LONDON: Manchester City’s bid to chop Arsenal’s Premier League lead to two points was scuppered as Harry Kane’s record-breaking goal earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 win over the champions on Sunday.
Kane’s 15th-minute effort punished some sloppy City passing and made him the north London club’s all-time top goalscorer with 267, taking him past former great Jimmy Greaves whose record had stood since 1970.
“It is hard to put into words. It is just a magical moment. I was so desperate to do it with a win as well,” Kane said. “To do it in front of the home fans was a moment I will never forget.”
It was a strike even fans of Tottenham’s arch-rivals Arsenal would have celebrated down the Seven Sisters Road as it helped Mikel Arteta’s side stay five points clear of champions City despite Saturday’s shock loss at Everton.
Tottenham had led by two goals at halftime at City a few weeks ago only to capitulate and lose 4-2 but this time they held firm despite a late red card for Cristian Romero to boost their own hopes of finishing in the top four.
With Erling Haaland subdued the closest City came to scoring was a Riyad Mahrez effort that smashed against the underside of the crossbar in first-half stoppage time.
Tottenham then withstood a late City siege with some tenacious defending to clinch a third win in four league games over Pep Guardiola’s side.
City remain in second place with 45 points from 21 games with Arsenal on 50 having played a game less with the two sides meeting in north London on Feb 15.
Tottenham, whose manager Antonio Conte was absent after having surgery to remove his gallbladder, are fifth on 39 points from 22 games, one behind Newcastle United.
Kane’s moment arrived when City made a mess of trying to play out from the back and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg stole the ball off Rico Lewis on the edge of the area before holding off a challenge and flicking the ball to Kane.
The England striker’s right-foot shot was not his sweetest connection but it found its way into the corner past Ederson as Kane became only the third player to score 200 Premier League goals.
City sent on Kevin De Bruyne for Mahrez on the hour and the Belgian fired a shot wide while Julian Alvarez had a ferocious effort deflected over the crossbar.
Romero was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Jack Grealish but City could find no way through as they missed a huge opportunity to put pressure on Arsenal and they find themselves only three points above in-form Manchester United.
“Sooner or later it is going to change, but it is strange we haven’t scored one goal,” Guardiola said of City’s troubles with Tottenham. “To find an explanation is not easy. We are not in the position to think about being champions, just the next game, Aston Villa, we will prepare well and play our game as best as possible.”
Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2023
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