Man City close gap on Arsenal with scintillating comeback win over Spurs

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MANCHESTER CITY 4-2 TOTTENHAM: A second-half blitz from Pep Guardiola’s side earned them a much-needed victory over Tottenham after coming back from 2-0 down.

Manchester City closed the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to just five points with a gutsy 4-2 win over Tottenham after a sensational second-half comeback.

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated large spells of the first half but it was Spurs who took the lead after Ederson’s mistake allowed Dejan Kulusevski to coolly slot home from 12 yards. Moments later, Tottenham doubled their advantage through Emerson Royal, who headed home from close-range following Harry Kane’s saved shot.

It was a shock to the system for City, who must have had a stern talking to by Guardiola at half-time as they came out a completely different outfit and produced a remarkable 12-minute turnaround. Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez all struck for City as they shell shocked Spurs within a short period.

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Tottenham had chances to level and came close through Heung min-Son but his effort hit the post via a deflection. City wrapped up the points with a couple of minutes to go, however, as Mahrez ran through on goal before clipping the ball over a despairing Hugo Lloris.

Here are five talking points from the Etihad Stadium.

City close gap on Arsenal
Many Arsenal fans would have been rubbing their hands together when Spurs scored their second goal at the Etihad Stadium – as City looked set to drop even more points. Conte’s men were in dreamland thanks to goals from Kulusevski and Emerson, but they collapsed after the break – something Tottenham have done before.

City scored three times within 12 minutes to turn the game on its head, before Mahrez added his second of the match to wrap up a vital three points for Guardiola’s side. It is a victory that could change the momentum at the top of the Premier League table, although City can reduce the gap to two points as they play before Arsenal on Sunday.

City host Wolves on Tuesday, which is a 2pm kick-off, before Arsenal entertain Manchester United in what looks like to be a tasty affair between two in-form teams. Although Guardiola’s men have played one game more than the Gunners, with just a matter of five points separating the two sides, it could be entertaining race for the title.

Haaland back on the scoresheet
The Norwegian was going through somewhat of a goal drought before the clash against Spurs, having blanked in his previous three matches. Haaland’s poor run of form looked like it was going to continue after struggling in the first-half, despite missing a guilt-edge chance to score with a close-range header.

But as City motored at the start of the second period, it was only a matter of time before Haaland would fin the back of the net. It came after a flowing City move, which ended with Haaland tapping home Mahrez’s cross.

Ederson mistake
Despite how well Ederson has done for City over the past six years, he is always prone to a mistake. And the Brazilian dropped another clanger which led to Tottenham’s opening goal against City.

Ederson, who was a passenger for the majority of the first-half, made a crucial mistake on the stroke of half-time to hand Spurs the upper hand. His pass to Rodri was slightly loose and the midfielder ended up giving the ball away.

Kulusevski was the major beneficiary of Ederson’s mistake as he received the ball from the interception and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner. It was the Swede’s second Premier League goal of the season.

De Bruyne dropped
Guardiola shook some heads before kick-off when he decided to drop playmaker Kevin de Bruyne – after the Belgian had registered no goals and just one assist in his last six Premier League appearances. There were some rumours that De Bruyne had been named on the bench with a knock after missing training on Tuesday.

But Guardiola hinted that De Bruyne’s omission may be a tactical one in his pre-match interview. The City boss was asked if the midfielder fit and well but didn’t answer the question direct and instead said: “Of course Kevin can play. Seven years together we play with a thousand different systems, opponents with good form, bad forms and I would say he has been the most used player since I arrived but today from what I’ve seen lately or I’ve seen the opponent I went with a different selection.”

With City trailing 2-0 at the break, Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher both called for De Bruyne to come on straight away, but Guardiola stuck to his original XI – and it worked. Alvarez, who was playing in De Bruyne’s usual no.10 position and scored their first of the night, before further contributing to the win.

Jamie Carragher has appeared to end his feud with Richarlison after the Sky Sports pundit decided to warm up with the Tottenham forward ahead of their clash against Manchester City.

The pair have endured countless clashes over the past 12 months ever since Carragher called out Richarlison for play-acting in Everton’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool last April. However, they seemed to make up when Richarlison was warming up at the Etihad Stadium. The 25-year-old decided to play the ball to Carragher, who was working for Sky Sports, before the duo shared a couple of passes.

It ended with Carragher going up to Richarlison to shake his hand, before then having a brief conversation, where the Spurs striker apologised. Carragher said: “We’re all mates, he apologised, so I accepted it. I said ‘are you going to be a good boy today, is there any fighting or whatever?’ And he replied by saying, ‘no just football today’.”

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