Spurs spoil Pep’s party
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR produced the best Premier League performance of the season so far as they inflicted Manchester City’s first defeat of the campaign – and a first loss under new manager Pep Guardiola in 12 games – to show that they are genuine title contenders.
Spurs took the points through an Aleksandar Kolarov own goal, a strike from the superb Dele Alli and could even afford to miss a second-half penalty as they profited from their extraordinary workrate and pressed City relentlessly even more successfully than Celtic had done in the midweek Champions League draw. Guardiola has to find a way to deal with this.
The defeat brings to an end City’s run of six successive league victories and although they still remain top other teams have now bunched up behind them. It also leaves Spurs as the only unbeaten team in the Premier League. They deserved this win.
Spurs pressed high and attacked the City fullbacks from the start and reaped their reward. They tore into their opponents, did not allow them to settle with manager Mauri c i o Pochettino demanding that they pushed high and hard up the pitch.
City were unsettled and fell behind when Victor Wanyama won the ball back and fed Lamela who pushed it wide to Danny Rose. His cross was too high for Heung-Min Son – who put in a brilliant performance at centreforward - but Kolarov tried to clear with his right, only for the ball to strike his left leg and ricochet into the net off the frame of the goal.
If that was unfortunate, unlucky, for City then there was nothing fluky about their second goal. It owed everything to that incredible work-rate, bravery and desire, on 37 minutes, they harried and retrieved and did that again as they broke forward with eventually Son playing a clever reverse ball which Alli ran onto – with Nicolas Otamendi failing to track – and he turned the ball past Bravo.
Son was superb. He had already forced a smart low save at the near post from Bravo and his work-rate and belief caused all sorts of problems for Otamendi and John Stones. Otamendi, in particular, struggled and was booked for up-ending Alli, after quick feet from the midfielder had created space, and from the free-kick Christian Eriksen bent the ball narrowly wide of the post with Bravo beaten.
and remained dangerous, especially on the break there was a sharp turn and run at goal by Sergio Aguero who was brought down by Wanyama. Aguero’s free-kick was heading towards the bottom corner, maybe lacking a little in power, only for Hugo Lloris to turn it away smartly.
There were shots narrowly wide by Son and Wanyama, after he won the ball back, with Bravo turning the second effort away for a corner before City went close. Fernandinho slipped a pass through to Aguero who had time and space and pulled the trigger with his low shot rebounding up off Lloris and against the post before running away for a corner.
But it was Spurs who remained dominant and when Alli burst into the penalty area he was caught by Fernandinho. It was a clear penalty and referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot. Lamela assumed the responsibility but his penalty kick was too close to Bravo who dived to his left and pushed the ball away. It could have been game over but City still had a chance and substitute Kelechi Iheanacho almost brought them back into it as he tried to slip a shot past Lloris only for the goalkeeper to block. The captain excelled himself when Aguero’s powerful shot took a deflection and he adjusted to palm the ball away for another corner as City finished strongly but could not find the breakthrough to get back into the contest.
— The Telegraph
Lewis Hamilton climbs from his smoking car as he retires from the Malaysian Grand Prix