Spurs Stun City, Kane Breaks Duck

Erik Lamela scoring Tottenham's fourth goal in the 79th minute to complete the rout with City goalkeeper Willy Caballero well beaten. The visitors had taken an early lead.
Erik Lamela scoring Tottenham's fourth goal in the 79th minute to complete the rout with City goalkeeper Willy Caballero well beaten. The visitors had taken an early lead.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

Recent bad run exposes former leaders' frailties as deadly rivals United take top spot

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Tottenham 4

Manchester City 1

LONDON • Manchester City's great start to the season is beginning to feel suspiciously like it may have been a deception.

Plenty were reeled in but five straight wins in football's English Premier League have been followed by two consecutive defeats.

And, having begun the new campaign so exhilaratingly, their supporters must be startled about the speed at which everything has started to unravel and the shortcomings from last season have resurfaced.

The loss was made worse when cross-city rivals Manchester United overtook City to take over the summit of the table following their 3-0 home win over Sunderland.

It is certainly difficult to recall too many occasions - since the Abu Dhabi money started to flood in - when the modern-day City had defended so chaotically or looked so vulnerable as they did yesterday in a 1-4 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME

You know football, sometimes it goes for you and sometimes against you. We need to keep calm... (but) our performance was great.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Tottenham Hotspur manager

WE DESERVED SOMETHING

I know the goals were offside but we played very well in the first half. The league is always very difficult.

MANUEL PELLIGRINI, Manchester City manager

  • ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

  • YESTERDAY

    Tottenham 4 Manchester City 1

    Manchester United 3 Sunderland 0

    Leicester City 2 Arsenal 5

    Liverpool 3 Aston Villa 2

    Southampton 3 Swansea 1

    Stoke City 2 Bournemouth 1

    West Ham 2 Norwich 2

    Newcastle v Chelsea

    Late kick-off

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Tottenham gratefully took advantage once they had shaken their heads clear from going behind to Kevin de Bruyne's breakaway goal.

They levelled just before half-time courtesy of Eric Dier's 25-metre strike.

City simply dissolved after the interval, capitulating in a way that does not say a great deal for the character of this team.

In the process, Harry Kane returned to the business of scoring goals for Tottenham, breaking a run that had gone over 12 hours.

Toby Alderweireld had given Tottenham the lead four minutes into the second half with a header from Erik Lamela's free kick.

Kane scored Tottenham's third with a follow-up effort after Christian Eriksen had curled another free kick against the crossbar.

Lamela added the fourth with City's defence in a state of disarray.

Kane's struggles in front of goal had been a cause of growing concern for manager Mauricio Pochettino but his 61st-minute effort helped Spurs record a third successive Premier League victory and drew applause from watching England manager Roy Hodgson.

"As a striker, you want to be scoring, and when you aren't, you get a bit moody. I'm obviously delighted to get the goal," said Kane.

Manuel Pellegrini is entitled to be aggrieved about some of the key decisions on a day when three of the goals - two for Tottenham and one for City - could have been disallowed for offside.

Yet, the City manager must be alarmed about their vulnerabilities without the sturdy presence of Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart.

City also lost Yaya Toure to injury during the match and, missing key men, were overwhelmed during the second half by a Spurs side who could also reflect on Son Heung Min's disallowed goal.

For City, who arrived at White Hart Lane at the head of the table, this setback came on the back of last weekend's home defeat to West Ham - their first league loss of the season - and the Champions League defeat against Juventus.

Only the mid-week League Cup win at struggling Sunderland punctuated that worrying run.

Having appeared so dominant in their opening five league games, when they did not concede a goal, Pellegrini's side suddenly appear vulnerable, casting doubt over their title credentials.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'SPURS STUN CITY, KANE BREAKS DUCK'. Print Edition | Subscribe