Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace, tries to evade Tottenham's Danny Rose on Saturday night. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP

Pep Guardiola saluted his “humble” Manchester City stars after the red-hot Premier League leaders hammered Tottenham 4-1 on Saturday to make it 16 successive wins.

Guardiola’s side surged 14 points clear at the top as Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne scored, before Raheem Sterling’s late brace capped their latest breathtaking display.

City’s astonishing success in the first half of the season has turned the title race into a procession, earning Guardiola and his players numerous plaudits for putting together such a record-breaking campaign.

But, while Guardiola is delighted with City’s form, the Spaniard says he is more impressed by the way his team are willing to do the dirty work required to succeed at the highest level.

“It was solid, good, against one team demanding to be intense without the ball. They have good quality, but we played really good to beat one of the strongest teams in the Premier League,” Guardiola said.

“Without the ball, we are a humble team. The performance of Kevin de Bruyne, you cannot imagine how good he plays with the ball, but he runs like a player in the Conference league. 

“It makes it easier for the manager and the club.”

City had set a new Premier League record with their 15th win in a row in midweek, and now they have their sights set on surpassing Guardiola’s personal best of 19 successive league wins with Bayern Munich.

Praising the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owners for allowing him to assemble such a talented team, Guardiola said: “We are on a good streak.

“Since August we are so happy, and I admire the most the way we play without the ball – thank you to the club to provide me with these amazing players.”

Spurs were left to lick their wounds after a fifth defeat of the campaign – one more than in the entirety of last season – which sent them slithering down the table to seventh.

It could have been even worse for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who replied through Christian Eriksen, had referee Craig Pawson not shown only yellow cards to Harry Kane and Dele Alli for two ugly second-half fouls.