Sports

EPL: Foden fires Manchester City back to top

EPL: Foden fires Manchester City back to top
Phil Foden struck the decisive blow as Manchester City returned to winning ways against Tottenham to boost title prospects.
London, Apr 20 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 4/20/2019 12:41:40 PM IST

Phil Foden scored his first Premier League goal as Manchester City beat Champions League conquerors Tottenham 1-0 to return to the top of the table.

Four days on from their dramatic quarter-final exit at the hands of Spurs, Foden’s fifth-minute header sealed a priceless victory for Pep Guardiola’s side on an incredibly tense afternoon at the Etihad Stadium.

Heung-Min Son spurned four first-half chances as Spurs threatened to haunt City again, while a handball from Kyle Walker went unpunished midway through the second half.

But City held on for the victory that them a point clear of title-rivals Liverpool, while Spurs remain third, a point clear of Arsenal having played a game more.

Just as they did in Wednesday’s Champions League clash, City made a flying start as Bernardo Silva’s in-swinging cross from the right was selflessly headed across goal by Sergio Aguero, and Foden had the simple task of nodding the hosts ahead inside five minutes.

The City youngster, making only his second Premier League start, celebrated passionately in front of the travelling Spurs fans, the outpouring of emotion a visible sign of the anguish still present among Guardiola’s side after their European exit.

But that emotion looked set to undermine City as Spurs wasted a host of chances to draw level before the break. Christian Eriksen was thwarted by the feet of Ederson on 14 minutes before the Denmark international turned provider, releasing Son, who was denied by a brilliant Aymeric Laporte challenge.

Bernardo Silva had appeals for a penalty turned down on 20 minutes after tangling with Jan Vertonghen, but referee Michael Oliver was unmoved. City then suffered a further as Kevin De Bruyne was forced off seven minutes before the interval with a leg injury.

Spurs looked to capitalise on the heightened levels of anxiety inside the Etihad following De Bruyne’s departure, but Ederson ensured the champions reached half-time ahead, racing off his line to deny Son after the South Korean charged from his own half into the City area.

City had two further penalty appeals waved away early in the second half as referee Oliver chose not to penalise Toby Alderweireld’s handball and Juan Foyth’s barge on Foden.

But Spurs had the stronger claims as Walker’s clear handball, preventing a long ball from releasing Dele Alli through on goal, and Son’s flick, which appeared to strike John Stones’ arm, went unpunished.

Raheem Sterling looked to set to exorcise some demons after his midweek VAR heartache with City’s second goal on 71 minutes, but his sweeping shot from Leroy Sane’s cutback was turned behind by the outstretched leg of Paulo Gazzaniga on 71 minutes.

Ederson then prevented Lucas Moura from hauling Spurs level after he latched onto Alderweireld’s long pass, generating unbearable levels of anxiety among the home faithful, but the champions stood firm to return to the summit. City face United in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Match results

Huddersfield 1 – 2 Watford

West Ham 2 – 2 Leicester 

Bournemouth 0 – 1 Fulham

Wolves 0 – 0 Brighton

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