London: Steven Bergwijn’s debut goal helped Tottenham to a remarkable 2-0 win over 10-man Manchester City on Sunday to breathe new life into their challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho’s men had been completely outplayed for the first hour, but were kept in the game by City’s profligacy and Hugo Lloris’s first-half penalty save from Ilkay Gundogan.
However, Oleksandr Zinchenko’s sending off changed the course of the game as Spurs scored with their first two shots on goal through Bergwijn and Son Heung-min.
Victory lifts Spurs up to fifth, just four points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
A sixth league defeat of the season for City sees Liverpool remain 22 points clear at the top and within touching distance of their first league title for 30 years.
This was arguably the least anticipated of Mourinho and Pep Guardiola’s 23 meetings as opposing managers, but it resorted to type as the Portuguese set up Spurs to defend deep, while City monopolised possession.
The visitors could have been out of sight by half-time as in a recurring theme of their season, the champions were wasteful in front of goal.
However, Tottenham also felt City were lucky not to be down to 10 men earlier when Raheem Sterling caught England international teammate Dele Alli with his studs.
Lloris was making just his third appearance since returning from a long-term layoff due to a dislocated elbow, but the French No. 1 was back to his best to keep his side level at half-time.
Lloris turned Sergio Aguero’s low shot onto the post before the Argentine was chopped down in the area by Serge Aurier.
Referee Mike Dean initially waved play on, but with no break in play for a few minutes he eventually stopped the game after being told to give a penalty by VAR.
City’s dreadful run from the spot continued as Gundogan joined Gabriel Jesus and Sterling in failing to convert in recent weeks as his low effort was parried by Lloris.
Sterling then pounced on the rebound and went down over Lloris, but no second penalty was awarded and Sterling also escaped the possibility of a second booking for diving.
The chances continued to come for City as Aguero fired into the side-netting from point-blank range just before the break.
Gundogan was the guilty party again minutes into the second period after a calamity of errors.
Lloris collided with Japhet Tanganga, Aguero’s effort was cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld and when Sterling squared to Gundogan rather than go for goal himself, the German spooned the ball over.
However, the game was decided in three minutes just after the hour mark.
Zinchenko was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Harry Winks as Tottenham launched a counter-attack.
At that point City had 14 shots on goal to Tottenham’s none, but they only needed one.
Bergwijn, signed earlier this week from PSV Eindhoven, capped a dream debut as he chested down Lucas Moura’s pass and volleyed past Ederson.
Eight minutes later, Spurs were out of sight when Son, who scored three times in a famous Champions League quarter-final win over City last season, was the scourge of City again with a fine low finish from Tanguy Ndombele’s pass.
City’s failings at both ends of the field leaves Guardiola with plenty of problems to solve just weeks away from his side’s Champions League last-16 clash with Real Madrid.
And there was more concern for Guardiola ahead of that tie as Sterling hobbled off with a muscle injury five minutes from time.
Arsenal held by Burnley
In an earlier match of the day, Arsenal lost more ground in the race to finish in the Premier League’s top four after being held to a 0-0 draw at Burnley.
Mikel Arteta’s side are trailing 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and look certain to fall well short of the Champions League places.
It was another frustrating afternoon for Arteta, who saw his team squander several chances to take the lead in a match they could easily have lost with better finishing from Burnley.
Arsenal are without a win in their last four league games, having drawn all four of them, and Arteta has won just once in seven league matches since replacing the sacked Unai Emery.
Arteta can point to only one defeat in that period and there is no doubt Arsenal are more competitive than they were under Emery.