Thrilling comeback proves Man City title credentials as Spurs get actuality test


Manchester City fought again from a 2-0 half-time deficit in opposition to Tottenham to say a 4-2 victory on Thursday, which places the champions firmly again within the Premier League title race.

Targets from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal simply earlier than the interval had put Spurs 2-0 up and led to City being booed off by their very own supporters.

However a second-half revival, sparked by two objectives in three minutes from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, led to Pep Guardiola’s workforce taking management earlier than Riyad Mahrez took the sport away from Spurs with two excellent objectives.

JUMP TO: Finest/worst performers | Highlights & notable moments | Postgame quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Fast response

1. Man City and Haaland are again on monitor after current blips

Manchester City despatched an emphatic warning to Premier League leaders Arsenal that they’re able to battle all the best way for the title by bouncing again from two straight defeats to beat Spurs. And City, who had been overwhelmed by Manchester United in league play and Southampton within the Carabao Cup going into this sport, additionally noticed Erling Haaland finish his three-game scoring drought within the 4-2 win.

Whereas the tip outcome sees City transfer to inside 5 factors of Arsenal, early on it seemed to be heading to a humiliation for City supervisor Pep Guardiola following his determination to begin with Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva on the substitutes’ bench. Tottenham scored twice simply earlier than halftime, and followers made their displeasure clear.

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However City have kind for profitable video games when trailing 2-0 at half-time, although, having achieved so in opposition to Crystal Palace and Aston Villa final 12 months, and City did so once more to inflict one other dent in Tottenham’s hopes of ending within the prime 4 all whereas underlining their very own excellent high quality. Targets from Julian Alvarez and Haaland levelled the scores earlier than Riyad Mahrez scored twice to safe the factors and transfer City nearer to Arsenal.

That units up a giant weekend within the title race when Arsenal face third-place United on the Emirates on Sunday after City host Wolves at Etihad earlier within the day. If City beat Wolves, they’ll transfer to inside two factors of Arsenal earlier than Mikel Arteta’s workforce take the sector.

2. Spurs and Kane get a harsh actuality test

As Riyad Mahrez raced away to have fun his objective that gave Manchester City a 3-2 lead in opposition to Spurs, the tv digital camera centered on Harry Kane within the centre-circle, shaking his head in frustration after seeing his facet throw away a 2-0 result in fall behind.

Kane has given Spurs unbelievable service over time and he wants simply two extra objectives to to surpass the legendary Jimmy Greaves because the membership’s all-time main goalscorer. Greaves is on 266, with Kane taking his tally 265 with the profitable within the FA Cup third spherical win in opposition to Portsmouth earlier this month.

However whereas Kane will undoubtedly declare that report as his personal within the weeks forward, what else can Spurs provide him by way of success and reminiscences for when his taking part in days are over?

Mahrez’s objective would possibly simply have been the second when the England captain realised that Spurs will all the time be the sort of workforce that guarantees a lot however not often delivers. At 29, Kane has nonetheless to win his first trophy as knowledgeable and it will not occur at Tottenham in the event that they proceed to play as they did at City.

Kane did not rating on the Etihad, however he was a continuing risk and his tenacity led to Emerson Royal’s objective, which put Spurs 2-0 up at half-time.

A participant of Kane’s high quality and stature deserves greater than to see his good work come to nothing and, together with his contract at Spurs on account of expire in Jun 2024, this summer season is a fork within the street for the ahead.

Too many extra video games like this and it’s laborious to think about that Kane will not take the street that leads him away from Tottenham and to a membership that expects to win trophies somewhat than merely needs to.

3. Truthful-weather followers at Etihad hesitate to again Man City

Manchester City had been booed at half-time by their very own supporters. For a workforce that has gained 4 of the final 5 Premier League titles, that sort of response smacks of a way of entitlement among the many City followers.

However whereas the City gamers clearly under-performed in opposition to Spurs within the first-half, the followers are additionally anticipated to play their half and so they do not do that fairly often on the Etihad. It required Julian Alvarez’s objective early within the second-half to deliver the group to life, however City will want the followers to get behind them a lot earlier if they’re to win the title.

Guardiola has complained a couple of lack of backing from the supporters prior to now and the Etihad definitely lacks the noise and fervour of Anfield, Previous Trafford or St James’ Park.

And there have been additionally loads of empty seats inside the bottom which, contemplating Guardiola has constructed a workforce of all stars together with Erling Haaland, is unbelievable.

It’s uncommon, if not unthinkable, for a Huge Six workforce to fail to promote out their very own floor for a house sport, however much more so after they win as commonly as City.

