Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur Deal Pep Guardiola First Manchester City Loss


An animated Pep Guardiola during Manchester City-Tottenham Hotspur Premier League game.
© AFP

London:

Tottenham Hotspur advanced their 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.

In other matches, Manchester United drew 1-1 with Stoke City while defending champions Leicester City were held to a goalless draw by Southampton. Arsenal beat Burnley 1-0 with a last-minute controversial goal from Laurent Koscielny.

City’s loss in Spurs’ gain

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, have made their best start to a season since their fabled 1960-61 title-winning campaign.

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

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.

The white-shirted onslaught continued, City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo blocking at his near post from Son and fielding a mishit Rose volley that threatened to dip beneath his crossbar.

Aguero hits post

Sergio Aguero might have had a penalty after being caught by Jan Vertonghen as they vied for Kolarov’s cross and the Argentine also worked Hugo Lloris with a curling free-kick.

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 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.

De Gea’s error

An uncharacteristic error from Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea gifted Stoke City a point in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Anthony Martial’s first goal of the season appeared to have given United victory.

But his 69th-minute effort was cancelled out eight minutes from time by Joe Allen, with de Gea playing a key role in the equaliser for a Stoke side managed by former United striker Mark Hughes.

An inspired substitution by United manager Jose Mourinho, who brought on Martial and England captain Wayne Rooney after 66 minutes, saw the former give his team the lead just three minutes later.

Martial’s attack ended with a pass which Rooney mis-controlled but a fortunate deflection off Geoff Cameron saw the ball break back to the French striker who curled home an impressive finish.

There had been little for Stoke supporters to cheer in that second half but, eight minutes from time, they equalised after De Gea failed to gather a deflected Glen Johnson shot.

Jonathan Walters pounced on the rebound and, after his effort from a tight angle had struck the crossbar, Allen had the task of bundling the ball into an open goal from close range.

Leicester falter again

Leicester’s spluttering defence of the Premier League title suffered another blow after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton.

Retaining the title always looked like a bridge too far for Claudio Ranieri’s side, but the autumn leaves have hardly started falling from the trees before the Foxes appear to have fallen out of contention.

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