Manchester City vs Tottenham: Harry Kane inspired and dragged Spurs to a 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, completing the 2021-22 season double over the defending Premier League champions.
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Dejan Kulusevski opened the scoring after four minutes and Ilkay Gundogan equalized just after the half-hour mark, but the top story was still to be written, with Kane, who was so desperate for a transfer to Manchester City in the summer, scoring twice after halftime to beat back Riyad Mahrez’s stoppage-time equalizer with an even later winner.
The defeat ends Manchester City’s unbeaten run at 15 games (14W-1D-0L), and once again reignites the Premier League title race.
Manchester City vs Tottenham final score, stats, results
Final score: Manchester City 2, Tottenham 3
Goal scorers: Manchester City (Gundogan 33′, Mahrez 90’+2), Tottenham (Kulusevski 4′, Kane 59′, Kane 90’+4)
Shots: Manchester City 21, Tottenham 6
Shots on target: Manchester City 4, Tottenham 5
Possession: Manchester City 72%, Tottenham 28%
3 things we learned – Manchester City vs Tottenham
1. Kane nearing return to his best: He’ll need some more weeks and months of prolific goal-scoring to match the raw numbers of his best seasons for Tottenham, but Kane is more frequently showing flashes of brilliance when he drops into midfield to facilitate play with his long-range passing. The timing of his run for Tottenham’s second goal was also a familiar sight with Son Heung-min picking him out with an inch-perfect cross. His ability to receive and retain the ball in transitional moments not only makes Spurs a threat in attack, but it relieves immense pressure on the defense when a simple ball out to midfield isn’t immediately returned to the final third. He scored twice (and had another disallowed for offside – VAR) and provided the assist-before-the-assist on the other goal, perhaps leaving Manchester City with deeper regrets over their failure to sign him in the summer.
2. Title race back on: Liverpool were victorious earlier on Saturday, cutting Man City’s lead to six points while (briefly) level on games played. Those three points earned turned to three points gained with City’s defeat, with the defending champions now having played one more game again. Liverpool, winners of five straight (by a combined score of 12-2), can pull to within three points when they play their game in hand, against Leeds United, next Wednesday. Liverpool will visit the Etihad on April 9.
3. Man City’s missing piece on display: It’s an oversimplification of the sport of football to say that Man City are simply missing a center forward to put scoring chances away, and that having one would make them virtually untouchable. It was plain to see on Saturday, though, with Kane — the one who got away, effectively — making so much out of so little (6 shots, 28 percent possession) at one end of the field, when Manchester City’s wide attackers and central midfielders made so little out of so much (21 shots, 72 percent possession) at the other end.
Man of the Match: Harry Kane – A signature display, from an individual with plenty of memorable performances over the years.