Dubai: With his team top of the English Premier League, Jose Mourinho showed the old dog still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Tottenham Hotspur somehow defeated Manchester City 2-0 in London on Saturday night, taking everything Pep Guardiola’s side threw at them and emerging victorious, staggering with arms aloft like Sylvester Stallone at the end of a Rocky film. The stats were staggering too: Spurs faced 22 shots, 10 corners and City had 66 per cent possession, yet Mourinho’s defensive stalwarts held firm to take the three points that have now placed them as one of the favourites for the Premier League title.
Jose Mourinho’s Spurs, unbeaten in their last eight games, have 20 points from nine matches while Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are on 18 points after their 2-0 win at Newcastle.
- As it happened: English Premier League returns - Chelsea go top of the table
- Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola signs contract extension with Premier League club
- Tottenham face Premier League title test, wounded Liverpool host leaders Leicester
- Newcastle confirm legal action against Premier League after failed Saudi takeover
Third-placed Leicester City (18 points) are at fourth-placed Liverpool (17 points) on Sunday and would go back to the top with a win at Anfield.
Pep Guardiola’s City slipped to 11th with United’s victory moving them above their local rivals to ninth.
Spurs now fully look like a Mourinho team, solid at the back, hard-working in midfield and deadly on the break and that was enough to beat a City team who have managed just 10 goals in nine games.
Son Heung-min’s prolific form continued, the South Korean opening the scoring in the fifth minute with his ninth goal of the season.
A beautifully weighted pass from Tanguy Ndombele picked out Son’s perfectly timed run and the striker kept his cool to slip the ball through the legs of the advancing Ederson.
Harry Kane for Spurs and Aymeric Laporte for City both had goals disallowed before substitute Giovani lo Celso settled the match just 35 seconds after coming off the bench.
While Mourinho will have been delighted to have put one over on Guardiola, who he jousted with during his time in Spain when he coached Real Madrid and his rival was in charge of Barcelona, he wasn’t getting carried away by the table.
“We are not fighting for the title, we are just fighting to win every match,” said the Portuguese coach.
At St James’ Park an own goal by Federico Fernandez and Tammy Abrahams second-half effort secured a third straight win for Chelsea.
The Blues took the lead in the 10th minute when Fernandez, under pressure from Ben Chilwell, turned in Mason Mount’s cross.
Isaac Hayden wasted a great chance to equalise on the hour but Timo Werner burst through on goal before passing to Abraham to double Chelseas lead.
“We put the game away with a professional performance,” Lampard said. “The result is key because the Premier League is tough and relentless.”
A twice-taken penalty from Bruno Fernandes gave United a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, their first Premier League win at Old Trafford this season.
Fernandes’ first effort was saved by West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone but the referee ordered the kick be retaken after ruling the keeper had come off his line and the Portuguese midfielder made no mistake with the second attempt.
Winless West Brom’s frustration was doubled by the fact that the penalty came eight minutes after they had a spot-kick award overturned after review.
Brighton won at Aston Villa for the first time with an enthralling 2-1 victory.
Solly March grabbed the winner with a lovely finish after Ezri Konsas equaliser had cancelled out Danny Welbeck’s first goal for Brighton, a clever chip.
There was late drama, however, when Brighton full back Tariq Lamptey was sent off for a second yellow card in stoppage time and Villa had a penalty overturned after the referee rescinded his decision having viewed the monitor.