Spurs 4-1 Manchester City: Harry Kane opens account for Tottenham [VIDEO]
Harry Kane and Tottenham enjoyed an afternoon to remember against Manchester City, bringing a comprehensive end to their recent nightmarish run against the stuttering table toppers. Manuel Pellegrini's side arrived in north London looking for a club-record sixth successive away league win and the continuance of their exceptional recent run […]
Harry Kane and Tottenham enjoyed an afternoon to remember against Manchester City, bringing a comprehensive end to their recent nightmarish run against the stuttering table toppers.
Manuel Pellegrini's side arrived in north London looking for a club-record sixth successive away league win and the continuance of their exceptional recent run against Spurs.
City have won the teams' last four meetings, scoring 16 goals in the process – a nasty streak Tottenham halted with an impressive 4-1 comeback victory in which Kane ended a 748-minute goal drought.
The fans' favourite's recent drop in form and confidence has been as stark as it has been well-documented, with the relief inside White Hart Lane palpable as he turned home from close range to help wrap up the three points.
Things had not started so well for Mauricio Pochettino's side as Kevin de Bruyne continued his impressive return to English football by slotting home the opener midway through the first half.
However, the game turned on a controversial leveller as Eric Dier netted on the stroke of half-time after a move started by the clearly offside Kyle Walker – a goal added to shortly after the break by Toby Alderweireld's header.
Kane's quick reactions after a Christian Eriksen free-kick came off the crossbar added to the feel-good factor, taken to new heights as Erik Lamela coolly turned home a fourth.
It was an impressive response to the Capital One Cup derby defeat to Arsenal, while this result left City licking their wounds as they suffered back-to-back Premier League losses.
Pellegrini's men had started well enough, with Sergio Aguero denied an 11th goal in eight matches against Spurs by Hugo Lloris' fine save.
However, the Frenchman's goal would soon be breached after his team-mates cheaply conceded possession. Toure led the City charge and played through De Bruyne to sweep home.
Like so many recent encounters between these sides, things almost soon got worse for Spurs and would have done had Lloris not impressively clawed away Raheem Sterling's low strike.
Spurs, though, weathered the storm that was brewing and Kane had a few efforts of differing quality before the hosts levelled on the stroke of half-time as Dier fizzed home from distance.
The defensive midfielder's bullet from the edge of the box punished City, who failed to clear following Son Heung-min's smothered shot – a goal the visitors were furious at as Walker was clearly offside before playing in the cross that started it.
That decision gave Spurs a much-need kick-start and they doubled their lead five minutes after the restart as Lamela's corner was glanced home impressively by summer signing Alderweireld.
The volume rose several more notches in the 61st minute as the club's golden boy finally netted.
The otherwise-anonymous Eriksen hit a fine free-kick off the crossbar and Kane mopped up, turning home from close range to the delight of fans, team-mates and staff alike.
Sterling tried to reduce the deficit with efforts either side of a stinging Jesus Navas drive, but Spurs were in the driving seat and extended their lead further towards the end.
The offside flag denied Son and then Kane was stopped, but the impressive Lamela showed wonderful skill and composure to round back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero to slot home.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
“Both goals offside! City one quite hard to call but Spurs goal is so blatantly offside.
Spurs 1-1 City.”
Don Hutchison, @donhutch4
Both goals offside! City one quite hard to call but Spurs goal is so blatantly offside. Spurs 1-1 City. pic.twitter.com/CUi2VsAAHI
— Don Hutchison (@donhutch4) September 26, 2015
Hugo Lloris: 8
Kyle Walker: 5
Toby Alderweireld: 7
Jan Vertonghen: 8
Ben Davies: 7
Eric Dier: 7
Dele Alli: 6
Christian Eriksen: 7
Erik Lamela: 7
Son Heung-Min: 6
Harry Kane: 7
Clinton Njie: 6
Nacer Chadli: 6
Tom Carroll: 5
Willy Caballero: 4
Bacary Sagna: 5
Nicolas Otamendi: 6
Martin Demichelis: 5
Aleksandar Kolarov: 6
Kevin de Bruyne: 7
Yaya Toure: 7
Raheem Sterling: 6
Sergio Aguero: 7
Samir Nasri: 6
Jesus Navas: 5
Patrick Roberts: 5
Erik Lamela. More will be required of the B£25.7million Argentinian if he is to justify the money Tottenham spent on him, and he has been very poor before now, but he impressed as an attacking threat against City, and unquestionably deserved his goal, which was Spurs' fourth. Their summer recruitment suggested he had little future at the club, but if he can finally build some confidence and momentum he could feature heavily over the course of the coming season and become a regular in their starting XI.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Already it seems goals standing, despite players being offside, is recurring too often this season. Kyle Walker was unquestionably offside in the build-up to Tottenham's equalising goal. For all that Eric Dier's finish was excellent, had it been disallowed, as it should have been, and City retained a 1-0 lead at half-time, the visitors would have been more likely victors. There were also arguments, of course, that their opening goal, from Kevin de Bruyne, should also have been disallowed for the same reason.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham team did little wrong, once they had rediscovered their belief, after scoring the equalising goal. It may concern the manager, however, that they so obviously appeared to lose confidence, as they did when losing at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season, when City took the lead, despite the game being so competitive before then. Manuel Pellegrini had an appalling day; the several changes he made to the core of his team, presumably in preparation for playing in the Champions League on Wednesday, clearly backfired. He also switched Kevin de Bruyne from wide on the right to a central position, which he struggled with having impressed until then.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Aleksandr Kolarov spoke his mind, perhaps rightly, to referee Mark Clattenburg while leaving the pitch at half-time, almost certainly complaining about Kyle Walker's offside positioning for Tottenham's equalizing goal. The referee responded, again probably rightly, by giving the left-back a yellow card.
WHO'S UP NEXT
Monaco v Tottenham (Europa League, Thursday 1 October)
Borussia Monchengladbach v Manchester City (Champions League, Wednesday 30 September)
Both managers admitted after the game that the referee had made several mistakes, but Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was delighted with his side's performance.
“You know football, sometimes it goes for you and sometimes against you. We need to keep calm because the decision is for the referee,” he told BT Sport.
“I am very happy because our performance was great and we played against a big, big side.
“My players were brilliant, and I'm very happy for our supporters after Wednesday because I know how they feel about the defeat to Arsenal.”
On Kane finally breaking his goalscoring duck, he added: “I think it was important for him to score, to take off the pressure and start to get a little bit more confidence. I think before he was under pressure.”
His opposite number Manuel Pelligrini added: “I know the goals were offside, but we played very well in the first half. We scored a goal and had two or three clear chances and Tottenham scored with their first shot.
“After that there was an offside goal, and two set pieces. One of them was offside again and after that they played very well.
“The Premier League is always very difficult, so we must continue working and playing how we did in the first 45 minutes.”