Spurs defeat Man City 2-0 as Arsenal hit 107-year low
Steven Bergwijn volleyed in a debut goal and Son Heung-min also netted to give Tottenham a 2-0 victory over 10-man Manchester City yesterday to revive Jose Mourinho’s pursuit of Champions League qualification.
Second-place City’s sixth loss of its Premier League title defense left Liverpool 22 points clear with 13 games remaining and in contention to end its 30-year league title drought by winning the Merseyside derby at Everton on March 16.
Tottenham rose to fifth place and moved within four points of fourth-place Chelsea as Jose Mourinho’s side got the best of the champions despite having only a third of possession and being outshot 17-3.
Tottenham scored from two of its shots on target after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s push on Harry Winks to halt a counterattack on the hour saw the City midfielder shown a second yellow card.
Tottenham was in front in the 63rd minute when Bergwijn brought down a pass from Lucas Moura with his chest, controlled the ball on the turn and volleyed into the bottom corner. The winger only arrived four days ago from PSV Eindhoven.
Shortly after Bergwijn came off with cramp, it was the record-signing from the summer transfer who helped to create the second goal.
Tanguy Ndombele had been on the pitch barely a minute when he sent the ball through to Son, who struck past goalkeeper Ederson in the 71st minute.
Mourinho was ecstatic after being infuriated in the first half and laughing in bemusement as decisions went against Tottenham.
Raheem Sterling avoided being sent off for fouling Dele Alli. In a separate incident, the play was rolled back several minutes for VAR to award a penalty for a tackle by Serge Aurier on Sergio Aguero.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris did save the spot-kick from Ilkay Gündogan. But then VAR assessed whether another penalty should be awarded for Lloris’ block as Sterling tried to net from the follow-up. As that VAR review was being conducted, both sets of players clashed and no penalty was awarded.
Elsewhere, Arsenal was held to a 0-0 draw by Burnley at Turf Moor yesterday – a result which saw them hit a new low in terms of points recorded at this stage of a top-flight season.
The Gunners needed a victory to close the gap on their rivals in the race for Champions League qualification after both Chelsea and Manchester United dropped valuable points on Saturday.
However, they came up against a Burnley side determined to bounce back from a surprise home defeat to Norwich last weekend and were ultimately lucky to escape with a point.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered the visitors’ best chance of the game in the first half, hooking the ball wide when played clean through on goal by David Luiz.
It was the home side who had the better of the opportunities in the second period though, with Jay Rodriguez spurning the most glaring of them when he struck the bar from five yards out.
The contest ultimately finished goalless and Arsenal now has just six wins to their name from 25 Premier League games this season – drawing 13 and losing six.
That is their lowest tally after 25 matches in a season since 1912/13, when they managed just one win, leaving Arteta with one victory from his first seven in the Premier League since succeeding Unai Emery in the managerial hot seat at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners’ total of 13 draws is also the joint-most they have ever amassed in a single 38-game top-flight campaign, and they are the first team to tie more than 12 of their opening 25 fixtures since Manchester United back in 1980/81.
Arteta’s men are now ten points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with a home fixture against Newcastle next up on February 16.