Manchester City take foot off the gas as Spurs earn share of spoils

Home fans furious after bizarre refereeing calls denies City chance of winner

Manchester City 3 Tottenham 3

Akin to a breathless five a-side, Manchester City slipped from mastering Tottenham to a sloppiness that should infuriate Pep Guardiola.

Dejan Kulusevski was the visitor’s hero. As this helter-skelter contest neared added time, Brennan Johnson skated along the left and popped the ball into City’s area and Kulusevski – via what looked a shoulder – beat Ederson to make it 3-3.

It arrived minutes after Jack Grealish seemed to have grabbed all the points when sliding in Erling Haaland’s cross. But City proved powder-puff, unable to hold the lead before, in a frantic finish in the extra minutes, the Norwegian thought he had again put Grealish in.


Here, the Number 9 was fouled by Emerson Royal and after Simon Hooper waved play on Haaland dinked the ball over the top. Now, the referee blew – perhaps for offside for Grealish because otherwise this was baffling – to cause widespread disgust in City ranks.

When, finally, the match was over Guardiola and Haaland were particularly upset and home boos resounded.

This all came after a fine start by Tottenham as they scored the type of breakaway goal that is the textbook way to breach City. Kulusevski curved the ball over the champion’s high line for Son Heung-min who ran in and scored.

Great start, sure, yet three minutes later – in the ninth – City equalised. It was direct stuff, too: Julián Álvarez pinged a free-kick in from the right and the ball brushed Haaland’s forehead and banged off Son and past a helpless Guglielmo Vicario.

When City took the lead it came a little after a sweeping home move that ended in Jérémy Doku crashing the ball off Tottenham’s bar. This time the Belgian’s part was to prod to Álvarez who recycled to Phil Foden who stroked in.

This was 2-1 but, after the break, City eased off the gas and Giovani Lo Celso equalised. Here, there was a sloppiness as a lazy Álvarez flick was intercepted by Ben Davies, Son was fed, he passed to the Argentinean and the finish, at distance, was curled into the corner off the base of Ederson’s right post.

Then came the grandstand finish and the share of the points that felt fair. – Guardian