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Tottenham Hotspur 0 Manchester City 1 | Talking Points

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League after beating Spurs 1-0 at Wembley.

Riyad Mahrez scored the game’s only goal after just six minutes, and looked emotional after a torrid weekend for his former club Leicester City.

City could have made the points safe on a number of occasions, but Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker spurned good opportunities in the second half.

Tottenham were second best throughout yet should have claimed a point late on through Erik Lamela, but the Argentinian blazed over after being teed up by substitute Dele Alli.

Tottenham remain fifth and will look to bounce back against Wolves next weekend after travelling to West Ham in the EFL Cup.

City host Fulham in the Cup on Thursday, before welcoming Southampton to the Etihad in the Premier League on Sunday.

Touching moment for Mahrez after difficult weekend

After breaking the deadlock just six minutes in, Riyad Mahrez understandably looked emotional as he looked to the sky in celebration.

The Algerian had a quiet evening on the whole, and almost suffered a nightmare after being robbed by Dele Alli in the 80th minute, but Erik Lamela blazed over from 12 yards.

Whilst three points will not scratch the surface of Mahrez’s grief at the moment, he will surely look back with pride on his winner and tribute to the man who brought him to England in 2014.

Sterling shines for City

The usually pacy Kieran Trippier was left eating dust after a brilliant turn of pace from countryman Sterling, whose excellent form in City colours continued as he laid the ball on a plate for the onrushing Riyad Mahrez to break the deadlock in the sixth minute.

The 23-year-old got in behind the Spurs defence on three occasions in the first 10 minutes alone, with two other openings coming to nothing after the opening goal.

Lining up in front of Benjamin Mendy, Sterling was a star performer throughout and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet after his close range effort was blocked in the second half.

Spurs missing Alli and Eriksen creativity

Influential duo Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli were only fit for the bench tonight, and Spurs were blatantly missing their attacking spark to break down a resolute City.

Harry Kane and co were dangerous in the first half, but the chances they spurned all came from mistakes from a City player, rather than creativity from a man in white.

Dele Alli was introduced with 15 minutes to play while Eriksen joined the fold minutes later, and Spurs were buoyed almost immediately as Erik Lamela went close, but it was not to be.

City wasteful but brilliant in defence

City were far from their clinical best at Wembley, and though the pitch will have been a far fetch from their ideal surface, they had the chance to wrap up the game early in the second half.

After Bernardo Silva broke through the ranks on the right hand side, David Silva was just unable to fully control the Portuguese’s cutback. Silva laid the ball back to Sterling, however, whose shot was diverted behind by some part of the four-man wall that had assembled on the goal line.

Kyle Walker wasted a two-on-two opportunity after bursting away on the counter, while Sergio Aguero tamely guided a 15-yard drive into the arms of Hugo Lloris when he looked certain to score.

Ultimately, City’s wastefulness proved irrelevant as they saw out a valuable victory and sixth consecutive clean sheet; fully deserved after another imperious performance from John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

Disappointing Pitch 

It’s not often that a Premier League fixture is played on a pitch that bears the NFL logo. But that was what greeted the TV audience at Wembley tonight, the pitch also bearing striking numbers at points down the sides after Wembley played host to the Philadelphia Eagles victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Perhaps understandably, but unforgivably, the pitch appeared quite cut up from the off. Spurs are arguably paying the price here for the failure to secure their new stadium’s completion on time, with the new build now scheduled for opening in 2019.

The pitch held up surprisingly well, but Spurs and in particular Erik Lamela may rue the surface after the Argentine blazed over after an uneven bounce with just Ederson to beat.

Sam Hanys

Ipswich Town fan and Loughborough University student.

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Premier League Table

# Team MP W D L P
1 Liverpool 2 2 0 0 6
2 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 6
3 Manchester City 2 1 1 0 4
4 Brighton & Hov… 2 1 1 0 4
5 Tottenham Hotspur 2 1 1 0 4
6 AFC Bournemouth 2 1 1 0 4
7 Everton 2 1 1 0 4
8 Manchester United 1 1 0 0 3
9 Burnley 2 1 0 1 3
10 Norwich City 2 1 0 1 3
11 Sheffield United 1 0 1 0 1
12 Crystal Palace 1 0 1 0 1
13 Leicester City 1 0 1 0 1
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 0 1 0 1
15 West Ham United 2 0 1 1 1
16 Aston Villa 2 0 0 2 0
17 Newcastle United 2 0 0 2 0
18 Southampton 2 0 0 2 0
19 Chelsea 1 0 0 1 0
20 Watford 2 0 0 2 0

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