EPL

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Bergwijn nets debut goal after Zinchenko sees red

By Sports Desk February 02, 2020

Steven Bergwijn scored a superb volley on his debut as Tottenham earned a 2-0 victory over Manchester City, who dominated possession but missed a penalty and had Oleksandr Zinchenko sent off.

Pep Guardiola's men were perhaps guilty of overplaying in front of goal across the course of a game that exploded into life when Hugo Lloris saved an Ilkay Gundogan spot-kick in a frenetic climax a tense first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The champions remained on top until Zinchenko received a second booking and his marching orders, leaving Spurs to capitalise on their man advantage almost immediately with Bergwijn's memorable strike after 63 minutes.

Son Heung-Min's seventh top-flight goal of the season left City with too much to do in the final 20 minutes and they suffered a first defeat in six league outings that all but extinguishes their already faint title hopes with Liverpool 22 points clear at the top of the table.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero missed early chances in the Spurs box and Raheem Sterling escaped with just a yellow card after a dangerous challenge that almost buckled Dele Alli's ankle.

Riyad Mahrez turned his back on a shooting chance when he mistakenly thought he had been flagged offside but moments later his threaded pass sent Aguero through for a shot against the foot of the post as Spurs came under fire.

The half ended in chaos, with a belated VAR review overturning referee Mike Dean's decision not to award Aguero a penalty following a clumsy challenge by Serge Aurier.

After Gundogan's spot-kick was saved by Lloris, there was an angry melee as Tottenham's players fumed over Sterling's attempt to win another penalty when he tumbled over the goalkeeper's arms, with Toby Alderweireld and Zinchenko booked for their contributions.

A mix-up between Lloris and Japhet Tanganga allowed Aguero to loop a shot towards goal that was cleared as far as Sterling and he squared to Gundogan, who blazed over the crossbar with the net gaping.

Zinchenko was shown a second yellow card for barging Harry Winks as the Spurs midfielder broke towards the half-way line and shortly after the hosts were ahead.

Lucas Moura chipped the ball to the edge of the box where Bergwijn controlled it with his chest and volleyed into the bottom-right corner of the net with exquisite technique.

Eight minutes later, Tanguy Ndombele carved an opening for Son, whose deflected shot from just inside the box beat Ederson at his near post to double Tottenham's lead and the closest City came to pulling one back was a Davinson Sanchez header against his own crossbar at the death.

 

What does it mean? Liverpool's title party plans come forward

With City trailing so far behind, Liverpool need just 18 more points to clinch the Premier League title and at the rate they are winning games that will not take long.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are up to fifth in the table and will be confident of closing the four-point gap to Chelsea above them after beating the champions.

Winks fares well in De Bruyne battle

Kevin De Bruyne tends to control games from his position in the City engine room but Harry Winks broke up the play and put Spurs on the front foot at key moments to help turn the game.

Rodrigo fades after promising start

Rodrigo showed glimpses of his silky passing abilities early on but by the second half was little more than a bystander as Spurs turned the screw.

What's next?

City are back at Etihad Stadium on Sunday when West Ham are the visitors, while Spurs travel to Aston Villa in the league after their midweek FA Cup replay against Southampton.

Related items

  • Guardiola welcomes 'exceptional' Tuchel to Premier League Guardiola welcomes 'exceptional' Tuchel to Premier League

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola welcomed Thomas Tuchel to the Premier League, labelling the newly appointed Chelsea head coach an "exceptional manager".

    Tuchel's appointment at Stamford Bridge was confirmed on Tuesday, a day after Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard.

    Guardiola and Tuchel previously went head-to-head domestically in the Bundesliga, where the German was in charge of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund while the Spaniard was at the helm of Bayern Munich.

    After City moved top of the Premier League with a 5-0 thrashing of West Brom on Tuesday, Guardiola welcomed Tuchel to England.

    "Welcome. He's an exceptional manager. I'm pretty sure he will have success. Happy to see him here in this country," he told a news conference.

    "When I was at Bayern Munich I played against him at Mainz. At the last season at Dortmund he did an incredible job, the way Dortmund played was outstanding. We fought a lot as Bayern Munich to win that title.

    "He's a friend of mine and I'm happy to see him."

    Tuchel won the DFB-Pokal with Dortmund in 2016-17, while he led PSG to two Ligue 1 titles, a Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, as well as last season's Champions League final, before being sacked in December.

    Chelsea, who are 10th in the table, are in action on Wednesday, hosting Wolves.

