Pep Guardiolas summer-long transfer target scored twice in Tottenhams dramatic 3-2 victory over the Premier League leaders at the Eithad
Manchester City 2-3 Tottenham: Match Statistics
If Pep Guardiola thinks Liverpool are “a pain in the ass”, what must he think of Tottenham?
The team that broke Manchester City hearts in one of the most dramatic Champions League finales of all time have just done it again.
The Premier League leaders would have gone 12 points clear at the top of the table had they beaten a Spurs team that even manager Antonio Conte says are not good enough to finish in this seasons top four.
However, the Londoners snapped a three-game losing streak with a stunning 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium to add their win over City on the opening day of the 2021-22 campaign.
Now, Citys lead over Liverpool is just six points, with the Reds having beaten Norwich earlier on Saturday, and it will be reduced to three if Jurgen Klopp’s side win their game in hand against Leeds in midweek.
While this defeat may have come as a shock, that Harry Kane did most of the damage was wholly unsurprising.
It just had to be him. The striker that City spent all of last summer chasing was by far the most dangerous man on the pitch.
His 95th-minute winner was all about desire, as he rose magnificently over Kyle Walker to plant a header into the bottom corner beyond a static Ederson.
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Kanes first goal was all class, with the England captain finding sufficient space for himself to gently side-foot a half-volley into the top corner.
Throughout the match, Kane’s clever movement and awareness caused City’s defence so many problems, thus serving a timely reminder to Guardiola that if he’s searching for a striker, the Spurs star remains one of the best out there.
With willing runners breaking from midfield in support, Kane cleverly knitted Tottenham’s counterattacks together, dropping deep to collect the ball and firing perfect passes to his onrushing team-mates.
There were just five minutes gone when he split the City defence for the first time, Kane sending Son Heung-Min scampering away.
The South Korean had timed his run to perfection, beating the offside trap by inches before sliding the ball across to Dejan Kulusevski for a simple tap-in.
City, of course, have plenty of bad memories of Tottenham and their pace on the break, they all came flooding back.
It would have been impossible for those involved not to have immediately thought of that infamous 2018-19 Champions League quarter-final when Spurs scored three times in defeat at the Etihad to progress on the away goals rule.
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Kane actually missed that game through injury but the spirit of that performance coursed through the Spurs side and the forward would have had a hat-trick but for a brave save from Ederson.
In another performance when City had the ball for long periods close to the Tottenham edge without finding a breakthrough, it would be easy to suggest they miss a natural striker of Kanes quality.
Phil Foden, Joao Cancelo and Ilkay Gundogan, hitting the post, all went close before the latter slammed in an equaliser after Hugo Lloris’s horrible spill.
But City subsequently failed to turn all of their possession into a lead.
An injury-time penalty from Riyad Mahrez at least looked like it would rescue a point for the hosts but there was to be yet even more drama from Kane.
Guardiola has always insisted that the title race was never over and this should finally convince those that had written off Liverpool’s chances, including Klopp himself.