Spurs on the spot to sting City
City suffered a second consecutive Premier League defeat as Tottenham broke Blue
hearts at the Etihad Stadium.
Spurs took the lead in controversial fashion through Harry Kane´s penalty, and
although substitute Kelechi Iheanacho drew City level with a clinical strike, Christian
Eriksen´s calm finish late on won the points.
A major talking point from the game will doubtless be Spurs’ first goal, with referee
Mark Clattenburg pointing to the spot after Raheem Sterling charged down Danny
Handball was the decision - despite Sterling´s protestations that the ball had struck his
back - and Kane was in no mood for mercy, dispatching his 16th league goal of the
The one bright spot for City was skipper Vincent Kompany, who came through the
game unscathed and added undoubted steel to City´s play despite the final result.
The Blues will surely need their skipper during the run-in. City trail leaders Leicester
by six points, and today’s opponents by four.
Boss Manuel Pellegrini made three changes to the side that lost against Leicester, with
Kompany back for the first time since Boxing Day, and Gael Clichy and Fernando
coming in for Martin Demichelis, Aleks Kolarov and Fabian Delph.
A youthful looking bench contained Manu and Aleix Garcia, Iheanacho and Bersant
Celina, and City started the contest hungrily, with Aguero and Toure looking lively
Kompany was snapping into tackles and the team looked desperate to atone for last
week’s reverse against Leicester.
Aguero hooked one left-footed effort over in that bright start, before Sterling crashed
a volleyed effort at Rose from close range leaving the Spurs man floored.
Kompany was barking out orders from central defence, and he needed to as Spurs
fought their way back into the contest.
Rose was providing a threat down City´s right flank, while midfielder Heung-Min Son
was dropping into space to link the play effectively.
City keeper Joe Hart was called into action just before the half hour mark, parrying
Eriksen´s strike away, while shortly after Eric Dier blasted a shot high over the bar.
City regained their composure as the half wore on, with Toure, in a more advanced
midfield position, linking well with Toure but shortly after the restart they fell behind.
Sterling turned and jumped as Rose sent in the cross, and there was a moment of
confusion before it became clear Clattenburg had awarded the penalty.
Kane sent it straight down the middle and Spurs were ahead, much to the ire of the
majority of the 54,551 crowd.
City responded, with Fernandinho heading narrowly over and then Yaya Toure´s free-
kick thudding against the crossbar.
Aguero was next to threaten, raiding down the right only to be well blocked by Toby
Pellegrini sent on strike starlet Iheancho, and the young Nigerian produced within
Clichy raced down the right, exchanged precise passes with David Silva, before
pulling the ball back for Iheancho to crash the ball into the top corner and send the
home fans wild.
At that point a home win seemed the more likely result, but Spurs proved just why
they are in the thick of the title race by finding the winner.
Substitute Erik Lamela broke through the middle and found Eriksen, who calmly
slotted the ball past Hart.
City threw everyone forward to find another leveller but, despite a desperate effort by
Silva deep into injury time, Spurs held on.
Manchester City (1): Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy (Kolarov, 75),
Fernandinho, Fernando (Iheanacho, 66), Silva, Toure, Sterling, Aguero
Spurs (2): Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose; Dembele, Dier, Eriksen,
Alli (Lamela, 81), Son (Carroll, 72), Kane (Chadli, 89)
Goals: Kane 53, Ihenacho 74, Eriksen 83
Referee: Mark Clattenburg. Bookings: Dier, Wimmer, Carroll, Kompany