TOTTENHAM manager Jose Mourinho introduced Giovani Lo Celso on 64 minutes and saw him finish off a quick and simple counterattack with his first involvement to sink Manchester City and propel his club to the top of the Premier League.
The goal, which was started by Toby Alderweireld on the edge of the Spurs area and driven by a Harry Kane run from halfway, was one of several snapshots of Mourinho, in the vernacular of his trade, doing a number on City and his counterpart and rival, Pep Guardiola, which would have felt particularly sweet.
Spurs led early through Son Heung-min’s ninth goal of the league season – a smart finish after his team’s first break of the game – and, thereafter, they defended resolutely, slowly but surely choking City into submission.
Guardiola’s team looked to play their normal fluent game, hogging possession and carrying the fight to their opponents. But it all came to look a little flat and predictable. The manager had signed a new two-year contract at City on Thursday, blowing away a dark cloud, but there was no immediate tonic. City remain in mid-table with plenty to ponder.
City had arrived in London with one of the meanest defences in the league but Spurs went ahead with their first forward thrust and it was all too easy. Tanguy Ndombele turned sharply in midfield, dropping his shoulder to ease away from Bernardo Silva, and he looked up and over for the top for Son straight away. Son had found a seam up the inside left channel and City’s players were powerless to do anything about it. João Cancelo came across but it was too late and Son finished coolly through Ederson’s legs.