LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur strengthened their Premier League title credentials with a superb 2-0 victory yesterday 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 have made their best start to a season since their 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.
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It was Guardiola’s first defeat in 12 games as City manager and following their midweek 3-3 draw at Celtic in the Champions League, his side have now gone successive games without victory.
Spurs were caught cold by Liverpool 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.
The white-shirted onslaught continued, City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo blocking at his near post from Son and fielding a mishit Rose volley.
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Not until the middle of the first half did City begin to pick their way through the Spurs press.
Sergio Aguero might have had a penalty after being caught by Jan Vertonghen as they vied for Kolarov’s cross.
But with Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko policing the midfield, City could not settle and eight minutes before half-time they found themselves two goals down.
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.
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It could have been 6-0, says Mourinho
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said his side could have scored six goals after their ‘best performance all season’ saw them held to a 1-1 draw by strugglers Stoke City at Old Trafford.
It looked as if substitute Anthony Martial’s 69th-minute goal would give United all three points against a Stoke side who started the day bottom of the table.
But a mistake by United goalkeeper David de Gea led to Joe Allen’s equaliser eight minutes from time, the point gained seeing Stoke leapfrog Sunderland.
“This is the best performance all season and could have been one of these fat results in the Premier League, it could have been 5-0 or 6-0,” said Mourinho.
Courtesy : Express Tribune