City close on Premier League title with Haaland's brace over Spurs

yesterday
Spurs

Erling Haaland's double propelled Manchester City to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, moving them within one win of a historic fourth consecutive Premier League title.

The defending champions head into the final round of games on Sunday with a two-point lead over second-place Arsenal.

City will face West Ham at home in their last league game, while Arsenal host Everton.

"The tennis players say ‘the serve to win Wimbledon,’ the last game, is the most difficult one," said City manager Pep Guardiola. "We know what we’re playing for. The tension is there, and the rival is so good. It’s why it is difficult, we know that."

Haaland broke the deadlock in the 51st minute at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, converting Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from close range.

He struck his second from the penalty spot in the first minute of stoppage time after Pedro Porro had brought down Jeremy Doku.

The victory means City is in control of its own fate in the race for the title, despite being pushed right to the wire by Arsenal.

Guardiola is now within touching distance of a sixth league championship in seven seasons.

No other English team has managed to win four top-flight titles in a row, while City is also looking to secure back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles.

Going into Tuesday’s game one point behind Arsenal, Guardiola had warned his players that anything other than maximum points would bring an end to their dominance of England’s top division. That only increased the pressure on his team, which was also looking to end a four-game losing run in the league at Spurs.

And the occasion appeared to get to City’s players in a nervous first half.

"They were playing for the consequences of the result. When you do that you are going to lose the Premier League,” Guardiola said. "They are human beings, I understand the pressure.”

Haaland’s goal six minutes into the second half eased the tension. But while his goals were decisive, City had to rely on substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega to keep Spurs at bay as the home team pushed for an equalizer.

Coming on in the 69th minute after Ederson had sustained a head injury in a collision with Cristian Romero, Ortega quickly had to block a close-range effort from Dejan Kulusevski.

Later, he produced another save to deny the Spurs forward, but Ortega’s finest moment came in the 86th minute when Son Heung-min raced through on goal.

With only the keeper to beat, Son looked certain to score as he fired low toward the corner. A draw would have put Arsenal in the driver’s seat for the title heading into Sunday’s season finale – but Son could only watch as Ortega shot out a leg to deflect the ball.

Guardiola, watching on, had his head in his hands before falling to the ground in relief.

Shortly after, Doku lured Porro into a lunge in the Spurs box, and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot.

Haaland put the game beyond doubt by blasting his shot into the top corner for his second of the match and 38th of the season.

City’s win also meant Aston Villa secured fourth place and qualification for next season’s Champions League ahead of Tottenham in fifth.

Read more
Similar news
This week's most popular news