Sporting Life · Columnist
Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tottenham at Wembley.
A clearly emotional former Leicester star Mahrez scored after just six minutes and City’s stout defence this season held firm to complete what is a fourth win at Wembley Stadium this year.
Pep Guardiola’s side had some great chances to add another, but Spurs had their chances too with Harry Kane going close twice in the first half and Erik Lamela wasting a golden opportunity late in the game when firing over from 12 yards.
The much-maligned playing surface at Wembley had little effect on proceedings, although Lamela may claim otherwise, as City claimed three points they probably deserved on balance to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.
It was Tottenham’s first return to Wembley since the announcement that they would be staying there until at least January and they suffered a first loss in five games.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino will point to that glaring miss by Lamela in the final 10 minutes but in truth they never really had the cutting edge to hurt City, who posted a sixth successive clean sheet.
The visitors needed only six minutes to prove playing on the surface was not going to be a problem as they raced into the lead with a goal that seemed far too easy.
Kieran Trippier failed to deal with a long ball, which Sterling raced on to before skinning his England team-mate and laying it on a plate for Mahrez to tuck home from close range.
It was his fourth league goal of the season and was a fitting tribute to his former chairman at Leicester Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who tragically died in a helicopter crash on Saturday night.
Spurs v Man City Opta stats
- Manchester City became the first non-London side to win five consecutive Premier League games in the capital, with all wins coming in 2018 (against Arsenal twice, Spurs twice and West Ham).
- Two of Tottenham Hotspur’s four Premier League defeats at Wembley have been at the hands of Manchester City.
- Manchester City have conceded just three goals in their first 10 Premier League games this season – in top-flight history, only one team have conceded fewer in their first 10 games of a season (Chelsea in 2004-05, two conceded).
- Spurs have lost two home Premier League matches in a calendar year against a single opponent for the first time since 2005, when they lost twice against Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
- Man City winger Riyad Mahrez has been involved in five goals in his last three Premier League appearances against Tottenham Hotspur (3 goals, 2 assists).
- Man City’s Raheem Sterling made his 200th Premier League appearance, aged 23 years and 325 days – only four players have reached the figure at a younger age (Wayne Rooney, James Milner, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Barry).
- Since the start of last season, only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (50) and Spurs striker Harry Kane (38) have been involved in more Premier League goals than Man City’s Raheem Sterling (36 – 22 goals, 14 assists).
- Manchester City remain unbeaten in the Premier League when Aymeric Laporte has featured (P19 W17 D2 L0) – the Spaniard has played more Premier League games without losing than any other player in the history of the competition.
- Ederson has kept a clean sheet in each of his last six Premier League starts for Man City – he’s the first goalkeeper to achieve this feat since Thibaut Courtois in November 2016 for Chelsea.