Sun, Apr 21, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Manchester City gain Spurs revenge

GOOD COMPANY:City yesterday bagged another win with the announcement of the Player of the Year nominees, which included three City players out of six total

AFP, MANCHESTER, England

Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, left, takes a shot in their English Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur in Manchester, England, yesterday.

Photo: AP

Manchester City yesterday exacted some measure of revenge on Tottenham Hotspur for their UEFA Champions League exit as Phil Foden’s first English Premier League goal earned a 1-0 win to move them back to the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola’s men edged one point ahead of Liverpool once more with four games of a titanic title race left for both sides.

For all their Champions League heroics to get to the semi-finals this season, Tottenham still have much to do to qualify for the competition next season as they could easily end the Easter weekend outside the top four should Arsenal and Chelsea beat Crystal Palace and Burnley at home respectively.

Manchester City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies was ended by defeat on away goals to Spurs on Wednesday, despite winning a thrilling second-leg quarter-final 4-3.

However, they remain on course for a first-ever treble of domestic trophies in England as they survived a nervy finale thanks to another blistering start.

City have made a habit of firing out of the blocks this season, and just like in midweek to kickstart a kamikaze encounter, they struck within five minutes.

Foden was making just his second Premier League start and immediately justified Guardiola’s faith in the 19-year-old by heading home Sergio Aguero’s nodded pass across goal from Bernardo Silva’s cross.

However, history could easily have repeated itself as after four goals were shared in the opening 11 minutes on Wednesday, the Spurs had numerous chances to strike back.

Son Heung-min had already forced Ederson in a smart save from a narrow angle before City scored and the Brazilian goalkeeper had to rush from his goal once more to deny Christian Eriksen an equalizer on 15 minutes.

Two minutes later the Dane played provider with a glorious ball to free Son in behind the City defense.

However, the South Korean, who scored twice to end City’s European dreams, was caught just in time by Aymeric Laporte, who made a perfectly timed last-ditch tackle.

Despite Tottenham’s chances on the break, it was the hosts who were still dominating territory and possession, with Bernardo Silva a constant threat.

The Portuguese’s outstanding season was rewarded as he was named alongside teammates Aguero and Raheem Sterling in the six-man shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award, and Jan Vertonghen was fortunate to escape without conceding a penalty when he appeared to trip Silva inside the area.

Spurs were without captain Hugo Lloris through injury, and his understudy Paulo Gazzaniga looked nervous early on, but the Argentine goalkeeper got down to save Silva’s next effort.

Guardiola’s decision to leave Kevin de Bruyne out for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final was doubly questioned after the Belgian bagged a brilliant hat-trick of assists in midweek.

However, Guardiola’s reasoning for being cautious after an injury-plagued season was understandable, as De Bruyne limped off again just before the break and might miss the rest of the campaign.

Both sides suffered from their midweek exertions and the blazing sun as the second half meandered along at a subdued pace.

Tottenham had a big penalty appeal of their own turned down when Kyle Walker handled inside the area against his former team.

City had to suffer through the closing stages knowing one mistake could cost them the title, but they held on as Spurs suffered an eighth straight away defeat to English opposition.

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