Football Features

Erling Haaland bags brace vs Spurs to put Man City on brink of historic Premier League title win

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:13, 14 May 2024

Erling Haaland scored twice to help Manchester City move two points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

The first half was cagey and goalless but Haaland was able to score at either end of the second 45 minutes to secure the win.

It means Man City are in firm control of the title race ahead of the final day, chasing a historic fourth-consecutive Premier League title.

Here’s how the players rated at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Tottenham

Guglielmo Vicario – 8 – Man City didn’t test Vicario too much but he was well-matched for practically everything thrown at him. Produced a couple of excellent saves including a one-handed one to deny Foden in the first half.

Pedro Porro – 7 – Looked strong defensively, keeping his flank on lock for 89 minutes. But then he bought what Doku was selling inside the box, bringing the Belgian down for a late penalty.

Cristian Romero – 6 – He helped keep Haaland quiet in the first half, but he played his role in the key moment. First, Romero was weak in a challenge in the middle of the pitch and then he was caught watching the ball in the box, allowing Haaland space behind him to score.

Radu Dragusin – 8 – The stronger of the two centre-backs, he stopped Haaland getting a shot away in the first half with a good tackle and then blocked Bernardo Silva’s goalbound shot — though it was offside anyway. Key to Tottenham trying to build from the back, with 67 passes completed.

Micky van de Ven – 5 – In the first half he was a problem at left back, with his instinct bringing him narrow. This allowed Walker a lot of space on the flank. Van de Ven also let De Bruyne run in behind him for Man City’s goal.

Rodrigo Bentancur – 6 – He covered well defensively in the first half and had a lot of fight, as shown by a late, hard tackle on Foden. Tested Ederson with a shot from the edge of the box in the first half but was taken off just after Tottenham went behind.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 7 – Tried to be the playmaker from deep with long balls over the top and that did work. However, being closer to his own goal caused Tottenham some problems. It was his miskick that presented Foden with his opportunity in the first half. Had 103 touches before coming off, more than any other player for either side.

Pape Sarr – 7 – Was the midfielder to push further up the pitch, getting involved in the attack and contributing with a few good runs.

Brennan Johnson – 7 – The Welshman was in an interesting battle against Gvardiol and he had some chances, though just missed that killer final ball. It was his pressure on Akanji that forced the Swiss defender into an error.

Son Heung-min – 5 – He was quiet in the first half but always a threat, especially when Walker was pushing high up the pitch. Had a good opportunity at the start of the second half but he was denied by Ederson. Did only complete one of his five attempted take-ons and then there was that chance. Some Arsenal fans may have been already celebrating as he raced through one-on-one, but he lost the battle of the minds with Ortega.

James Maddison – 7 – The man trying to pull the strings, Maddison created four chances for Tottenham despite still looking slightly off his best. Man City knew he was the danger man and marked him accordingly.

Substitutes:

Dejan Kulusevski (for Bentancur 55) – 8 – Breathed new life into the Tottenham midfield and was involved in most of their attacks after coming on.

Giovani Lo Celso (for Sarr 85) – N/A – A late sub.

Oliver Skipp (for Hojbjerg 85) – N/A – A late sub.

Mikey Moore (for Maddison 90) – N/A – Became Tottenham’s youngest-ever player in Premier League history.


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Manchester City

Ederson – 6 – Produced a good save to deny Bentancur in the first half and also stopped Son in the second. Had to come off after taking a big knock from Romero with Man City not wanting to risk anything.

Kyle Walker – 8 – Walker was often the man looking to break the Tottenham line, occupying the space left by Van de Ven. He had a few chances in the first half but was more reserved after the break, doing his defensive duties.

Manuel Akanji – 7 – The Swiss defender looked comfortable for most of the game as Tottenham played without a recognised striker. However, he gave up what could have been a title-costing opportunity late on and was fortunate for Ortega saving his blushes.

Ruben Dias – 7 – Dealt well with a couple of balls into the box and misplaced just two of his 59 attempted passes. Like Akanji, he didn’t have too much defending to do as Tottenham missed presence through the middle.

Josko Gvardiol – 8 – He was Man City’s best outfield player in the first half, enjoying his battle with Johnson. Made three interceptions, more than any other Man City player, two clearances and two tackles, as well as six out of six duels won.

Mateo Kovacic – 7 – Kovacic slowed Man City down a bit too much and he wasn’t able to take hold of the game in the first half. But he improved after the break and completed more passes than any other Man City player, keeping them just about on top.

Rodri – 8 – He was Man City’s man trying to bypass the Tottenham midfield with balls over the top to Walker. And when they needed him most he stepped up, with three tackles, one interception, 90 touches and 66 completed passes.

Bernardo Silva – 7 – The Portuguese midfielder wasn’t really at the races in the first half but he did produce a good pass inside to De Bruyne in the build up to Man City’s opener.

Kevin De Bruyne – 7 – The Belgian was in and out of the game in the first half as Man City struggled But he tested Vicario with a good first-time effort in the second half and played the ball well across goal to set up Haaland’s first.

Phil Foden – 7 – Was gifted an opportunity by Hojbjerg in the first half but his volley was saved at close range. Tried to make things work for Man City and was their danger man, with a beautiful pass to Doku in the build up to the penalty.

Erling Haaland – 7 – Haaland was hardly in the game at all with just 24 touches. However, he left with two goals to send Man City top of the table. He was in the right place at the right time — which was no accident — to put Man City ahead and his penalty to secure the three points was emphatic.

Substitutes:

Stefan Ortega (for Ederson 69) – 9 – A lot busier than the man he replaced and he showed that he might be the best back-up goalkeeper in the Premier League. Good save on Kulusevski and then another great one to deny Son late on.

“This man has won Manchester City the league,” Jamie Carragher said on commentary.

Jeremy Doku (for De Bruyne 69) – 7 – Added the fresh legs Man City needed and suckered Porro in for the late penalty.

Julian Alvarez (for Haaland 90) – N/A – A late sub.

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