Thursday, May 23, 2024

Tottenham 0-2 Manchester City: Haaland´s double and Ortega´s heroics put Guardiola´s side on the bri

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 May 2024

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Erling Haaland’s double and Stefan Ortega’s superb save saw Manchester City beat Tottenham 2-0 to ensure Pep Guardiola’s team head into the final day of the season leading the Premier League.

Haaland, who had opened the scoring with a tap-in in the 51st minute, slammed in a stoppage-time penalty to send the travelling City supporters into delirium at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

That spot-kick followed a wonderful save from substitute goalkeeper Ortega at the other end, who denied Son Heung-min a would-be equaliser on a bizarre night where the home support never truly managed to get fully behind their side, given what was at stake for their rivals Arsenal.

But with Haaland’s double, City – now on 88 points, two clear of Arsenal – are on the cusp of an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title, while Spurs’ Champions League hopes are over.

Ederson was forced into action after just six minutes as Bentancur got on the end of Brennan Johnson’s cutback, with his strike from just outside the penalty area was tipped over by City’s goalkeeper.

The best chance of the half fell to Foden, who – in the 16th minute – latched onto a dismal clearance from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but his close-range volley was superbly kept out by Vicario.

It took City less than two minutes to test Vicario once again after the break as he made an excellent diving save to palm away Kevin De Bruyne’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

But Vicario had no chance four minutes later – Haaland tapping into an empty net after latching onto De Bruyn’s drilled delivery.

Ederson had to be taken off after a nasty clash with Cristian Romero, and while City’s goalkeeper was frustrated, his stand-in Ortega turned in a fantastic cameo.

Having twice denied Dejan Kulusevski from close range, Ortega then stood up brilliantly when one-on-one with Son.

It is a save that might just win City the league – Haaland subsequently making sure of the points after Jeremy Doku was brought down by Pedro Porro, leaving the reigning champions, who face West Ham on Sunday, on the brink of glory again.

De Bruyne provides the spark but Ortega the unlikely hero

When City needed the breakthrough, it was no surprise to see De Bruyne provide it. The Belgian has now provided 10+ assists, the joint-most of any player in Premier League’s history, along with Cesc Fabregas.

De Bruyne has now assisted Haaland 12 times in the Premier League, the most from one player to another in the competition in the last two seasons.

Haaland, meanwhile, is the first City player to score a brace away to Spurs in the Premier League since Edin Dzeko in August 2011.

Yet for the efforts of the attackers, it was Ortega who came up huge with those massive stops, with that save from Son likely to go down in City folklore.

Spurs’ defensive woes continue

City only managed two shots in the opening 45 minutes – only against Aston Villa in December (two) have they had as few shots in the first half of a Premier League game this season.

Yet the hosts eventually came undone, meaning Ange Postecoglou’s team have conceded in each of their last 10 games in the Premier League, their longest run without a clean sheet in the competition since September-December 2019 (also 10).

After failing to secure the three points needed, Tottenham are now unable to catch Villa in fourth place, meaning Unai Emery’s team clinch the final Champions League spot.

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SoccerNews

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