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Spurs logo
Premier League | Gameweek 34
May 14, 2024 at 8pm UK
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Manchester City logo

0 - 2
Man City

Bentancur (36'), Sarr (57'), Romero (63')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Haaland (51', 90+1' pen.)
Kovacic (70'), Foden (88'), Silva (90+10')

Manchester City on cusp of Premier League glory after edging past Tottenham Hotspur

Man City on cusp of Premier League glory after edging past Spurs
© Reuters
Manchester City have one hand on the Premier League title after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in North London, courtesy of two Erling Haaland goals.

Manchester City have one hand on the Premier League title after beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in North London on Tuesday night.

The Citizens travelled to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having failed to win their previous four league visits without scoring, but they knew that a victory would keep the title race in their own hands heading into the final day of the season.

Both sides cancelled each other out during a subdued first half, but Man City broke the deadlock six minutes after the interval when assist king Kevin De Bruyne teed up Erling Haaland for a simple tap-in.

Spurs responded well and should have netted a late equaliser, but City's substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, who replaced the injured Ederson in the second half, made an enormous save - a title-clinching stop - four minutes from time to deny Son Heung-min, who had burst clean through on goal.

Within the blink of an eye, Man City were awarded a penalty at the other end after Pedro Porro tripped Jeremy Doku, allowing Golden Boot-chasing Haaland to emphatically net his second and secure three hugely important points for the visitors.

Victory for Pep Guardiola's side has helped them climb back to the top of the Premier League table, sitting two points clear of title rivals Arsenal heading into their final fixture of the campaign at home to West Ham United on Sunday.

The result also means that Aston Villa have qualified for the Champions League at Tottenham's expense, as defeat for Ange Postecoglou's men leaves them in fifth spot and five points behind Villa in fourth with only one game remaining.

Manchester City's Phil Foden in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Micky van de Ven on May 14, 2024© Reuters

Cagey first half amidst a tentative Spurs atmosphere

Prior to kickoff, there was plenty of talk about many Spurs supporters wanting their own team to lose to ensure that Arsenal would fall short in the title race, and although Postecoglou was against such an ideology, the strange, tentative atmosphere inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium suggested otherwise.

There was a real zip to the passing and pressing of both teams in the early exchanges, and it was Spurs who had the first sight at goal, but a strong hand from Ederson - making his 250th Premier League appearance - kept out a powerful strike from Rodrigo Bentancur.

Man City were then gifted their first chance of the evening following a catalogue of defensive errors form the hosts. Both Radu Dragusin and Cristian Romero failed to clear their lines before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's horribly mis-timed clearance fell straight to Phil Foden, but his volley from around 10 yards was kept out by a fantastic reflex save from Guglielmo Vicario with his outstretched right arm.

Former Spurs man Kyle Walker posed the greatest attacking threat for Man City in the opening half hour and found lots of space down the right flank with Micky van de Ven, playing as an inverted left-back, often tucking inside. Walker fizzed a few dangerous deliveries into the penalty area, but he was unable to pick out a teammate on each occasion.

Guardiola was cut a frustrated figure at times as his Man City side were surprisingly sloppy in possession, but to their relief, Spurs lacked an end product and rarely threatened Ederson's goal despite showing signs of promise in the final third.

Man City grew in confidence towards the end of the half and were denied twice in stoppage time, with Haaland's close-range strike blocked by Van de Ven before Bernardo Silva fired the rebound straight at the head of Dragusin standing just a few yards off the line. Neither goal would have stood, though, as the linesman's flag was raised for an offside in the build-up.

Haaland, Ortega make title-deciding contributions

Man City came flying out the blocks after the interval and within the first two minutes of the second half, Vicario was called into action to make a superb one-handed save low down to his left to deny De Bruyne, who swivelled and struck a venomous strike from 20 yards out.

Son was then denied by Ederson from close range at the other end, but the Citizens made the breakthrough in the 51st minute, courtesy of a sublime pass from De Bruyne to set up Haaland to score City's first-ever league goal at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

De Bruyne made a darting run down the right channel, beating the offside trap, to meet Bernardo's through-ball, before sliding a trademark delivery across the six-yard box for Haaland to tap home on the line. There were muted celebrations from Haaland, but chaotic scenes were sparked in the away end, while a few Spurs fans were bizarrely seen doing City's 'Poznan' celebration, aware that Arsenal had slipped down to second in the table.

There was a moment of concern for Ederson midway through the second half after Romero clattered into the goalkeeper at the far post. Ederson was fit to continue after a lengthy spell of treatment, but he was replaced by Ortega just a few minutes later, a decision that infuriated the Brazilian as he made his way to the bench.

Ortega was instantly called into action and was given an almighty scare when Spurs substitute Dejan Kulusevski weaved his way into the penalty area. The Swedish winger tried to slip the ball under Ortega's legs, but the German stood his ground to prevent the goal at his near post.

Kulusevski was denied again by Ortega from a tight angle, but the biggest save of the night - and potentially the biggest save of Man City's season - was made by the 31-year-old on the 86-minute mark. Manuel Akanji was caught in possession just inside City's half, allowing Son to burst through on goal, but Ortega made himself big to keep out the South Korean's shot from just inside the area.

Man City were soon on the counter-attack, and after receiving a brilliant ball over the top from Foden, substitute Doku was brought down inside the penalty area by Porro's outstretched right leg, giving referee Chris Kavanagh no other choice but to point to the spot.

Haaland stepped up and fired an emphatic finish into the top-left corner, sending Vicario the wrong way to increase his goal tally for the season to 27 in the Premier League and put Man City on the brink of a record fourth successive title.

Man City have now extended their club-record unbeaten run across all competitions to 34 games, equalling the undefeated streak of Manchester United (also 34) set between September 1993 to March 1994; Nottingham Forest are the only English top-flight club who have ever enjoyed a longer unbeaten run (40 games in 1978).

The Citizens can clinch a sixth Premier League title in seven seasons with victory over West Ham in David Moyes's final match as Hammers boss at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, while Tottenham will look to secure fifth spot and Europa League football for next season with a win at basement club Sheffield United on the final day.

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Tables header RHS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916

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