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Manchester City avenge European exit to boost title hopes

Manchester City avenge European exit to boost title hopes

20/04/2019 at 21:24Updated 20/04/2019 at 21:58

Premier League, Etihad – Manchester City 1 (Foden 5) Tottenham 0

Phil Foden scored the only goal as Manchester City bounced back from Champions League heartbreak with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham.

The 18-year-old, making just his second start in the English top-flight, nodded in his first Premier League goal from close range inside the opening five minutes.

However, neutrals hoping for a repeat of Wednesday’s seven-goal thriller were left disappointed, with Spurs creating big chances, only to find City goalkeeper Ederson in fine form.

The crucial three points sees City climb back to the top of the Premier League, with Liverpool in action at Cardiff on Sunday, while Tottenham stay third, one point above Arsenal in fourth having played a game more.

In the third meeting between the sides in 12 days, Mauricio Pochettino made fives changes to the starting XI that broke City hearts at the Etihad on Wednesday, but it was the same menace causing problems early on for City as Son Heung-Min broke clear only to be denied by Ederson.

However, with just five minutes of the clock, Foden became the third youngest player to score a Premier League goal for City when nodding in from close range after being picked out by a perfect Sergio Aguero header across.

Spurs remained in the ascendancy, though, with Ederson saving well from Christian Eriksen and Son again before the half was out. City lost Kevin De Bruyne through injury late in the opening 45 minutes, but still posed a threat, with Foden dragging wide just after the interval.

Spurs continued to press as City retreated into their half, with Lucas Moura the latest to be denied by Ederson. Nonetheless, City dug in, and saw out a 10th successive league victory in their quest to retain their Premier League crown, with an even more crucial Manchester derby clash next up in midweek.

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

Phil Foden (Manchester City)Eurosport

TALKING POINT

Can City cope without De Bruyne in crucial week? After exiting the Champions League in heartbreaking fashion, this week will really make or break City’s season. Allowing Liverpool to win the league, even if go on to win their second trophy of the season with FA Cup success over Wolves, will represent a pretty disappointing season. The league title could well be decided this week, with City facing tough trips to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby, before then heading to Burnley. De Bruyne's season really has been a frustrating one, and faces his fifth spell on the sidelines when limping off against Spurs. Bernardo Silva can step up, as can David Silva, but De Bruyne has just been finding top gear and, in a season of such fine margins, missing De Bruyne's passing prowess and superb delivery from out wide could just be that small setback Liverpool need to sneak in.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City sits down after suffering an injury in the first half during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City sits down after suffering an injury in the first half during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom.Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH

Bernardo Silva. City’s all-action Portuguese superstar was at it again at the Etihad. While the rest of his team-mates looked a little flat as Tottenham pressed them, Bernardo Silva was everywhere, creating more chances than anyone else, while no player had more shots or put in more crosses into the middle. In the absence of De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva is more than capable of being City’s main man.

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester City: Ederson 8, Zinchenko 7, Laporte 7, Stones 6, Walker 6, Gundogan 6, Foden 7, De Bruyne 7, Bernardo Silva 8, Sterling 8, Aguero 7… Subs: Fernandinho 7, Sane 6, David Silva.

Tottenham: Gazzaniga 6, Davies 5, Alderweireld 6, Vertonghen 6, Sanchez 6, Dier 5, Foyth 6, Eriksen 6, Alli 6, Moura 6, Son 8... Subs: Rose 6, Wanyama 6, Llorente 6.

KEY MOMENTS

3’ - SAVE! Heung-MIn Son dances past two City defenders to get into the box, is allowed far too much time to shoot for goal, but Ederson is equal to it down at his near post.

5’ - GOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!! Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham. A first Premier League goal for Phil Foden gives City the early lead. Another blistering start between these two as Foden nods home from close range after being picked out brilliantly by a superb Sergio Aguero header. What a moment for the 18-year-old local lad! Great play from Bernardo Silva is setting the chance up.

Phil Foden scores the opener

Phil Foden scores the openerGetty Images

14’ - SAVE! City again looking a little susceptible at the back as Christian Eriksen steals in behind Aymeric Laporte, gets the shot away, but Ederson is off his line well to make the block.

44’ - SAVE! Ederson to City's rescue again, as Son races clear once more, turns back inside to beat Laporte, has just Ederson to beat, but the Brazilian blocks well once more.

49’ - WIDE! Walker does well to get to the byline, pulls it back for Aguero, whose effort is blocked by Alderweireld, it falls to Foden, who drags wide from a good position. Rushed at the shot.

59’ - NO PENALTY! Alli heads the ball onto Walker, the appeals for a penalty for handball go up, but referee Michael Oliver again waves them away. No VAR, no Spurs party.

71’ - SAAAAAVE! Huge save from Gazzaniga. Brilliant from Sane to pick out Sterling in the middle, the England international is five yards out, surely has to score, but Gazzaniga sticks out a leg to make a crucial save.

73’ - SAVE! Once again, it is Ederson to the rescue, this time as he races out to make the block to deny Lucas Moura. Another crucial save.

KEY STATS

  • Tottenham have lost five successive Premier League away games for the first time since May 2004, a run of six under manager David Pleat.
  • Man City have won their last 10 Premier League games – their longest streak since a run of 18 between August and December 2017, which remains the all-time top-flight record.
  • Tottenham have lost 11 Premier League games this season, as many as they had in their previous two campaigns combined (4 in 2016-17, 7 in 2017-18).
  • Bernardo Silva was directly involved in seven of Manchester City’s 15 shots in this match, having three attempts and creating four.
  • Tottenham have lost a Premier League game without Harry Kane taking part for the first time since October 2017 at Manchester United.
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