Football Features

Man City 3-3 Tottenham player ratings: Kulusevski scores huge goal in the Premier League title race

By Squawka News

Man City 3-3 Tottenham Player ratings: Kulusevski scores huge goal in the Premier League title race

Published: 18:39, 3 December 2023

Manchester City lost ground in the Premier League title race as they drew 3-3 with Tottenham on Sunday evening. 

In a back-and-forth encounter, it was Spurs who opened the scoring after just six minutes thanks to a Son Heung-min breakaway goal. However, the South Korean was unfortunate enough to score an own goal and level proceedings just three minutes later.

Though Spurs always carried a threat on the counter, they often played themselves into trouble and were punished when Phil Foden put City ahead just after the half-hour mark. But the Lilywhites wouldn’t lie down and levelled midway into the second half thanks to Giovani Lo Celso’s fine effort from the edge of the box.

City pounced on some lethargic Yves Bissouma play to score a third in the 81st minute, Jack Grealish sweeping home an Erling Haaland pass, and that looked to be enough. However, it was Dejan Kulusevski who had the final say, heading a delicious Brennan Johnson cross beyond Ederson as the game moved into added time.

There was even time for some refereeing drama as Simon Hooper played advantage for a foul on Haaland, only to bizarrely blow the whistle and bring play back as Grealish ran in on goal, despite there being no flag for offside.

The draw means City now sit behind both Arsenal and Liverpool in the title race. However, from the Gunners at the top to Manchester United in seventh, there is only a nine-point gap — Spurs, of course, occupying fifth place.

Here are the full player ratings from a memorable clash at the Etihad:

Manchester City

Ederson – 3 – Will be fuming with himself for allowing Son’s opener to slip underneath him. There will be those who will argue he could have done better with Lo Celso’s equaliser, too, but that would be a little harsh.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Showed great recovery pace time and again to shut down Tottenham counter-attacks. Declared the best right-back in Premier League history by Sky Sports co-commentators Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

Manuel Akanji – 6 – Tidy enough with the ball but doesn’t look as comfortable in that hybrid midfield role as John Stones.

Ruben Dias – 5 – Stood too far off Lo Celso for the first equaliser and looked a little exposed on a couple of Spurs breaks.

Josko Gvardiol – 5 – Was made to look in his mid-40s in a few foot races with Brennan Johnson, which is quite the achievement because as defenders go, Gvardiol is no slouch.

Rodri – 6 – Neat and tidy on the ball as usual but didn’t quite offer the same defensive cover for those behind him. Got himself booked and will now miss the tough clash with Aston Villa next week.

Bernardo Silva – 8 – Another electric performance from a player enjoying one of his best seasons to date. Created three chances and popped up in dangerous areas throughout. Tested Vicario with a wicked shot in the second half.

Jeremy Doku – 7 – Forced off with injury early into the second half but looked electric before that. Very unlucky not to score on the half-hour mark as he rattled the crossbar and post with the same shot. Didn’t cope well with Son for the opening goal but then, that’s not really his job.

Julian Alvarez – 9 – Created a match-high seven chances and while those around him often looked a little complacent, the Argentine kept on taking the game to Tottenham and trying to make things happen.

Phil Foden – 8 – Great movement to find himself in space to put City 2-1 up and was lively for about an hour before seeming to hit a wall physically.

Erling Haaland – 6 – An unusually quiet performance by Haaland’s standards in which he missed a couple of very decent chances. Still managed an assist for Grealish’s goal.

Substitutes:

Jack Grealish (for Doku, 52′) – 7 – Thought he’d won it near the end with City’s third goal. Great impact from the bench but will miss City’s match against his former club after getting booked for kicking the ball away.

Rico Lewis (for Foden, 73′) – 7 – Another bright, creative performance from the rapidly developing Lewis.

Nathan Ake (for Gvardiol, 87′) – 1 – Brought on late and was beaten in the air by Kulusevski for the equaliser.

Mateo Kovacic (for Alvarez, 87′) – N/A – A late sub.

Tottenham Hotspur

Guglielmo Vicario – 6 – Made a couple of great saves to keep Tottenham in the game but often landed his side in trouble with his passing.

Pedro Porro – 6 – Restricted in an attacking sense thanks to the bamboozling movements of the City forward line.

Emerson Royal – 4 – Another Spurs player to needlessly give the ball away throughout, Emerson Royal proved here that he is not a centre-back.

Ben Davies – 5 – Was targeted by City’s speedsters a few times and looked uncomfortable one-on-one, but still managed to make a few important interventions, including kick-starting the move for Spurs’ second goal.

Destiny Udogie – 4 – Couldn’t cope with the dynamism of Doku and was then dragged out of position once Grealish came on.

Yves Bissouma – 2 – Dreadful. Caught on the ball for City’s third and that wasn’t the first time he put his teammates in trouble.

Giovani Lo Celso – 8 – A beautiful finish to level the game in the 69th minute and looked lively throughout. Two of Lo Celso’s three Premier League goals have come against City.

Brennan Johnson – 8 – Gave Spurs a great outlet on the break with his pace and picked out Kulusevski with a delicious cross for the late equaliser.

Dejan Kulusevski – 9 – Set up Son for the opening goal and then found the late equaliser with a glorious header.

Bryan Gil – 4 – Had a couple of bright moments but was far too often indecisive with his final ball, giving up possession on several occasions.

Son Heung-min – 8 – How do you rate a player who scores two goals in the opening 10 minutes, but only one in the right net? Son can’t be blamed too much for putting the ball beyond his own goalkeeper and in reality, he carried the biggest threat for Spurs once again. Needed more composure from those around him to pick him out.

Substitutes: 

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (for Gil, 46′) – 7 – Got through some good defensive work in the second half.

Oliver Skipp (for Lo Celso, 78′) – 6 – Helped keep up the tempo for Spurs.

Richarlison (for Bissouma, 87′) – N/A – Only touched the ball twice.

Jamie Donley (for Johnson, 90+6′) – N/A – Brought on in the final moments.

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