Spurs bring City back to earth

Tottenham Hotspur advanced its Premier League title credentials with a superb 2-0 victory on Sunday as Pep Guardiola tasted defeat for the first time as Manchester City manager.

An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and a Dele Alli strike gave Spurs a third successive league win over City and manager Mauricio Pochettino could even afford for Erik Lamela to squander a second-half penalty.

The result lifted Spurs to second, a point below City, and means the north London club, third last term, has made its best start to a season since its fabled 1960-61 title-winning campaign.

Pochettino was left to celebrate only a second league win over Guardiola in 10 matches, and the first since Espanyol beat Barcelona in their first such encounter in February 2009.

First defeat

It was Guardiola’s first defeat in 12 games as City manager and following its mid-week 3-3 draw at Celtic in the Champions League, his side has now gone successive games without victory.

City had won its first six league matches, but the last unbeaten record in the division now belongs to Tottenham.

Spurs were caught cold by Liverpool, the last high-pressing team to visit White Hart Lane, in August’s 1-1 draw between the sides, but Pochettino’s men did not make the same mistake against City.

They were at it from the off, Son Heung-Min lashing a shot over the bar with barely 30 seconds on the clock, and in the ninth minute they scored.

Danny Rose hoisted a cross into the box from the left and Kolarov made a complete hash of his attempted clearance, the ball ballooning up off his left thigh and floating into the top-right corner.

With Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko policing the midfield, City could not settle and eight minutes before half-time the team found itself two goals down.

After stopping a City counter-attack in its tracks, Spurs broke themselves, Son slipping a pass through to Alli, who swept a first-time shot low past Bravo’s outstretched right hand.

Spurs came out of the traps fastest in the second half as well, with Son and Wanyama going close from range.

Aguero almost embarrassed Lloris at the other end with a low shot that the Frenchman inadvertently deflected against his near post.

But it was an isolated opportunity for the visitors, prompting Guardiola to inject some guile into his midfield by sending on Ilkay Gundogan for Fernando. Spurs should have put the game to bed in the 65th minute when referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot after Fernandinho had caught Alli from behind.

But Bravo plunged to his left to push Lamela’s penalty away.

The results:

Premier League: Tottenham 2 (Kolarov 9-og, Alli 37) bt Manchester City 0;Leicester 0 drew with Southampton 0; Manchester United 1 (Martial 69) drew with Stoke 1 (Allen 82).

Serie A: Sunday: Empoli 0 lost to Juventus 3 (Dybala 65, Higuain 67, 70); Atalanta 1 (Petagna 9) bt Napoli 0;

Bologna 0 lost to Genoa 1 (Simeone 77); Cagliari 2 (Di Gennaro 38, Padoin 56) bt Crotone 1 (Stoian 90+1); Sampdoria 1 (Fernandes 90+5) drew with Palermo 1 (Nestorovski 60).

Saturday: Pescara 0 lost to Chievo 2 (Meggiorni 76, Inglese 85); Udinese 0 lost to (Immobile 28, 61, Keita 54).

La Liga: Sunday: Real Madrid 1 (Bale 17) drew with Eibar 1 (Fran Rico 6); Valencia 0 lost to Atletico Madrid 2 (Griezmann 63, Gameiro 90+2).

Saturday: Sevilla 2 (Ben Yedder 74, 90+1) bt Alaves 1 (Laguardia 84); Osasuna 2 (Roberto Torres 7-pen, Sergio Leon 45+1) drew with Las Palmas 2 (Gomez 57, Garcia 90+1).

Bundesliga: Sunday: Wolfsburg 0 drew with Mainz 0.

Saturday: Bayer Leverkusen 2 (Mehmedi 10, Hernandez 79) bt Borussia Dortmund 0.

Posted by on October 3, 2016. Filed under Sports World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.