Manchester City 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur (14 May 2024) Match Analysis

Erling Haaland’s brace put Manchester City on the verge of an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 away on Tuesday.

The Norwegian scored his side’s opener early in the second half and calmed City’s nerves in stoppage time when he slotted home a penalty for his 27th league goal of the season.

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City failed to pick up a point or score a goal in their first four league visits to Tottenham’s new stadium, but ended that run in good time, much to the delight of their supporters.

Pep Guardiola’s City have 88 points to Arsenal’s 86 and will be guaranteed to make history if they beat West Ham United at home on Sunday on the final day of the Premier League season when Arsenal host Everton.

It was far from a landmark performance for City and they almost conceded an equalizer to Son Heung-Min late on, just before Haaland ensured he kept his destiny in his own hands.

“Today was incredible, the character. We know it wasn’t the best game, but we have to talk about the substitutions,” said City midfielder Rodri. “Stefan Ortega was just incredible and we have the best goalkeeper in the world.

“We know it’s not over yet. We need the people behind us.”

The defeat ended Tottenham’s faint hopes of finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League, although it was a result welcomed by some sections of their fans who were not keen to see their team handed a gift huge for archrival Arsenal’s title.

Manchester City players celebrate after scoring a goal against Tottenham in the Premier League.
Manchester City players celebrate after scoring a goal against Tottenham in the Premier League.

The result also earned Aston Villa a first Champions League spot since playing in the European Cup in 1982-83.

Some Tottenham supporters even indulged in Poznan, which is a trademark of City fans, as chants of “You’re watching, Arsenal” echoed around the stadium in the closing stages.

City are now unbeaten in 22 league games and have again shown they are the masters in chasing a title chase.

However, they were strangely lethargic in the first half and had an early scare when Éderson, who was later forced off after a header, had to tip Rodrigo Bentancur’s rising drive over the bar.

City were locked in second gear and their best chance before the break came thanks to a terrible clearance from Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who fell in front of Phil Foden, but his volley was superbly saved by Guglielmo Vicar.

Such was the tepid nature of the first half that for the first time this season in the Premier League no time was added at the end of the first half.

City may have begun to fear that their Tottenham curse had struck again when Kevin De Bruyne’s shot was superbly saved by Vicario just after the break, but they were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief shortly after time after that.

De Bruyne was right on the pitch when he was played down the right and his low pass was met by Haaland.

City looked nervous though and their hearts were in their mouths as the clock ticked down as Son picked up a mistake and raced through with only Ortega to beat, but the substitute keeper saved superbly.

And when Jérémy Doku was fouled by Pedro Porro and Haaland kicked the penalty, the away fans could finally relax as a sixth title in seven years loomed large.

“We have to win one more game to win the title,” Guardiola said. “Ortega saved us, otherwise Arsenal would be champions”.