Football: Tottenham first team to beat Guardiola's Manchester City

Guardiola's perfect record in EPL ends, Tottenham enjoy best start in 56 years

Tottenham's Dele Alli celebrates after putting the home side 2-0 up against Manchester City. An own goal by Aleksandar Kolarov opened the scoring at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham's Dele Alli celebrates after putting the home side 2-0 up against Manchester City. An own goal by Aleksandar Kolarov opened the scoring at White Hart Lane.PHOTO: REUTERS


Tottenham 2

Manchester City 0

LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's 100 per cent English Premier League record finally came to an end yesterday, after his team fell to a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.

City conceded less than 10 minutes into the game via an own goal from Aleksandar Kolarov.



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Spurs then made it 2-0 in the 37th minute - Son Heung Min feeding the ball to Dele Alli, who made no mistake from close range.

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.

City had won their first six league matches, but the last unbeaten record in the division now belongs to Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are a point behind leaders City after seven games. Their 17-point haul represents their best start to a season since their fabled 1960-61 title-winning campaign.

"It was a great, great victory for us against this opposition. I am very happy," Pochettino said. "The belief and faith in the way that we work needs to be consistent from the start of the season and we need to concentrate that all the way to the end of the season."

Tottenham were at it from the off, Son 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.

Nicolas Otamendi was booked for lunging in on the jinking Alli and from the ensuing free kick, Christian Eriksen curled inches wide. Not until the middle of the first half did City begin to pick their way through the Spurs press.

Sergio Aguero might have had a penalty after being caught by Jan Vertonghen as they vied for Kolarov's cross and the Argentinian also worked Hugo Lloris with a curling free kick. But with Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko policing the midfield, City could not settle and eight minutes before half-time, they found themselves two goals down. 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 came out of the traps fastest in the second half as well, with Son and Wanyama going close from range.

Aguero almost embarrassed Lloris at the other end with a low shot that the Frenchman inadvertently deflected against his near post. But it was an isolated opportunity for the visitors, prompting Guardiola to inject some guile into his midfield by sending on Ilkay Gundogan for Fernando.

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 Erik Lamela's penalty away.

Guardiola also introduced Kelechi Iheanacho in place of Jesus Navas, but there was just one clear opportunity for his side in the closing stages, Lloris saving sharply from Aguero's deflected effort.

"They were better," Guardiola said. "We were not in the right positions, so congratulations to them.

"(Losing) is part of the game, part of our job. I never thought that we would not lose a game."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 03, 2016, with the headline 'Spurs 1st to beat Pep's City'. Print Edition | Subscribe