Man City and Erling Haaland are back on track in title race


Manchester City fought back from a 2-0 half-time deficit towards Tottenham to assert a 4-2 victory on Thursday, which places the champions firmly back in the Premier League title race.

Goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal simply earlier than the interval had put Spurs 2-0 up and led to City being booed off by their very own supporters.

But a second-half revival, sparked by two objectives in three minutes from Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland, led to Pep Guardiola’s crew taking management earlier than Riyad Mahrez took the sport away from Spurs with two excellent objectives.

JUMP TO: Best/worst performers | Highlights & notable moments | Postgame quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid response

1. Man City and Haaland are back on track after latest blips

Manchester City despatched an emphatic warning to Premier League leaders Arsenal that they are able to combat all the best way for the title by bouncing back from two straight defeats to beat Spurs. And City, who had been crushed by Manchester United in league play and Southampton in the Carabao Cup going into this recreation, additionally noticed Erling Haaland finish his three-game scoring drought in the 4-2 win.

While the tip end result sees City transfer to inside 5 factors of Arsenal, early on it seemed to be heading to a humiliation for City supervisor Pep Guardiola following his determination to start out with Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker and Bernardo Silva on the substitutes’ bench. Tottenham scored twice simply earlier than halftime, and followers made their displeasure clear.

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But City have kind for profitable video games when trailing 2-0 at half-time, although, having executed so towards Crystal Palace and Aston Villa final 12 months, and City did so once more to inflict one other dent in Tottenham’s hopes of ending in the highest 4 all whereas underlining their very own excellent high quality. Goals from Julian Alvarez and Haaland levelled the scores earlier than Riyad Mahrez scored twice to safe the factors and transfer City nearer to Arsenal.

That units up an enormous weekend in the title race when Arsenal face third-place United on the Emirates on Sunday after City host Wolves at Etihad earlier in the day. If City beat Wolves, they will transfer to inside two factors of Arsenal earlier than Mikel Arteta’s crew take the sphere.

2. Spurs and Kane get a harsh actuality verify

As Riyad Mahrez raced away to have fun his aim that gave Manchester City a 3-2 lead towards Spurs, the tv digital camera centered on Harry Kane in the centre-circle, shaking his head in frustration after seeing his aspect throw away a 2-0 result in fall behind.

Kane has given Spurs unbelievable service through the years and he wants simply two extra objectives to to surpass the legendary Jimmy Greaves because the membership’s all-time main goalscorer. Greaves is on 266, with Kane taking his tally 265 with the profitable in the FA Cup third spherical win towards Portsmouth earlier this month.

But whereas Kane will undoubtedly declare that document as his personal in the weeks forward, what else can Spurs provide him in phrases of success and reminiscences for when his taking part in days are over?

Mahrez’s aim may simply have been the second when the England captain realised that Spurs will at all times be the sort of crew that guarantees a lot however not often delivers. At 29, Kane has nonetheless to win his first trophy as knowledgeable and it will not occur at Tottenham in the event that they proceed to play as they did at City.

Kane did not rating on the Etihad, however he was a relentless menace and his tenacity led to Emerson Royal’s aim, which put Spurs 2-0 up at half-time.

A participant of Kane’s high quality and stature deserves greater than to see his good work come to nothing and, together with his contract at Spurs on account of expire in Jun 2024, this summer time is a fork in the street for the ahead.

Too many extra video games like this and it’s laborious to think about that Kane will not take the street that leads him away from Tottenham and to a membership that expects to win trophies quite than merely needs to.

3. Fair-weather followers at Etihad hesitate to back Man City

Manchester City had been booed at half-time by their very own supporters. For a crew that has gained 4 of the final 5 Premier League titles, that sort of response smacks of a way of entitlement among the many City followers.

But whereas the City gamers clearly under-performed towards Spurs in the first-half, the followers are additionally anticipated to play their half and they do not do that fairly often on the Etihad. It required Julian Alvarez’s aim early in the second-half to deliver the group to life, however City will want the followers to get behind them a lot earlier in the event that they are to win the title.

Guardiola has complained a few lack of backing from the supporters in the previous and the Etihad definitely lacks the noise and ardour of Anfield, Old Trafford or St James’ Park.

And there have been additionally loads of empty seats inside the bottom which, contemplating Guardiola has constructed a crew of all stars together with Erling Haaland, is unbelievable.

It is uncommon, if not unthinkable, for a Big Six crew to fail to promote out their very own floor for a house recreation, however much more so after they win as usually as City.

And on the day when City topped the Deloitte Money League because the world’s highest-revenue producing membership, it makes their monetary success much more exceptional when seats are left unfilled for a recreation towards Big Six rival.

