Spurs sink Manchester City 2-0

Chelsea's French striker Olivier Giroud shoots but fails to score during Saturday’s English Premier League match against Newcastle United. (AFP)
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Updated 22 November 2020

Spurs sink Manchester City 2-0

  • Tottenham power to top of Premier League with impressive win against Guardiola’s team

LONDON: Tottenham powered to the top of the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester City, while Chelsea are up to second place after their victory at Newcastle on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s side are two points clear of Chelsea thanks to goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham took the lead after five minutes as South Korean forward Son ran onto Tanguy Ndombele’s lofted pass, beat the City offside trap and slotted a cool finish under Ederson.

It was Son’s ninth league goal this season and his 11th in all competitions.

City dominated possession after Son’s goal and thought they had equalized in the 27th minute when Aymeric Laporte fired home.

But Gabriel Jesus controlled Rodri’s cross with his arm before setting up Laporte and the goal was disallowed after referee Mike Dean consulted the pitchside monitor.

Lo Celso came off the bench to score with his first touch just 35 seconds after his introduction.

The Argentine midfielder netted his first Premier League goal in the 65th minute, driving his shot past Ederson after Harry Kane’s sublime pass prised open the City defense.

On the one-year anniversary of Mourinho’s appointment, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last eight league games since losing to Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

Mourinho’s team are on a four-match winning run in the league and have been transformed into genuine title contenders just months after finishing outside the top four last term.

“The players gave everything and followed a strategy. They were amazing. Harry Kane represents the spirit of the team, and all the other guys are the same. They all want to do it,” Mourinho said.

“We found a way to play and it was magnificent to see them play how they did.”

Tottenham, who last won the top-flight title in 1961 and haven’t lifted a major trophy since 2008, would surrender pole position if Leicester beat champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

City are languishing in 10th place, eight points behind the leaders after their first defeat in 10 games in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola’s timid side look a shadow of the swaggering outfit that won successive league titles in 2018 and 2019.

Twelve points from eight games is City’s lowest total at this stage of a Premier League campaign since 2008-09.

“It could be better. We played similar to how we have all season. We did not defend good for the first goal,” Guardiola said.

“We had more chances than them but we lost. Mourinho’s teams are like this, you make a mistake and they punish you on the counter attack.”

Next weekend, Tottenham face a fascinating clash with London rivals Chelsea, who maintained their fine form as Federico Fernandez’s first-half own goal and Tammy Abraham’s strike sealed a 2-0 win at St. James’ Park.

Frank Lampard’s side are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and have not lost in their last six league matches.

With five clean sheets in their last six outings in all competitions, Chelsea’s third successive league victory was the perfect way to start a hectic period leading up to Christmas.

Chelsea’s pressure was rewarded in the 10th minute when Mason Mount whipped in a low cross and Fernandez turned it into his own net under pressure from Ben Chilwell.

Chelsea put the result beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Timo Werner accelerated away from the Newcastle defense and slipped a pass to Abraham, who guided his shot in off the post.

“It’s not an easy game. We played well in patches and the result is key in these games,” Lampard said.

“I won’t get excited about being top of the table for five minutes. It’s important to be humble and know it’s a long race.”

Brighton’s 2-1 success at Aston Villa ended a run of seven games without a win in all competitions.

Graham Potter’s side took the lead through Danny Welbeck before Ezri Konsa’s equalizer for Villa.

Solly March put Brighton back in front, but Albion defender Tariq Lamptey was sent off for a foul on Jack Grealish in stoppage-time.

Villa were controversially denied a penalty in the final seconds when Michael Oliver gave a spot-kick for March’s challenge on Trezeguet, only for the referee to change his mind after consulting the pitchside monitor.


Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

Updated 25 November 2020

Beijing Guaon pounce on rusty Melbourne in 3-1 victory

  • The Chinese side have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League

DOHA: Beijing Guoan have one foot in the last-16 of the Asian Champions League after a convincing 3-1 win against a rusty Melbourne Victory side on Tuesday extended their perfect record in Group E to three from three.

Another Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua also improved their chances of qualification from Group F with their second win in three matches, edging past FC Tokyo 1-0, courtesy of a late penalty.

But it was Bruno Genesio’s Beijing outfit who sent out a strong warning to their rivals in the tournament by following up on their win over FC Seoul last week with another impressive performance in Doha where the tournament’s eastern zone matches are being played after a nine-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Beijing clearly looked a class above Melbourne Victory who were largely lackluster both in attack and defense, with even the Australian side’s consolation goal late in the second half coming through a huge deflection from Kim Min-Jae after substitute Gianluca Ianucci’s powerful shot from nearly 25 yards appeared heading straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Beijing allowed their Australian rivals only 40 percent ball possession and that worked hugely in their favor as they created chances galore at the Al-Sadd Sports Club.

But once again, it was their Brazilian presence which played a pivotal role, with Renato Augusto and A Lan on target in the 22nd and 34th minutes before Wang Zimin’s brilliant goal in the 74th minute to put the match out of Victory’s reach.

Frenchman Genesio, who has been in charge at Beijing Guoan for almost 16 months, was not in a very celebratory mood despite his team’s 100 percent win record so far.

“In the first half we played really well as we tried high pressing as we trained before the game and were successful in keeping control,” said Genesio.

“The only thing I am disappointed about is that we conceded one goal towards the end. We need to be more serious and cautious towards the end of the game.”

Melbourne Victory, for whom this was their second defeat in three matches — their only win came in February against Chiangrai United — are now third in the standings and would need a herculean comeback to qualify for the knockout phase.

“For us, It’s not the result we wanted,” said Victory’s Steve Kean, whose side had no match practice for several months before heading to Doha. “This was our very first match of any type, we did not even play any friendlies and came against a Beijing side that have played a full season.

2We wanted to win and take points but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Shanghai Shenhua were celebrating their success over Tokyo FC after Yu Hanchao’s successful penalty in the 74th minute proved the decisive moment in the match.

“FC Tokyo is a great team but today we really wanted to limit their opportunities,” said Shenhua coach Choi Kang-hee.

“Our players really overcame their difficulties of fitness and fatigue. They persisted from the first minute until the end and I thank them for that.

“They showed great mental power and spirit and I believe they will get better from here,” he added.

Tokyo FC’s Kenta Hasegawa was clearly upset, although he was not losing hope yet despite his team being in third place in the standings with four points from three matches

“The result is disappointing. This was the first game in the AFC Champions League for many of our young players,” Hasegawa said.

“They were not ready for this game, but I am sure the will be ready for the next.”