EPL

Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City: Kane breaks Greaves record as champions dealt title blow

By Sports Desk February 05, 2023

Harry Kane broke the all-time scoring record for Tottenham as a 1-0 home win over Manchester City handed Arsenal a huge boost in the Premier League title race.

Leaders Arsenal's 1-0 defeat at strugglers Everton on Saturday offered City the chance to cut the gap to just two points, but Spurs did their north London rivals a favour a day later. 

Kane's cool 15th-minute finish, which also marked his 200th Premier League strike, took him past Jimmy Greaves onto 267 goals for the hosts, who defended resolutely to see out victory despite a late red card for Cristian Romero.

Spurs, without head coach Antonio Conte after gallbladder surgery, moved within a point of the top four, while City trail Arsenal by five having played a game more.

Manuel Akanji could only head straight at Hugo Lloris after five minutes with a presentable chance as City – who opted to start without Kevin De Bruyne – enjoyed a dominant opening.

But Spurs struck first against the run of play as Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg nipped in front of Rico Lewis before offloading to Kane, who finished into the bottom-left corner for a historic goal.

Jack Grealish curled narrowly wide and Riyad Mahrez's fizzing close-range effort was denied by the crossbar as City searched for a response before the interval.

Pep Guardiola sent on De Bruyne for Mahrez before the hour and his short free-kick teed up Julian Alvarez, whose arrowing drive was thwarted by Eric Dier's goal-line block.

Alvarez whistled another thumping effort narrowly wide soon after and, although Romero was dismissed after picking up a second booking for a foul on Grealish, City were ultimately frustrated as their title tilt hit a stumbling block. 

What does it mean? Advantage Arsenal after Spurs right previous City wrongs

Spurs and Conte were left to a rue a missed chance after squandering a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at City last month.

However, Tottenham – managed by assistant Cristian Stellini in Conte's absence – exacted revenge to win their fourth straight home league game against City.

Guardiola's men did not score in any of those fixtures, marking just the third time City have lost four straight Premier League away games against an opponent without netting, as Arsenal were handed the advantage in the title race.

Monumental day for Kane

Not only did Kane surpass the late Greaves to etch his name in Tottenham history, the England striker also joined an illustrious Premier League club with his calm first-half strike.

Kane is just the third player to hit the double century of goals in the competition, achieving the feat in 304 games – Alan Shearer needed 306, while Wayne Rooney required 462.

Guardiola's Tottenham woe continues

While City staged an impressive second-half comeback in the first league meeting between these two sides this season, Guardiola may be wondering what he must do to win at Spurs.

The City head coach has lost all five of his visits to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in all competitions – Spurs' home soil representing the away ground Guardiola has managed most at in his career without winning.

What's next?

City will look to bounce back at home to Aston Villa on February 12, while Tottenham visit Leicester City the day before.

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    Roberto Martinez says he will rotate his Portugal side for their final Group F game against Georgia, with qualification to the Euro 2024 knockout stages already secured.

    The 2016 champions booked their place in the last 16 with a game to spare following their 3-0 win over Turkiye on Saturday.

    Strikes from Bernardo Silva and Bruno Fernandes sandwiched Samet Akaydin's calamitous own goal to move Portugal onto an unassailable six points after their first two matches, while sealing top spot in Group F.

    Martinez's side have now won more group-stage games than they did in the 2016 and 2020 editions combined (one win, four draws, one defeat). 

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    "Securing first place is good because there are a lot of players in the dressing room who deserve to play, and we need to give them opportunities to show what they've got and create a competitive environment," he said.

    "I was very happy with the attitude and them showing that we're growing game by game. It's good to see progress and a good level of play in two consecutive matches, and I feel that we are ready for the knock-outs."

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    "It's important to balance our abundance of individual talent and the best way to do it is to be tactically flexible," he added.

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  • Bowen defends 'incredible' Kane after England criticism Bowen defends 'incredible' Kane after England criticism

    Jarrod Bowen jumped to the defence of Harry Kane, insisting there has been no panic about the England captain's lack of involvement in their opening two games at Euro 2024.

    Although they are top of Group C and unbeaten with four points, the Three Lions have come under scrutiny for their performances so far in Germany.

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    "As a captain, as a person, as a leader, he's one that's been at the highest level for many years, scored so many goals. So, he's been incredible on the pitch, but also off the pitch, as well as a leader and a person. I can't say how good he is highly enough.

    "I don't think there's been panic about [his lack of touches or involvement in games]. Of course, he might want to be involved more than he is involved. But, like I said, he got his goal the other night.

    "He could be sat here with two goals after two group games. As a striker, sometimes you're not involved in the game as much as you want to be. I think that's probably just the life of a striker, and then you can score a goal.

    "I'm sure Harry wants to keep scoring as many goals as possible in this tournament. I know he loves his goals, takes real pride in it. So for him, it's difficult for me to answer because I'm not sure what he wants in terms of having more touches in the games.

    "Sometimes, you're up front against three centre-halves, two centre-halves, whatever the formation maybe, but when the opportunity comes, we know we can score goals, and he's shown that."

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