And on the day when City topped the Deloitte Cash League because the world’s highest-revenue producing membership, it makes their monetary success much more outstanding when seats are left unfilled for a sport in opposition to Huge Six rival.

Perhaps the City followers have grown too accustomed to comfy victories and have misplaced the power to roll with the punches when it would not go their approach. However they’ve quick reminiscences in the event that they assume they’ll boo a workforce that has gained a lot in current seasons.

Finest and worst performers

Finest: Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City

Scored a surprising objective to provide City the lead after which made the sport secure with a second within the ninetieth minute. It was an all-round top-class efficiency by the previous Leicester winger. A basic Pep Guardiola participant.

Finest: Nathan Ake, Manchester City

On a nasty night time for City defensively, Ake gave a composed efficiency and it might have been a lot worse however for the Netherlands worldwide.

Finest: Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs winger had a poor sport within the defeat in opposition to Arsenal on the weekend, however he confirmed indicators of getting again to his finest on this sport following a prolonged harm lay-off this season.

Worst: Ederson, Manchester City

Manner too careless for Tottenham’s first objective, when his dangerous go to Rodri led to Kulesvski scoring. Might’ve achieved higher with the second objective, too.

Worst: Rodri, Manchester City

Misplaced a deal with with Harry Kane that led on to Tottenham’s second objective and in addition fortunate to flee a reserving for a nasty foul on Hojbjerg.

Worst: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs keeper is having a nasty spell and he could have nightmares in regards to the quantity of house he left uncovered on the close to publish for Mahrez’s objective.

Highlights and notable moments

You need highlights and notable moments? Oh, this match had loads.

The sport had been steadily constructing in depth, and Tottenham struck first by pouncing on a poor back-pass, which Dejan Kulusevski buried within the forty fourth minute.

Minutes later, simply earlier than the halftime whistle, Tottenham doubled their lead on an Emerson Royal strike.

Man City followers had been clearly displeased with their facet’s show as they booed whereas the gamers returned to the locker room for the halftime break.

However then Man City got here out with function and a killer intuition that they lacked within the first 45 minutes — Julián Álvarez pulled one again within the 51st minute, after which Erling Haaland did the identical two minutes after that to degree the rating.

Riyad Mahrez added a 3rd for Manchester City within the 63rd minute, finishing a comeback that concerned City scoring three objectives in a mere 12 minutes after being down 2-0.

He did not cease there: Mahrez added one other within the ninetieth minute to make it 4-2.

After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned

Manchester City supervisor Pep Guardiola: “I cannot deny how happy we are, but we are far away from the team that we were, not in terms of play because we play good enough but there are many things, in terms of competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do, in many, many things we are far away. … We play because our manager told me how to play, I had to do this, but there’s nothing from the stomach, the gut. Today we were lucky, but if we doin’t change sooner or later we are going to throw points.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)

  • Man City have not misplaced in 5 video games through which they trailed by two or extra objectives, which is the perfect such streak by any workforce in Premier League historical past. They’ve three wins and two attracts.

  • With the win, Man City have now gained the final three dwelling Premier League video games through which they trailed by a number of objectives. The opposite two video games had been 4-2 vs. Crystal Palace on Aug. 27, 2022 and 3-2 vs. Aston Villa on Could 22, 2022.

  • Manchester City turn into the primary Premier League membership to win a number of video games by greater than two objectives through which they trailed at halftime by greater than two objectives in the identical season.

  • City have tied Manchester United (March-April 2018) and Leeds United (November 1997) as the one three groups in Premier League historical past to win consecutive Premier League video games through which it trailed by a number of objectives.

  • Coming into this sport, Tottenham had the third longest energetic streak of avoiding defeat when main by two in Premier League matches. The one groups with longer energetic streaks had been Arsenal (180 video games) and Chelsea (348 video games, final such loss Oct. 23, 1999).

  • Erling Haaland snapped a season-high three-game scoreless drought in all competitions. He now has 22 objectives within the Premier League this season, 12 shy of tying the league report of 34.

  • Dejan Kulusevski hadn’t scored a objective for Tottenham since their opening Premier League match of the season in opposition to Southampton. Kulusevski has scored in each of his appearances vs. Man City, the opposite coming in February 2022.

Up subsequent

Manchester City: The Residents have a fast turnaround however get to remain dwelling as they host Wolves on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. ET. Then, they shift focus to the FA Cup after they host Arsenal on Friday, Jan. 27 (watch dwell on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET).

Tottenham Hotspur:– Spurs journey to Fulham for extra Premier League motion on Monday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. ET. Then, they’re on the street once more for the FA Cup, the place they are going to face Preston North Finish on Saturday, Jan. 28 (watch dwell on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET).

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