Spurs end Man City’s per­fect league run

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur have in­flicted a first de­feat of the sea­son on Manch­ester City to close the gap on their op­po­nents to one point at the top of the Premier League.

The Li­ly­whites found them­selves two goals to the good mid­way through the high-in­ten­sity match fol­low­ing an im­pres­sive first-half show­ing at White Hart Lane, with the visi­tors un­able to find a way back into the con­test in the re­main­der as they slipped to a 2-0 re­verse.

Pep Guardi­ola there­fore misses out on the chance of be­com­ing the first man­ager in Premier League his­tory to win each of his first seven games in charge, fall­ing short of hit­ting that tar­get and mak­ing it two games with­out a win for his side now in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Spurs climb back up to sec­ond place, mean­while, with five wins in suc­ces­sion in the top flight and a third in a row against City - enough to keep them right in the mix at the top head­ing into the two-week in­ter­na­tional break.

Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino's side looked to get right in their op­po­nents' faces from the off, fash­ion­ing a chance through Son He­ung-min with 20 sec­onds on the clock which the in-form for­ward could only flash wide.

The hosts did not have to wait too long to make a break­through, how­ever, as Vic­tor Wanyama's im­pres­sive work in mid­field to win back pos­ses­sion cre­ated an open­ing for the re­turn­ing Danny Rose to swing a delightful cross into the box, which Alek­san­dar Ko­larov sliced into his own net.

Son, with five goals in five games this sea­son head­ing into this one, could have added a quick-fire sec­ond but he was un­able to beat Clau­dio Bravo at the near post just mo­ments af­ter see­ing his side make the break­through.

Spurs were con­tin­u­ing to dom­i­nate things, not al­low­ing the Cit­i­zens a chance to set­tle and com­ing close to a sec­ond when Chris­tian Erik­sen sent a free kick just inches wide of the tar­get with a quar­ter of the game gone.

City showed the oc­ca­sional sign that they were slowly start­ing to grow into the con­test, though their only shot of any sort in the first half was sim­ple enough for Hugo Lloris to keep out at the end of a tame Ser­gio Aguero set­piece at­tempt.

Dele Alli added a de­served sec­ond for the Li­ly­whites eight min­utes be­fore half time, with Son pick­ing out his team­mate with a fine through-ball for the English­man to tuck past Bravo to put City on the brink of their first league de­feat un­der Guardi­ola.

De­spite his side need­ing a few goals to keep that per­fect do­mes­tic start in­tact, Guardi­ola de­cided to wait un­til 15 min­utes into the sec­ond half be­fore bring­ing on Ilkay Gun­do­gan in place of Fer­nando in his first al­ter­ation.

Spurs per­haps should have been three to the good by that point as Son once more found him­self in acres of space but could only curl his at­tempt wide, while Wanyama's shot from the edge of the box needed the slight­est of touches from Bravo to to help it wide.

City did hit the post shortly be­fore the hour when Aguero's shot de­flected off Lloris and on to the woodwork, but Spurs were given a glo­ri­ous chance to set­tle things for good when Fer­nand­inho bun­dled over Alli inside the box 25 min­utes from time.

In the ab­sence of Harry Kane it was left to Erik Lamela to take on spot-kick du­ties, though his penalty lacked both pace and pre­ci­sion which made life far too easy for Bravo who guessed the right way to push the ball aside.

Guardi­ola next turned to Kelechi Iheana­cho as his charges des­per­ately tried to build on their un­ex­pected life­line, and the young­ster so nearly pulled one back when only de­nied by Lloris af­ter being slipped through by David Silva.

City con­tin­ued to push for­ward in the re­main­ing 15 min­utes, again test­ing Lloris through a de­flected Aguero shot, but the divi­sion's most po­tent at­tack could not find a way past the divi­sion's strong­est de­fen­sive unit. Yes­ter­day Manch­ester United-Stoke City ........ 1-1 Mar­tial 69’ (M), Allen 82’ (S) Le­ices­ter-Southampton ................... 0-0 Tot­ten­ham-Manch­ester City ........... 2-0 Ko­larov 9’ o.g., Alli 37’ Burn­ley-Arse­nal .............................. 0-1 Ko­scielny 90+3’


Man. City Tot­ten­ham Arse­nal Liver­pool Ever­ton Man. United Chelsea Crys­tal Palace West Brom Southampton Wat­ford Le­ices­ter Bournemouth Burn­ley Hull City Mid­dles­brough Swansea West Ham Stoke City Sun­der­land 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 Cham­pi­onship 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 3 1 1 3 2 0 12 1 16 1 18 10 16 1 11 2 13 2 12 2 11 2 2 3 12 13 3 3 4 4 3 5 5 4 5 8 7 8 11 6 11 5 3 17 7 16 5 14 8 13 9 13 8 11 7 6 9 7 14 7 10 6 12 8 17 5 16 6 13 9 9 8 8 8 7 7 6 4 4 3 2

Yes­ter­day Hiber­nian-Dundee Utd ..................... 1-1


Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur's Dele Alli cel­e­brates scor­ing yes­ter­day Photo: AP

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