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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Etihad Stadium

Tenacious Spurs do Ange proud as they defy the odds to grab superb draw at the Etihad

Manchester City (2) 3 Son og 9, Foden 31, Grealish 81

Tottenham (1) 3 Son 6, Lo Celso 69, Kulusevski 90

They came with another much-depleted XI but Spurs stayed true to their adventurous nature as they plundered an unlikely point in a thriller at the Etihad.

In a game of twists and turns, it looked for all the world as though they had been undone by a late Jack Grealish goal, but with the clock in the red, Dejan Kulusevaki reached up above Nathan Ake to head home a cross from Brennan Johnson via the underside of the bar.

It was reward for playing their part to the full in a pulsating encounter in which they simply refused to succumb to a fourth league defeat in a row.

Ange Postecoglou was famously recommended for the Celtic job by Pep Guardiola, based on a pre-season match in Yokahama a few years ago when the Aussie impressed in charge of the Japanese hosts with his determination to cause problems for any opposition - no matter their reputation - with the high-octane press that characterises the current Spurs.

Missing so many of his key players, Tottenham's boss would have been forgiven if he had reined in his aggressive instincts a little, but he wants this way of playing to become ingrained in his squad. We have already seen that approach come unstuck but we are being entertained.

Something about the Etihad seems to galvanise Spurs - even when they arrive largely unfancied - and in their very first breakaway they stole ahead.

Kulusevski picked up possession and launched a long ball diagonally to the right. Heung-Min Son was too quick for Jeremy Doku and raced on after nodding forwards before beating Ederson with a low drive.

But no sooner had the Korean lifted the hopes of the travelling supporters than he punctured the mood by deflecting a Julian Alvarez free-kick into his own net past Guglielmo Vicario.

Spurs were soon looking all at sea at the back and they were lucky Erling Haaland passed up a gift from a Bernardo Silva cutback - screwing wide with the goal at his mercy.

Then Doku rattled the angle of crossbar and post after cutting inside Pedro Porro after another of those bewitching sky blue transitions.

A second goal was not long in coming. Haaland, Doku and Julian Alvarez combined at pace to carve Spurs open and Phil Foden applied the coup de grace.

And they kept coming. Alvarez went outside Ben Davies before sending another shot across Vicario and onto the far post and Haaland skied over from another opening.

There was more of the same after the break, with a superb one-handed save from Vicario keeping out a sumptuous Silva strike, but the departure of Doku with what must have been a slight knock afforded Spurs some respite.

And they made the most of those reprieves when Giovani Lo Celso took delivery of a lay off from Son and was able to turn, advance and shoot low past Ederson with a sweet curling shot in front of the delighted away section of fans.

It was his second goal on successive weekends and he wasn't too far away from scoring again with a shot deflected behind.

Rodri clipped the top of the bar as City poured forward in search of a winner and it seemed to have come when the Spaniard won the ball after some crowding of Emerson Royal for a turnover just outside the area.

The ball was laid wide to Haaland and the Norwegian's square ball was put away by Grealish, who had come on for Doku.

Incredibly, there was more to come. Not least in the final moments when ref Simon Hooper denied City an advantage when Grealish was clean through.

Spurs were delighted to welcome back Yves Bissouma, but they will be even happier that Cristian Romero is returning, with testing home games against West Ham and Newcastle to come this week.

Citizens: (3-2-4-1) Ederson - Walker, Ruben Dias, Gvardiol (Kovacic 89) - Rodri, Akanji - Foden (Lewis 73), Alvarez (Ake 89), Bernardo Silva, Doku (Grealish 52) - Haaland

Spurs (4-2-3-1) Vicario - Porro, Emerson Royal, Davies, Udogie - Bissouma (Richarlison 89), Lo Celso (Skipp 79) - Johnson, Kulusevski, Gil (Hojbjerg h/t) - Son


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