Tottenham 2 Man City 0
A stunning goal from debutant Steven Bergwijn, moments after Man City had been reduced to 10 men, steered Spurs to their best win so far under Jose Mourinho.
In a drama-filled match, Hugo Lloris’ first-half penalty save kept Spurs afloat in a game where they were barely treading water.
But that moment, followed by the dismissal of Oleksandr Zinchenko on the hour, paved the way for a win which defied City’s dominance with the ball.
Dutch winger Bergwijn, signed this week from PSV Eindhoven for £27m, was already giving a good account of himself when he struck in the 63rd minute. He had become an instant hit with home fans for a crunching tackle on former Spurs defender Kyle Walker.
The 22-year-old was on the edge of the area when he took delivery of Lucas Moura’s pass on his chest before thumping the ball into the corner on the volley as the ball dropped to his feet.
No wonder he wheeled away in wild celebration. A goal in front of the massed ranks of the vertiginous South Stand will have felt sweet.
Seven Minutes later, and it was all over as Hueng-Min Son drove inside Ederson’s right hand to double the lead – the assist coming from Tanguy Ndombele, who had just come off the bench. A slight deflection of Fernandinho helped too,
Just like last season in the Champions League quarter-final, City’s woe from the penalty spot proved costly.
Then, Sergio Aguero’s miss meant a 1-0 defeat to Spurs in the first leg of that incredible tie, which the north Londoners went on to win in such dramatic fashion at the Etihad stadium.
This year’s fall guy was Ilkay Gundogan and his failure from the spot was surrounded by controversy. Referee Mike Dean saw nothing wrong with a tackle by Serge Aurier on Aguero, but VAR intervened by recalling the play after a gap of several minutes. Cue pandemonium.
Gundogan was entrusted with the spot-kick this time, but Lloris dived to his left to palm the ball away and then had a heart-stopping moment when Raheem Sterling fell to the ground as the pair surged towards the rebound.
Another VAR check confirmed no foul by the Tottenham keeper and no second penalty. Mourinho screamed for what would have been a second yellow card for Sterling, who Spurs players accused of diving.
It began to feel like it was going to be one of those days for the visitors who began the second half by squandering an excellent chance following a mix-up between Lloris and Japhet Tanganga.
Aguero could not capitalise. His shot was blocked by Toby Alderweireld, before Sterling - now being routinely booed by home fans for his first half felonies which also included planting studs into Dele Alli's ankle – slid a heavy pass across the face of an unguarded goal for a stretching Gundogan to put over the bar.
And it really began to look like being Spurs’ day on the hour when Zinchenko was sent off for a shoulder charge on Harry Winks in a Tottenham counter-attack.
The Ukrainian had been booked during a first half melee when players squared up in the moments after Lloris’ penalty save.
The spot-kick block was not the only vital contribution from Tottenham’s French keeper. In the first half, he stretched out a leg to get a vital touch to a goalbound Aguero shot, deflecting it onto the inside of the post.
It was a portent of how things would go for Mourinho’s men, who have given themselves renewed hope of finishing in that top four. They are now just four points behind Chelsea, who they meet later this month.
For reigning champions City, Liverpool appear to be over the hill and far away. The gap between the two sides an extraordinary 22 points.
Line up: Lloris – Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga – Son, Lo Celso, Winks, Bergwijn (Lamela 70) – Alli (Ndombele 70) – Moura (Dier 84). Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Vertonghen, Sessegnon, Fernandes