Premier League

Man City 3 Tottenham

Man City 3 Tottenham: Harry Kane scores an added-time victory minutes after Riyad Mahrez equalizes to widen the gap in the title chase.

After all, Harry Kane will have a say in the title chase at the Etihad.

Okay, maybe not in the way he and City envisioned or hoped when they spent last summer attempting to get England captain Gareth Southgate to Manchester.

However, when the dust settles on this year’s Premier League war, Kane’s first goals versus Pep Guardiola might have a huge impact.

During the Spaniard’s tenure as manager, the Spurs striker has never scored in nine previous matches. He clearly chose an opportune moment to break his duck.

Kane tucked away Spurs' second of the afternoon with a superbly delicate finish

Not just once, but twice.

First, he scored with the most clinical of finishes, which made him a target for Guardiola.

Then, just as City appeared to have snatched a point, Kane sprang up with an even more dramatic moment, and a beautiful headed matchwinner, deep into stoppage time.

Guardiola would like to string him up right now rather than sign him. Jurgen Klopp is more likely to wrap an arm over Kane’s shoulders than anyone else.

Kane headed home the winner in stoppage time

Wasn’t this title competition already over?

It very certainly would have been if City had won for the 46th time in the last 48 games.

But now there’s a six-point margin between the leaders and Liverpool… Klopp’s men have a game on their hands as well as a date in April.

After a few more nights like this, no one will doubt Antonio Conte’s enjoyment of his time as Spurs manager, rather than reading from the corporate sheet.

For this was more like the Tottenham of the Italian’s first nine Premier League games in charge, rather than the facile victories of the previous month.

Here are the statistics from a breathtaking game at the Etihad

Not only did Kane score two gleaming goals, but he also played a spectacular, magnificent role in the opener, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

He could even afford a sardonic shrug when a THIRD strike was ruled out due to the tiniest of offside calls.

Of course, it doesn’t matter in the end. Instead, defeating the champs on their home turf will have to suffice… And there’s no question that’s what everyone at Spurs will accept.

It only took four minutes to realize that this wasn’t going to be the shooting fish in a barrel game that everyone imagined.

It was a special performance from Kane at the Etihad

Spurs were deep in their own half when Ben Davies rolled a clearing ball to Kane, which was where they spent the majority of the evening.

The England captain received a lot of vitriol from Etihad fans during his last visit for a particularly sluggish performance.

Those supporters weren’t laughing this time, as he swept a beautiful first-time ball down the left flank to send Son Heung-min scurrying free, despite Ruben Dias’ best efforts to call offside.

Instead of taking on Ederson, he played a square ball to Dejan Kulusevski, taking the City goalkeeper out of the equation.

And the Swede, who is on loan from Juventus, marked his debut by putting his first touch of the night through the legs of Joao Cancelo and into an open net.

Kulusevski gave Spurs the lead after just four minutes

Pep’s side gradually regained their composure, and half an hour after falling behind, they were level – with a goal that enraged Kane in particular.

It came about when Raheem Sterling curled one in front of Hugo Lloris, prompting Kevin De Bruyne to kick it.

He dutifully did so, disarming the keeper to the point where the ball flew out despite his best efforts, and Ilkay Gundugan buried through a congested box.

Gundogan levelled for the champions 12 minutes before half-time

Kane confronted referee Anthony Taylor, claiming that Lloris had been fouled despite the fact that he hadn’t. Spurs also claimed that Ryan Sessegnon had been shoved earlier in the trade.

That was the end of it. Normal service was restored, and the city was on its way to three more points. Or perhaps not.

That was Kane’s first contribution, a brilliant sidefooted half volley into the top corner after Dias just touched Son’s deep cross into his path.

City, as one might expect, battered the goal, but it was suddenly bewitched…

until we’d reached the seven-minute mark of the halt.

Conte got the better of Guardiola at the Etihad

Cristian Romero threw himself to block Bernardo Silva’s cross, but lifted his arm in the process, resulting in a spot kick when referee Taylor checked the video screen.

Riyad Mahrez, a replacement, came on to score a point-saver that threw Pep – and the Etihad – into a frenzy. It was only three minutes long.

Because Kulusevski still had time to send another enticing ball to the far post. Kane sprang to power a downward header into the bottom corner as Walker waited.

A truly fantastic header, a truly fantastic game…

For Kane, it was an evening well worth the wait.


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