Maybe the City followers have grown too accustomed to snug victories and have misplaced the power to roll with the punches when it would not go their approach. But they’ve quick reminiscences in the event that they assume they will boo a crew that has gained a lot in latest seasons.

Best and worst performers

Best: Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City

Scored a shocking aim to present City the lead and then made the sport protected with a second in the ninetieth minute. It was an all-round top-class efficiency by the previous Leicester winger. A traditional Pep Guardiola participant.

Best: Nathan Ake, Manchester City

On a foul evening for City defensively, Ake gave a composed efficiency and it may have been a lot worse however for the Netherlands worldwide.

Best: Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs winger had a poor recreation in the defeat towards Arsenal on the weekend, however he confirmed indicators of getting back to his greatest in this recreation following a prolonged harm lay-off this season.

Worst: Ederson, Manchester City

Way too careless for Tottenham’s first aim, when his dangerous cross to Rodri led to Kulesvski scoring. Could’ve executed higher with the second aim, too.

Worst: Rodri, Manchester City

Lost a deal with with Harry Kane that led on to Tottenham’s second aim and additionally fortunate to flee a reserving for a foul foul on Hojbjerg.

Worst: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs keeper is having a foul spell and he could have nightmares in regards to the quantity of area he left uncovered on the close to put up for Mahrez’s aim.

Highlights and notable moments

You need highlights and notable moments? Oh, this match had loads.

The recreation had been steadily constructing in depth, and Tottenham struck first by pouncing on a poor back-pass, which Dejan Kulusevski buried in the forty fourth minute.

Minutes later, simply earlier than the halftime whistle, Tottenham doubled their lead on an Emerson Royal strike.

Man City followers had been clearly displeased with their aspect’s show as they booed whereas the gamers returned to the locker room for the halftime break.

But then Man City got here out with function and a killer intuition that they lacked in the primary 45 minutes — Julián Álvarez pulled one back in the 51st minute, and then Erling Haaland did the identical two minutes after that to degree the rating.

Riyad Mahrez added a 3rd for Manchester City in the 63rd minute, finishing a comeback that concerned City scoring three objectives in a mere 12 minutes after being down 2-0.

He did not cease there: Mahrez added one other in the ninetieth minute to make it 4-2.

After the match: What the managers and gamers mentioned

Manchester City supervisor Pep Guardiola: “I cannot deny how happy we are, but we are far away from the team that we were, not in terms of play because we play good enough but there are many things, in terms of competitiveness, in terms of what we have to do, in many, many things we are far away. … We play because our manager told me how to play, I had to do this, but there’s nothing from the stomach, the gut. Today we were lucky, but if we doin’t change sooner or later we are going to throw points.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information)

  • Man City have no longer misplaced in 5 video games in which they trailed by two or extra objectives, which is the perfect such streak by any crew in Premier League historical past. They have three wins and two attracts.

  • With the win, Man City have now gained the final three dwelling Premier League video games in which they trailed by a number of objectives. The different two video games had been 4-2 vs. Crystal Palace on Aug. 27, 2022 and 3-2 vs. Aston Villa on May 22, 2022.

  • Manchester City develop into the primary Premier League membership to win a number of video games by greater than two objectives in which they trailed at halftime by greater than two objectives in the identical season.

  • City have tied Manchester United (March-April 2018) and Leeds United (November 1997) as the one three groups in Premier League historical past to win consecutive Premier League video games in which it trailed by a number of objectives.

  • Entering this recreation, Tottenham had the third longest energetic streak of avoiding defeat when main by two in Premier League matches. The solely groups with longer energetic streaks had been Arsenal (180 video games) and Chelsea (348 video games, final such loss Oct. 23, 1999).

  • Erling Haaland snapped a season-high three-game scoreless drought in all competitions. He now has 22 objectives in the Premier League this season, 12 shy of tying the league document of 34.

  • Dejan Kulusevski hadn’t scored a aim for Tottenham since their opening Premier League match of the season towards Southampton. Kulusevski has scored in each of his appearances vs. Man City, the opposite coming in February 2022.

Up subsequent

Manchester City: The Citizens have a fast turnaround however get to remain dwelling as they host Wolves on Sunday, Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. ET. Then, they shift focus to the FA Cup after they host Arsenal on Friday, Jan. 27 (watch stay on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET).

Tottenham Hotspur:– Spurs journey to Fulham for extra Premier League motion on Monday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. ET. Then, they are on the street once more for the FA Cup, the place they are going to face Preston North End on Saturday, Jan. 28 (watch stay on ESPN+ at 1 p.m. ET).


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