Tottenham 2, Man City 0
Tottenham beat Manchester City at White Hart Lane with goals by Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso to go top of the Premier League overnight for the first time since August 2014.Embed from Getty Images
City manager Pep Guardiola may have signed a new two year contract to stay at the club but he was reminded of the scale of the rebuilding job required after City’s worst start in the Premier League since the 2008-09 season.
City enjoyed the bulk of possession and chances but were done on the break by counter attack goals against their deep lying opponents to leave them languishing in 10th while Spurs took over at the top of the Premier League – 2 points clear of Chelsea in second and 8 points in front of City.
It was the first time that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho had won back to back games against Guardiola in a performance powered by Harry Kane in a deeper lying role and everyone pulling together to keep City at bay.
Both sides had goals ruled out, with referee Mike Dean harshly ruling out a City goal for handball after consulting the pitchside monitor VAR.
And with City pushing ever higher to get the equaliser, Giovani Lo Celso hit Spurs’ second just 35 seconds after coming on in the second half.
The only blot on an otherwise great performance for the home side was a groin injury to Toby Alderweireld – and with injuries piling up in the Premier League – City also have a series of players returning slowly from injury – there will be more players missing as the season continues.
It was yet another defeat for City who had won just one of their last 12 Premier League games when trailing at half time (D2, L9) and the last time they scored more than one goal was in the 5-2 defeat at home to Leicester City in September.
Amazingly, City had 66% of possession with 22 shots on goal to Spurs’ 4, but only 5 were on target and City were poor in the second half after an encouraging first half against Spurs who got the early goal they wanted and retreated to defend it with discipline.
Manchester City hit by Jose Mourinho defensive masterclass
Serge Aurier started with Matt Doherty isolating due to Corona Virus while Gareth Bale started on the bench.
There were two changes to the City side, Bernardo Silva replacing Ilkay Gundogan while Riyad Mahrez started in place of Raheem Sterling who had injury concerns during international duty.
There was a minute’s applause for England goalkeeper Ray Clemence with the game dedicated to him and the Prostate Cancer Charity with whom he did work after being diagnosed with the illness.
And Hugo Lloris was in action within a minute of the kick off as Ferran Torres looked to carry on his goalscoring exploits from Spain’s 6-0 win over Germany with a curling shot from range which was easy to collect for the Spurs goalkeeper.
But it was Spurs who drew first blood within 5 minutes when Tanguy Ndombele picked out the Spurs forward with a lifted ball over the top.
The South Korean striker used his turn of pace to break free of the high back line and past Ederson who had also pushed up and tried to block him to no avail.
It was Son’s 11th goal of the season – and his 6th goal against Pep Guardiola’s City, with only Jamie Vardy (9) scoring more against the Catalan’s team, and the earliest goal that City had conceded since December 2016 when Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal.
Spurs looked sharper early on but City had calls for a penalty after Jesus went down under a challenge from Toby Alderweireld waved away by Mike Dean.
Harry Kane was offside when tapping in what he thought was Spurs’ second after City were ripped apart again on the break as Son put him through after 14 minutes following a break by Steven Bergwijn.
And City thought they were level after 26 minutes when Jesus cut the ball back to Aymeric Laporte for a confident finish after a ball into the box by Rodri paid off but Mike Dean consulted the pitch side VAR screen and ruled it out for handball by the Brazilian.
Jesus fired over as City found it difficult to pick their way through a deep and defensively packed Spurs side that was now happy to sit on their lead and break opportunistically.
It was a similar story in the second half with Kevin De Bruyne having to shoot through a forest of legs but his effort was just wide of the mark while Mahrez had a shot comfortably saved by Lloris.
Crosses into the box remained ineffective for City while Eric Dier frustrated De Bruyne on numerous occasions as the Belgian tried to carve out chances.
Kane laid on Son for a glorious chance after 63 minutes but with Ederson out of his area again even quicker there wasn’t enough time for Son to shoot on goal.
With fatigue in mind, Tanguy Ndombele was replaced by Giovani Lo Celso after 65 minutes as Jose Mourinho made a change.
And the Spanish midfielder made an immediate impact after just 35 seconds as Kane found him with a well weighted pass to leave De Bruyne trailing in his wake – he kept calm and finished past the onrushing Ederson to make it 2-0 for Spurs with his 4th strike of the season.
Guardiola made changes, with Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling coming on after 72 minutes for Mahrez and Silva.
Mourinho responded by bringing on Lucas Moura for Bergwijn.
Jesus had his shot blocked as City remained frustrated by the low block for Spurs who had something to defend.
Bale was lined up to come on for Spurs in the last ten minutes to any open play by City but a groin injury put paid to that idea – Wales international Joe Rodon instead came on for the stricken Alderweireld.
De Bruyne’s free kick into the area was headed straight at Loris and Cancelo curled the ball wide as City ran out of time at the end of a tame second half performance.
GOALS – Tottenham 2, Man City 0
Tottenham 1, Man City 0: 5. Tanguy Ndombele picked out space to pass the ball into, beyond City’s high line, which Son Heung-min ran, picking up the ball and drilling it past Ederson who was caught well off his line before Joao Cancelo could recover.
Tottenham 2, Man City 0: 65. 35 seconds after coming on Giovani Lo Celso was stroking home Harry Kane’s well weighted pass past Ederson.
MATCH STATS – Tottenham 2, Man City 0
Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld (Rodon 81), Dier, Reguilon, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Bergwijn (Moura 73), Ndombele (Lo Celso 65), Son, Kane
Tottenham Subs not used: Hart, Bale, Davies, Vinicius
Goals: Son 5; Lo Celso 65
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva (Sterling 72), Mahrez (Foden 72), Jesus, Torres
Man City Subs not used: Steffen, Stones, Gundogan, Aguero, Garcia
Booked: Dias, Torres
Referee: Mike Dean