Manchester City down Spurs on Haaland double, title in reach


Postecoglou: Tottenham's foundations are fragile inside & out

Ange Postecoglou speaks about Tottenham's rivalry with Arsenal after their 2-0 loss vs. Man City.

Erling Haaland's double put Manchester City within touching distance of an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title as they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 away on Tuesday.

The Norwegian tapped home his side's opener early in the second half and settled City's nerves in stoppage time when he blasted home a penalty for his 27th league goal of the season.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

City had failed to earn a point or score a goal in their first four league visits to Tottenham's new stadium but ended that jinx in timely fashion, to the joy of their supporters.

Pep Guardiola's City have 88 points to Arsenal's 86 and will be guaranteed to make history if they beat West Ham United at home Sunday on the Premier League's last day of the season, when Arsenal host Everton.

It was far from a vintage City performance, and they almost conceded an equaliser to Son Heung-Min late on, just before Haaland made sure they kept their destiny in their own hands.

"Today was incredible, the character. We know it wasn't the best game but we must talk about the substitutions," City midfielder Rodri said. "Stefan Ortega was simply incredible and we have the best goalkeeper in the world.

"We know it's not done yet. We need the people behind us."

Defeat ended Tottenham's slim hopes of finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League, although it was a result welcomed by some sections of their fans who were loath to see their team offer up a huge title gift to archrivals Arsenal.

Manchester City players celebrate after scoring a goal against Tottenham in the Premier League.
Manchester City players celebrate after scoring a goal against Tottenham in the Premier League.
Getty Images

The result also clinched a first berth in the Champions League for Aston Villa since they played in the European Cup in 1982-83.

Some Tottenham fans even indulged in the Poznan, which is a trademark of City's fans, while chants of "Are you watching, Arsenal" echoed around the stadium in the latter stages.

City are now unbeaten in 22 league games and have again showed they are the masters of pacing a title chase.

Yet they were strangely lethargic in the first half and were given an early fright when Éderson, who was later forced off after a blow to the head, had to tip Rodrigo Bentancur's fierce rising drive over the crossbar.

City were stuck in second gear and their best chance before the interval was courtesy of a horrible clearance by Spurs midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg that fell for Phil Foden, but his volley was superbly saved by Guglielmo Vicario.

Such was the tepid nature of the first half that for the first time this season in the Premier League there was not time added on at the end of the first half.

City might have begun to fear that their Tottenham curse was striking again when Kevin De Bruyne's snap shot was superbly saved by Vicario just after the interval, but they could finally breathe a sigh of relief soon afterwards.

De Bruyne was just onside as he was played in on the right and his low pass was tapped in by Haaland.

Still, City looked edgy, and their hearts were in their mouths as the clock ticked down when Son seized on a mistake and ran through with only Ortega to beat, but the substitute keeper made a superb save.

And when Jérémy Doku was fouled by Pedro Porro and Haaland rammed home his penalty, the away fans could finally relax as a sixth title in seven years loomed large.

"We have to win one more game to win the title," Guardiola said. "Ortega saved us otherwise Arsenal would be champions."