Report and free highlights as Heung-Min Son and Giovani Lo Celso goals give Spurs statement victory; Manchester City dominate shots and ball but cannot break down stubborn Jose Mourinho approach; Spurs sit atop the Premier League for 24 hours at least, City sit 10th with just 12 points
Sunday 22 November 2020 07:07, UK
New Premier League leaders Tottenham made a big title statement as a vintage Jose Mourinho operation saw them beat Manchester City 2-0.
Spurs had just 33 per cent possession and four shots to City's 22, but once again came away with victory against Pep Guardiola's City in a clinical smash-and-grab show at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
During a lively opening, Spurs took the lead as Son tucked under Ederson from the edge of the box after Tanguy Ndombele's chipped pass caught out a high City line (5). It was Spurs' only shot on goal in the first 59 minutes as Mourinho's side soaked up City pressure.
Despite some City half-chances either side of the break, Mourinho's approach continued to work as they snatched a second, man-of-the-match Harry Kane turning brilliantly on halfway and feeding Giovani Lo Celso to finish under Ederson again just 35 seconds after coming on (65).
City were ragged thereon as Spurs closed out victory, and the result means Mourinho, celebrating one year at Spurs, sees his side sit atop the Premier League for 24 hours at least. City's poor start continues, sitting 10th with just 12 points from eight games.
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (7), Alderweireld (7), Dier (8), Reguilon (7), Sissoko (7), Hojbjerg (8), Bergwijn (7), Ndombele (8), Son (7), Kane (9)
Subs: Lo Celso (8), Lucas Moura (6), Rodon (NA)
Man City: Ederson (4), Walker (5), Dias (5), Laporte (5), Cancelo (5), Rodri (5), Bernardo (5), Torres (5), De Bruyne (5), Mahrez (4), Jesus (5)
Subs: Sterling (5), Foden (5)
Man of the match: Harry Kane
Both Mourinho and Guardiola have been critics of the international schedule - Mourinho even posted a sarcastic comment on Instagram about the safety of players on duty - while Guardiola left Raheem Sterling on the bench after only "one day's training".
Mourinho, who has a long and fierce history with Guardiola, could not resist a dig at City and Sterling, saying before kick-off: "We are not as ready as Sterling, he was resting the whole week" after the England man pulled out of international duty with a calf injury.
But Mourinho was one-up on the pitch early on as City were caught high. Ndombele's lofted ball over the defence found Son through on goal, and Ederson made the Spurs man's mind up by rushing out, prompting Son to slot under him from just outside the area.
City should have then levelled in a chaotic first 10 minutes as the ball fell kindly to Kevin De Bruyne 10 yards out, but his sweeping, goal-bound effort was bizarrely blocked by his own team-mate Gabriel Jesus in the six-yard box as he lay on the floor.
VAR then came to Spurs' rescue as Aymeric Laporte slammed home from 12 yards after Jesus had squared, but the Brazilian was adjudged to have handled as he controlled the ball in the build-up.
Spurs embodied a vintage Mourinho in the first half - all 11 players' had average positions in their own half, while City had 68 per cent possession and 10 shots on goal to Spurs' one.
Spurs' approach took energy, and they began to retreat further in the opening stages of the second half as City moved up a gear, but despite De Bruyne's best efforts with two low shots at goal, the hosts stood firm.
And it was smash-and-grab again for their second with Kane, described by Gary Neville on commentary as having "a bit of Zinedine Zidane in him" when receiving the ball, registered his ninth assist of the season.
Receiving the ball on halfway, Kane turned and burst forward, slipping in Lo Celso on the left of the box, and Ederson's premature rush out again enticed the Argentinian to slot through his legs.
City have lost all three games without scoring at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and though they dominated possession, an inferiority complex kicked in as Spurs kept their clean sheet.
They began to look leggy as Spurs saw out the game superbly - the visitors did come closest as Hugo Lloris beat away De Bruyne's header from close range, but Kane held the ball up superbly as game management took over.
Steven Bergwijn started for Spurs for only the second time this season in place of Gareth Bale, while Serge Aurier replaced Matt Doherty, who is self-isolating after contracting covid.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero could only make the bench for City, while Nathan Ake was out altogether.
Bernardo Silva came in for Ilkay Gundogan, while Riyad Mahrez came in for Sterling.
Now unbeaten in eight Premier League games, Mourinho's Spurs look genuine contenders in a season where defensive solidity could prosper, an approach that has won him three Premier League titles.
But days after signing a new deal at City until 2023, Guardiola will be alarmed at how his defence could be split open with two meaningful attacks, as they sit eight points off the pace.
Sky Sports' Adam Bate:
Sound the klaxon: Jose Mourinho masterclass. No Spurs supporters would have expected to dominate possession against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City but everything else that they would have hoped for from their team was delivered. Tottenham were organised and they were diligent in their duties. When they could attack, they did so with genuine quality.
That quality has been enough to carry them to the top of the Premier League table and there is a growing belief that in this most unusual of seasons they might just be able to stay there. This was not them at their most expansive but those qualities have also been apparent in scoring 21 goals this season. Tottenham now have quality on the bench too.
For Guardiola, his concerns are on the pitch. A new contract but the same old problems for the Manchester City boss, ones that have not been solved by his new centre-back pairing. The defensive line continues to be breached as opponents sit deep and pick them off on the counter-attack. Lessons from the Leicester defeat have not been learned. It is a problem.
City lack the energy that is essential if they are to press high without leaving the back-line exposed. Liverpool's injury problems had left the door ajar for their nearest rivals but if Guardiola is unable to coax more from his players than this, it may be another team best placed to capitalise. On this evidence, that team might just belong to his old rival Mourinho.
Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp:
"Spurs have had some great teams over the years, seen great footballers, beautiful footballers, but they've not won a thing. If Spurs fans have to take watching that style to win trophies, they will take that.
"Mauricio Pochettino built a lovely team - what did they win? Zero. I wasn't sure Jose Mourinho could do it at Spurs but he makes players work so hard.
"It's unbelievable how hard Kane and Son work without the ball. Spurs did so well without the ball - it was a masterclass from Jose and the team."
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho: "For me, I prefer the players to speak because they are the ones, they were fantastic, they gave everything. They follow a strategy and football sometimes, more than ever, strategy plays an important part. They were amazing. Harry Kane represents the spirit of all the other guys, the way he works for the team is the way all the other ones do it.
"City is a fantastic team that lost against a team that strategically was very good but City is still City.
"Every player did their job in an amazing way, even what we used to call the emergency principles which is when somebody, whether they're tired or by losing a certain position, is not there. You have the emergency rules, everybody has an incredible friendship and solidarity, everybody was amazing."
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "The perfect scenario for them, we concede a goal after five minutes, we knew Kane would drop, Bergwijn and Son run in behind, we could have done better.
"After that they defend so deep, two shots on target, and we know how difficult it is on physicality when they defend so deep. We tried to find some solutions but could not do it.
"We have to try to win, we are further away than we wanted to be, so we have to start to win, we want to be there until the end. It is a weird season, for many reasons."
Tottenham now host Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday at 8pm, before going to Chelsea next Super Sunday at 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Man City are at Olympiakos in the Champions League at 5.55pm on Wednesday, before hosting Burnley in the Premier League at 3pm on Saturday.