  • We love him – Conte suggests Eriksen will stay after derby heroics We love him – Conte suggests Eriksen will stay after derby heroics

    Antonio Conte suggested Christian Eriksen would remain at Inter after his stunning derby winner against Milan, saying the midfielder was loved at the club.

    Eriksen curled in a wonderful 25-yard free-kick in the 97th minute to lift Inter to a 2-1 victory in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday.

    The Denmark international has been linked with a move after making just four Serie A starts this season, but Conte said Eriksen was needed at Inter.

    "I am sure [the goal] has given energy to [Eriksen] and to us. I pushed him to take that set-piece because he is really good at that," the Inter head coach told a news conference.

    "He is a good lad. Everybody loves him, we love him. He fitted well [in the team]. He is a bit shy.

    "I hope this goal will give him more confidence because we need him. We need everybody considering the situation. I am happy for him and I am happy because we qualified."

    Eriksen's free-kick settled an explosive derby, in which Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring before being sent off, having also been involved in an earlier confrontation with Romelu Lukaku.

    Ibrahimovic was red-carded in a game played in Europe for the first time since March 2015 and Inter took advantage, Lukaku levelling from the penalty spot before Eriksen's winner.

    Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Lionel Messi, Hakan Calhanoglu, Miralem Pjanic and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more direct free-kick goals than Eriksen's 13 since 2013-14.

    Inter had 27 shots to Milan's five and 10 on target to their rivals' one, and Conte said his side needed to be more clinical.

    "The squad was in full spirit and energy since the beginning of the game. I think it was not fair to be one goal down against Milan. We had many chances even 11 against 11," he said.

    "If I have to find a negative thing, it will be the chances created without goals. We have to be more clinical, more pragmatic.

    "Milan's goalkeeper [Ciprian Tatarusanu] has been the man of the match. He made incredible saves."

    Inter, who are two points adrift of Milan in Serie A, host Benevento on Saturday.

  • Table-topping City staying calm in 'marathon' season, says Guardiola Table-topping City staying calm in 'marathon' season, says Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola was uninterested in Manchester City's ascent to the Premier League summit for the first time this season after they beat West Brom 5-0 at The Hawthorns.

    City endured a tough start to the campaign but have since won 11 games in succession in all competitions, most recently blowing the struggling Baggies away with four first-half goals on Tuesday.

    That victory was enough to take Guardiola's team to the top of the table, although Manchester United could reclaim first place by beating Sheffield United on Wednesday. City would then have a game in hand.

    This back-and-forth does not yet concern Guardiola at the season's midway stage, however.

    "The last thing I'm thinking about is the table," said the City manager. "Now I want to come back home safe, have a few days off and then Sheffield United. That's my only concern.

    "Today just finished the first leg – we have still 19 games, an incredible marathon. We are going to drop points, we are going to lose games.

    "What is important is, whatever happens, be calm – like we were when we were 12th in the table.

    "We have to understand why we didn't win a game and immediately win the next one. This is my only concern."

    City are the ninth different team to end a day top of the pile this term, a statistic that prompted Guardiola to respond: "This is the Premier League. Welcome, this is the Premier League.

    "It's so tough. You see the teams up front, then look at West Ham and the incredible season they're doing, Leicester look unbeatable, and the other teams.

    "It's so tough, so tough for everyone, and every game is complicated.

    "It's important we have a good run and say, 'Okay, this is the reason why we are here, now the next one'."

    City moved ahead of United despite missing Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero at West Brom, with Ilkay Gundogan taking centre stage with a brace before the break.

    The midfielder has scored seven league goals since December 15, making this the most productive season of his career.

    Guardiola previously described Gundogan as "one of Europe's best players" and insists the Germany international is still performing at the same level, even if his goal rush is garnering greater attention.

    "Sometimes you have to score goals to get the recognition as a football player that he was all the time," Guardiola said of his number eight, who also created a single chance, made a tackle and an interception and won all five of his duels.

    "He's an exceptional human being, first of all – I know his parents, I understand why – and he's my neighbour, so we have a connection. And he's an outstanding player.

    "He's a guy who has played as a holding midfielder – so, so clever – and when he plays close to the box, he has the right tempo to make the run.

    "It's not arriving in the box 10 times or 20 times, one metre before or one metre later, you have to arrive at the right tempo and the right time. He's so good.

    "And when he arrives, he has the calm to slow down the action to make a decision. I'm happy for him. He deserves the best."

    Gundogan has never started more than 23 games in a Premier League campaign but has always retained Guardiola's backing.

    "I would say improvement is not the case," he said.

    "Always he showed his level, except the first season when he had ACL and we struggled a lot to settle him in the team because he was injured. Every time he played, he played at a high level."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.