Tottenham Hotspur went top of the Premier League after producing a display of clinical efficiency and tactical discipline to beat Manchester City.
In the usual battle of wits between Jose Mourinho and his old adversary Pep Guardiola, the Spurs manager came out on top as his team’s season gathered further momentum.
Son Heung-min put Spurs in front after five minutes, finishing coolly from Tanguy Ndombele’s pass before Manchester City had a first-half goal ruled out by VAR for a handball by Gabriel Jesus after Aymeric Laporte’s finish.
City continued to enjoy greater possession but Spurs, as you would expect from a Mourinho side, were fiercely drilled and resilient, taking their chance when it came to double their advantage and finish the game.
It came in the 65th minute after a dream substitution from Mourinho, Giovani lo Celso beating Ederson with a low finish from another Kane pass 35 seconds after coming on for Steven Bergwijn – the only cloud for Spurs coming with a late injury to Toby Alderweireld after an outstanding performance.
Mourinho revels in statement win
Mourinho was a bundle of energy in his technical area as Spurs took all Manchester City could throw at them to come out with the win that puts them at the Premier League summit and also made a powerful statement about their ambitions and aspirations.
Mourinho’s voice echoed around this vast, empty arena as he urged on his players, shouting instructions with regular demands of “press the ball”. Guardiola, in contrast, was understandably subdued and downcast.
It is still early days for a club that has struggled to win silverware over so many recent years, but there is a growing sense of strength and optimism around Spurs, fuelled by a serial winner as a manager who looks revitalised after the acrimonious end to his spell at Manchester United.
Spurs have the golden threat of the likes of Son – who has now scored 11 goals in all competitions this season – and Kane, with Gareth Bale on the bench here, but they now have some many of the usual Mourinho traits that have always made his teams so difficult to beat.
It has been a year since he succeeded the hugely popular Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs are starting to resemble Mourinho’s image and likeness, epitomised by the unfussy but highly effective midfield sentry Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, a signing from Southampton that was a managerial priority in the summer.
Spurs are currently a potent mix of solidity and threat, as proved by the way they dug deep to keep Manchester City out before striking to deadly effect. Spurs had two shots on target and scored twice.
In Kane, Spurs also possess the complete forward at the very top of his game, a class act as a provider for the ninth time in as many league games this season – but also the master marksman when his chances come along, as they will with regularity this season.
Spurs and their fans will not get carried away but there can be no denying Mourinho’s tried and trusted methods are having their effect, with the long-time foe Guardiola the victim on this occasion.
More to follow.
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- 4AlderweireldSubstituted forRodonat 81′minutes
- 17SissokoBooked at 42mins
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 28NdombeleSubstituted forLo Celsoat 65′minutes
- 23BergwijnSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 73′minutes
- 10KaneBooked at 90mins
- 18Lo Celso
- 27Lucas Moura
- 45Alves Morais
- 3Rúben DiasBooked at 87mins
- 17De Bruyne
- 20Bernardo SilvaSubstituted forFodenat 72′minutes
- 26MahrezSubstituted forSterlingat 72′minutes
- 9Gabriel Jesus
- 21TorresBooked at 88mins
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Manchester City 0.
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Manchester City 0.
Phil Foden (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur).
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).
Attempt missed. João Cancelo (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Raheem Sterling following a corner.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Eric Dier.
Attempt saved. Rúben Dias (Manchester City) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne with a cross.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Rúben Dias (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).
Attempt blocked. Ferran Torres (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by João Cancelo.
Ferran Torres (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Ferran Torres (Manchester City).
Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Rúben Dias (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Rúben Dias (Manchester City).
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.