It was a frantic, six-goal thriller only a fortnight ago between Tottenham and Manchester City at the Etihad, with Pep Guardiola’s men battling from 0-2 down at half-time to win 4-2 on the night and dispel immediate doubts about their capabilities of defending their Premier League title.
Indeed, the die has been cast in the race for Premier League supremacy, with Arsenal throwing down a serious gauntlet at the halfway stage and threatening to usurp City. Guardiola’s men are only five points behind and still have to face Arsenal twice, but the Gunners do boast a game in hand on the reigning champions.
For Spurs, their hopes of retaining a place in the Champions League positions are in serious jeopardy. Antonio Conte recently arrested a two-game winless run with a 1-0 triumph over Fulham last time out, but defeat on Sunday could see the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Man Utd widen to six points (nine if the Red Devils win their game in hand).
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Tottenham vs Man City match stats
Erling Haaland scored goal No. 22 against Spurs at the Etihad last month, and then proceeded to claim the match ball versus Wolves in a 3-0 win. That hat-trick brought the Norwegian’s tally up to 25 for the season in the Premier League, in just 19 games! Quite incredibly, only two players have ever scored more during their debut Premier League campaigns: Andrew Cole (34 in 1993/94) and Kevin Phillips (30 in 1999/00). Haaland is on track to smash both of those hauls.
Guardiola would have been delighted with his side’s second-half salvo against Spurs a couple of weeks ago, but, ever the perfectionist, the two goals conceded just before half-time would have stung. We often associate City with their fluid attacking play and insatiable desire for goals, but defensively they have been unequalled under Guardiola since he pitched up. In fact, no club has kept more clean sheets than City (115) in the Premier League since Guardiola joined at the start of 2016/17.
19 Jan 2023 – Man City 4-2 Tottenham – Premier League
19 Feb 2022 – Man City 2-3 Tottenham – Premier League
15 Aug 2021 – Tottenham 1-0 Man City – Premier League
25 Apr 2021 – Tottenham 0-1 Man City – League Cup Final
13 Feb 2021 – Man City 3-0 Tottenham – Premier League
Incredibly, Guardiola has lost all four of his visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium across all competitions, making it the stadium he has contested at the most without ever claiming a win in his managerial career. During his last visit on the opening day of 2021/22, Nuno Espirito Santo claimed a rare win with Son Heung-min scoring the decisive goal.
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