Unexpected hero and Haaland double put City on title brink

Manchester City took a decisive step towards a record fourth successive English Premier League title after taking all three points away from Tottenham. Pep Guardiola's men prevailed 2:0 in north London despite not having one of their best games.

The match started with a dangerous shot by Rodrigo Bentancur, which was deflected by Ederson. On the other side, City had a hard time finding a way to Guglielmo Vicario's goal, but the cleanest situation before the break was in front of The Citizens. Pierre-Emile Høibjerg clumsily cleared the ball and it fell to the feet of Phil Foden, but Vicario was determined to preserve the goalless draw.

Shortly after the start of the second half, the visitors took the lead. Kevin De Bruyne received the ball from the right and passed sharply into the penalty area, where no one intervened and Erling Holland scored one of the easiest goals of his career. In the 69th minute, Ederson was forced to be replaced by City's reserve goalkeeper Stefan Ortega after a collision between the Brazilian and Cristian Romero. Ederson vociferously expressed his displeasure at the substitution, but it was Ortega who saved the champions with three decisive interventions. First, the former goalkeeper of Arminia Bielefeld interfered with a shot of the substitute Dejan Kulusevski, and then again he disappointed the Swedish international.

Just before the end of normal time, Manuel Akanji made a blunder that allowed Son Heung-min to advance and find himself face-to-face with Ortega, but the Korean shot unconvincingly and that intervention could ultimately be the difference in the title fight. In stoppage time, Haaland put an end to the dispute with his second goal, this time from the penalty spot awarded for a foul on Pedro Porro on substitute Jeremy Doku.

In the standings, City are two points clear of second-placed Arsenal ahead of the final round of the Premier League season this Sunday. The Citizens need a win to secure a record fourth straight title as the Gunners have a one-goal advantage on goal difference. With the success of Mikel Arteta and company, combined with an offshoot of the leaders, then Arsenal will rejoice with the title.

Tottenham, on the other hand, lost their chances for the top 4. Spurs are five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, who will be playing in the Champions League for the first time since 1983, when the competition was under a different name. /BGNES