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  • Writer's pictureBruno Asoka

City edge Spurs 4-2 in an emphatic comeback win after going down two goals at HT

Manchester City closed the gap on league leaders Arsenal to five points after recovering from two goals down to win 4-2 against Tottenham Hotspur, who have now lost all five games against sides above them in the Premier League (PL) table.

With Jack Grealish seeking to take advantage of space down the left, City got off to the stronger start of the two teams and started to find their rhythm. He brought in Ilkay Gündoan and Julián Alvarez, but Hugo Lloris was unconcerned by either of their separate performances. Son Heung-header Min's from an inviting Ben Davies cross forced Ederson into his first, albeit easy, stop of the game, keeping Antonio Conte's team from scoring. Rico Lewis might have been the improbable scorer in this cagey match, but Lloris blocked his speculative shot to safety at the last second after it wickedly deflected off Son.

However, the first half ended in an absurd fashion when Ederson allowed two goals from Spurs in the span of three awful first-half minutes. Rodrigo Bentancur successfully intercepted his attempted pass to Rodri inside the penalty area, allowing Dejan Kulusevski to seize possession of the loose ball and score to break the scoreless tie. This advantage was doubled when Emerson Royal, a fellow countryman of the Brazilian, received the rebound after the Brazilian could only parry Harry Kane's strike into his path, setting up Spurs for yet another unforgettable evening at the Etihad.

City had only won one of their previous 54 PL games after trailing by more than two goals at HT, but managed to wipe out Tottenham’s lead with two goals in the space of three second-half minutes. Riyad Mahrez was the instigator, as his cross created havoc in the area, and Álvarez rifled home the loose ball. Rodri then provided a sumptuous ball towards Mahrez, who headed the ball onto Haaland to end his two-game goal drought in the league and level the scores. The comeback was completed by the irrepressible Mahrez, whose right-footed strike took the faintest of deflections off Davies to squeeze past Lloris at the near post. A fourth City goal sweetened the deal in the closing stages courtesy of the magnificent Mahrez, who ruthlessly punished Clément Lenglet’s indecisiveness in defence and provided a beautiful dinked finish over Lloris.

Following Sunday's crushing 2-0 loss to Arsenal, Conte's team suffered yet another demoralizing defeat, leaving them tormented by what could have been. At this point in the season, they have yet to win back-to-back away games. Their chances of making the UEFA Champions League for the following season remain poor, and despite having played one more game than Newcastle United, they are presently five points behind the Magpies in fourth place. While all was going on, City continued to be a title contender and escaped the humiliation of suffering a third straight league loss to Spurs.

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