings
Paul Wilson: “Pep Guardiola has challenged Raheem Sterling to score 30 goals this season and with four in his first two games the England forward is well ahead of schedule.
“Sterling opened the scoring in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham with a header, hardly his forte, though so inviting was the cross from Kevin De Bruyne he could almost have beaten Hugo Lloris with his eyes shut. It is probably reasonable to conclude that if the Manchester City captain stays fit this season and continues this level of assistance, Sterling will smash his personal goals target even if dropping points in their first home game puts a question mark over his side’s ability to defend their title.
“David Silva has said this will be his final season and began this game on the bench, though whereas City once relied on his cleverness and creativity the baton has now been picked up by De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündogan.
“But mostly De Bruyne, sometimes aided and abetted by Bernardo on the right. The Belgian has long had the ability to provide crosses of such precision that opponents find them hard to counter, and City’s first goal was a case in point.
“Almost without looking, De Bruyne turned a harmless attack into something more threatening by digging out a high, looping cross to the far post. Sterling read it quicker than any defender, stealing in behind Kyle Walker-Peters for a free header from a narrow angle.”
Manchester Evening News – Ratings: De Bruyne runs the show
Charlotte Duncker: Kevin de Bruyne - Ran the show again. Set the tone for his game when he provided a perfect assist for Sterling's opener and it was the Belgian's perfect delivery to assist Aguero for City's second. 9
Daily Mail – Honours even after dramatic Etihad encounter
Rob Draper: “Raheem Sterling scored City’s opener, a good header angled with power, an additional skill to his ever-growing repertoire and his fourth goal of the season. Yet it was the genius of De Bruyne which would stand out in its creation and throughout the first half.
“The in-swinging cross, with pace, curl and clinical accuracy, was wonderful. It invited a goal, evading craning Tottenham necks and dropping into Sterling’s path.
“De Bruyne was unleashed now, somehow looking a free spirit in what you know is an incredibly systematic approach to football. But as he sprinted down on goal, turning Sanchez one way, then the other, he appeared unstoppable. However, he shot wide.
“Having spent so much of last season injured, De Bruyne has come back rested, fit and seemingly unplayable.”
BBC – Shearer lauds ‘incredible’ De Bruyne.
Alan Shearer: “De Bruyne was just sensational.
“If you look at the movement of Sterling and Aguero (in the build-up to both City goals) they know where that ball is going, and they know to gamble and attack it.
“For a forward knowing to make those runs early says everything.
“De Bruyne was just incredible. I would have loved to have played in the same team as Kevin De Bruyne with balls coming in like that.”