Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg
Tottenham 1 Manchester City 0
Spurs have given themselves an outstanding chance of reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time after edging out Man City at their gleaming new stadium.
Heung-Min Son – the man who scored the first Spurs goal in the magnificent new edifice last week against Crystal Palace - was again the man of the hour, turning back from the byline on 77 minutes and rounding Fabian Delph before rifling left-footed past Ederson.
The omens had not looked too good when Harry Kane hobbled off after 58 minutes, having rolled an ankle after a touchline tussle with Delph. It seems likely that their talismanic striker will be missing for next Wednesday's return match at the Etihad Stadium.
But Spurs will feel they can cope without him if needs be, having snatched victory without him.Lucas Moura does not have the swaggering presence of Kane, or eye for a telling pass, but his pace helped unsettle the City defence at times, even though this was a game where clear-cut chances mostly failed to materialise.
Premier League leaders City - on the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple - had the lion's share of possession, as is the norm. But they were strangely diffident - as if cowed by the unfamiliar surroundings which clearly galvanised the home side.
They don’t do defeats. But this is one which will hurt and may test even their reserves of talent and strength when the teams reconvene next week in Manchester.
City had the perfect opportunity to calm their nerves after 13 minutes when Raheem Sterling's dribble into the box ended with a shot which struck the raised arm of a prone Danny Rose. There was no big appeal from City players but a VAR review decided it should be a penalty. Dutch ref Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot.
It proved no use to City as Hugo Lloris, criticised of late for some costly mistakes, dived to his left to keep out Sergio Aguero’s spot kick. On such moments can big games turn. Without that cushion of an away goal, even Man City look vulnerable now.
The match was sprinkled with a few half-chances – Dele Alli volleying just over in the first half and Son curling just wide before his decisive strike. But in truth, this was not a game which would have stirred a neutral observer.
Tottenham wisely opted against a gung-ho approach and Pep Guardiola did not make any substitutions of note until the 90 minutes were almost up. In the battle of the managers, round one defeintely belonged to Mauricio Pochettino, who extracted the necessary energy and determination from his troops which puts them in touching distance of making club history.
It should be quite a nervy build-up.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris – Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose – Sissoko, Winks (Wanyama 81) – Alli (Llorente 86), Eriksen, Son – Kane (Lucas Moura 58). Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Foyth, Davies.