Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Spurs inflict first defeat of Pep Guardiola era
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 04/11/16 7:54pm
Tottenham inflicted Pep Guardiola's first defeat at Manchester City as they moved to within one point of the leaders with a scintillating 2-0 victory on Sunday.
Spurs got off to a flying start at White Hart Lane, taking the lead on nine minutes after Aleksandar Kolarov put through his own net before Dele Alli slotted a slick second seven minutes before half-time.
City, who trailed for the first time under Guardiola in the Premier League, rallied after the interval but struggled to replicate the form that had guided them to six top-flight wins from six beforehand.
In fact, things could have been worse for City had Erik Lamela not seen his second-half penalty saved by Claudio Bravo.
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In the end, it proved immaterial as Spurs held on to secure their best start to a league campaign since 1960/61, asserting their own title credentials as they left Guardiola to mull over his first league defeat since March.
Pochettino, who claimed his first managerial victory at Espanyol against Guardiola's Barcelona, brought Danny Rose and Lamela back into the fold against a City side without the injured Kevin de Bruyne.
Guardiola turned to Jesus Navas to plug the gap left by the Belgian, and, after a blistering start from Spurs, the Spaniard's driven cross was almost turned home by David Silva after four minutes but it deflected wide.
Undeterred, Spurs continued to harass and hound the City defence and they got their rewards shortly after as Rose's wicked cross from the left was sliced into the back of the net by Kolarov.
One so nearly became two a minute later as Son forced Bravo into action at his near post before Christian Eriksen continued to apply the pressure from the hosts, whistling a free-kick marginally wide on 20 minutes.
Jan Vertonghen's risky challenge in the area on Sergio Aguero went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner shortly after, but the City striker would soon test Hugo Lloris, forcing the Frenchman to tip his curling free-kick out on the half-hour mark.
But, on 37 minutes, City's quest for the second goal of the game was eclipsed by Spurs as they doubled their advantage.
The three-pronged attack of Heung-Min Son, Lamela and Alli split the City defence and, having seen Son fortunately regather possession, the South Korean slipped his England counterpart through on goal for their second.
Spurs started the second period intent on not letting a City side, who have never won a Premier League game having been two or more goals down at half-time, back into the contest.
Victor Wanyama ensured Bravo was alert to stop his rasping drive on 48 minutes, but City remained a threat as Aguero saw an effort deflect onto the frame of the Spurs goal via the legs of Lloris.
Spurs had the chance to wrap up game on 65 minutes when Alli was sent tumbling in the area by Fernandinho but, after a heated debate with Son over who should take the penalty, Bravo tipped Lamela's spot-kick away.
A pulsating encounter soon switched to one of attrition as a dogged Spurs rearguard withstood a late onslaught from City.
But on the rare occasions their defence was breached, Lloris was on hand to deny substitute Kelechi Iheanacho and Aguero as Spurs saw out a deserved victory and closed in on their opponents.
Tottenham: Lloris (8), Walker (8), Alderweireld (8), Vertonghen (8), Rose (7), Wanyama (9), Dele (8), Sissoko (7), Eriksen (7), Lamela (7), Son (7).
Subs used: Dier (4), Nkoudou (4), Janssen (n/a).
Man City: Bravo (5), Zabaleta (6), Otamendi (6), Stones (6), Kolarov (4), Fernando (5), Fernandinho (6), Silva (5), Sterling (5), Navas (5), Aguero (5).
Subs used: Gundogan (5), Sane (n/a), Iheanacho (4).
Man of the Match: Victor Wanyama