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Manchester City 4-2 Tottenham: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

A two goal, two assist performance from Riyad Mahrez highlighted a dream comeback win for Manchester City on a night where their title challenge hopes rested in the balance against a Tottenham side desperate to turn the tables on their domestic season

Holding Premier League leaders Manchester City produced a second-half performance befitting their status as champions after a fantastic second-half comeback at the Etihad Stadium in a 4-2 win over Antonio Conte’s frustrated Tottenham.

On a bitterly cold night in Manchester when City was determined to get back on track in the league after consecutive defeats amid questions surrounding star pair Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, Tottenham had their own motivations to get back in the thick of the action among the top-four in the Premier League, with Harry Kane having a double chance at making history in front of goal.

Neither side came out swinging in the opening twenty minutes of play, however, with possession numbers showing a nearly-even split on the ball as both sides looked to spar their way into confidence at the Etihad Stadium.

The first half remained quiet throughout, with sounds of frustration regularly heard emanating from the City fanbase, with an Ederson blunder adding to the angst around the ground when his lapse in concentration saw the Brazilian’s attempt to play out of the back to an unexpected Manuel Akanji whose clearance fell to Dejan Kulusevski for the Swedish international to slot home low past Ederson to give Spurs an unexpected 1-0 lead.

Antonio Conte’s men would double their advantage just one minute later after Harry Kane’s work ethic eventually found the England man free in the box to smash a tight-angle effort at Ederson who parried right to Emerson Royal who would dispatch a looping header into the back of the net to send the away fans end into rapture.

City would punch back early in the second half through none other than Argentine starlet and World Cup winner Julián Álvarez to continue his hot form during the 2022-23 season when the forward pounced on a loose ball to slam home past Hugo Lloris after Riyad Mahrez skinned Ben Davies down the left channel to loft his cross into the area before Lloris’ attempted punch to clear fell for the youngster to cut the deficit in half.

Guardiola’s men completed their own quick-strike comeback just two minutes later when Erling Haaland headed home from close range to level matters all square at two, but now it was City that was in the mood and feeling like their traditional selves, with the holding Premier League champions nearly making it three not long after the Norwegian’s equalizer.

Mahrez was once again the focal point for City when the champions took a 3-2 lead in the 63rd minute after the Algerian winger slotted past Lloris in the wake of turning provider for City’s earlier goals in the half, with Spurs left reeling after seeing their double-advantage at halftime disappear in stunning fashion as Guardiola’s men produced a comeback befitting of their status as the reigning elite side in the Premier League.

City sealed all three points just before the conclusion of normal time with Mahrez bagging a brace in what was a Man of the Match performance after the Algerian burst through on goal to beat the last man back to calmly chip over Lloris to cement City’s magical comeback win, on a night where Mahrez directly contributed to all four goals on the scoresheet for Guardiola’s motivated outfit.

It was a result that Arsenal fans certainly did not want to see when it comes to the title race picture, but even more so, Spurs supporters head back south to London with even more questions sure to emerge in the wake of a cataclysmic collapse away from home that will, once again, put Conte and the club’s pathway directly under the microscope.

Manchester City Player Ratings

  • GK: Ederson - 6
  • RB: Rico Lewis - 6.5
  • CB: John Stones - 7
  • CB: Manuel Akanji - 7
  • LB: Nathan Aké - 7
  • RM: Riyad Mahrez - 10
  • CM: Rodri - 7.5
  • CM: Ilkay Gündogan - 6.5
  • LM: Jack Grealish - 7
  • RF: Erling Haaland - 7
  • LF: Julián Álvarez - 8
  • Sub: Bernardo Silva - 6
  • Sub: Kyle Walker - 6
  • Sub: Rúben Dias - N/A

Tottenham Player Ratings

  • GK: Hugo Lloris - 5
  • RCB: Cristian Romero - 5.5
  • CB: Eric Dier - 5.5
  • LCB: Ben Davies - 5.5
  • RWB: Emerson Royal - 8
  • LWB: Ivan Perišić - 6.5
  • CM: Rodrigo Bentancur - 6
  • CM: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg - 7
  • RAM: Dejan Kulusevski - 7.5
  • LAM: Son Heung-min - 6
  • CF: Harry Kane - 6
  • Sub: Ryan Sessegnon - 6
  • Sub: Yves Bissouma - 6
  • Sub: Richarlison - 6
  • Sub: Clément Lenglet - 5.5

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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