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Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham: Phil Foden scores first Premier League goal as Pep Guardiola's side respond to Champions League exit against visitors to take major step towards the title

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 20/04/2019 Rob Draper for The Mail on Sunday

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - April 20, 2019  Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their first goal     REUTERS/Phil Noble  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details. © Reuters Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - April 20, 2019 Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

For one side, an unprecedented treble is on; for another, qualification for next season's Champions League looks increasingly precarious. This ought to feel like a very good week for Manchester City and a troublesome one for Tottenham.

Of course, the respective euphoria and despair of Wednesday night overshadowed everything at the Etihad Stadium, even the unseasonal Mancunian sunshine. And the ambiance could never be one of unbridled joy. A disappointment which cut so deep could not heal quite so fast.

Yet stripping away the emotion and focusing on raw data, City are on the verge of a remarkable season, an unprecedented treble. Five wins will secure that, the biggest obstacle being a Manchester derby on Wednesday night. And Tottenham may be out of the top four by Monday night. 

a group of football players on a field: The goal represented Foden's first ever in the Premier League as he was trusted to start ahead of the reliable David Silva © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The goal represented Foden's first ever in the Premier League as he was trusted to start ahead of the reliable David Silva

Phil Foden's fifth minute goal was just about enough here. City were not at their scintillating best and Tottenham might have been worth a draw. 

Heung-min Son and Aymeric Laporte renewed their personal duel, honours more or less even on this occasion; Foden more than justified a Premier League start in such a major game; and Ederson confirmed his enormous value to City,

In short there were fascinating duels all over, not least between the two coaches, Mauricio Pochettino making five changes and opting for a back three, while Guardiola made three, with that Foden selection for David Silva the most significant. 

Mauricio Pochettino standing in front of a crowd: The two managers engaged in a discussion before the game began as City looked to make up for a Champions League exit © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The two managers engaged in a discussion before the game began as City looked to make up for a Champions League exit

Yet restorative though this game was, there was a still the shadow of worries ahead in the departure of Kevin De Bruyne on 31 minutes. Having given perhaps his best display ever for the club on Wednesday night, here his season's injury curse returned. 

The Belgian knew as soon as he struck the ball that his standing left ankle had crumpled and that his race was run. Wednesday night against Manchester United in a potentially decisive game for the title race would seem impossible. It may be the rest of his disrupted season is over.

It was expecting a little too much for the game to match the opening 11 minutes of Wednesday night's epic but the early signs were encouraging. 

a man standing in front of a crowd: The 18-year-old quickly ran over to Sergio Aguero after a smart cushioned header from the Argentine set up an easy header © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The 18-year-old quickly ran over to Sergio Aguero after a smart cushioned header from the Argentine set up an easy header

A John Stones mistake on three minutes let Lucas Moura find Christian Eriksen to feed Son, who darted away in familiar fashion, like a little rugby winger, with City players scrabbling to keep up. 

On this occasion he was forced a little wide and his shot was blocked by Ederson. Yet he was clearly in the mood to create havoc again and it wouldn't be the last we would see from him. 

MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, LIVE PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND SPORTSMAIL'S MATCH ZONE

Manchester City: Ederson 7.5, Walker 6, Stones 5.5, Laporte 7.5, Zinchenko 7.5, De Bruyne 6 (Fernandinho 38, 7), Gundogan 6.5, Foden 9 (David Silva 85), Bernardo Silva 8, Aguero 7 (Sane 65, 7), Sterling 6.5.

Subs not used: Muric, Mahrez, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus.

Goals: Foden (5) 

Booked: Sterling 

Manager: Pep Guardiola 8 

a group of people playing football on a field: But it was Tottenham who got the first sight of goal when in-form Korean attacker Heung-min Son made a smart run on the left © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited But it was Tottenham who got the first sight of goal when in-form Korean attacker Heung-min Son made a smart run on the left

Tottenham: Gazzaniga 7.5, Alderweireld 7 (Llorente 78, 7), Sanchez 7, Vertonghen 6.5, Foyth 5.5, Alli 6.5 (Rose 69, 7), Dier 6 (Wanyama 61, 6), Davies 5.5, Eriksen 8, Son 7.5, Lucas Moura 6. 

Subs not used: Vorm, Janssen, Walker-Peters, Skipp.

Booked: Wanyama, Vertonghen 

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 7 

Referee: Michael Oliver 6 (Northumberland)

a man standing in front of a crowd: The hosts were full of confidence and enjoying their afternoon until De Bruyne went down with a grimace due to an injury © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The hosts were full of confidence and enjoying their afternoon until De Bruyne went down with a grimace due to an injury

Then City would respond two minutes later. As restorative balms go, glorious Mancunian sunshine and a fifth minute goal from academy prodigy Foden was about as good as it could get for City. 

Pep Guardiola's caution in starting Foden has been odd at times this season, given that David Silva hasn't had his finest year. 

And until he departed to a standing ovation on 85 minutes, Foden provided, making runs inside the Tottenham defence and his ability to play high up the pitch and retreat at speed, was an indication of his worth in this team.

a group of football players on a field: City recognised the threat from the visitors on the counter-attack and stepped it up as Foden was clinical to open the scoring © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited City recognised the threat from the visitors on the counter-attack and stepped it up as Foden was clinical to open the scoring

His goal came from a smart reading of the game as Kyle Walker advanced up the right flank and fed Bernardo Silva, who cut inside and floated the ball across the box. Sergio Aguero was there to head it across the penalty area and Foden's movement meant he had a clear run to nod it home from six yards.

Thereafter City would dominate possession yet Tottenham would match them for decent chances, a pattern of these clubs' encounters.  

Bernardo Silva with a football ball: Bernardo Silva, announced on the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award on Saturday, relished his battle with Dele Alli © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Bernardo Silva, announced on the shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award on Saturday, relished his battle with Dele Alli

So while City would pass the ball around in front of Tottenham's box, their chances were limited to shots from Foden on 23 minutes, Bernardo Silva on 33 and 34 minutes, which were deflected wide and saved by Gazzaniga respectively. 

Spurs, who resolutely were playing out from the back despite nerves and Gazzaniga chipping the ball out directly for a corner on one occasion, created as many excellent first-half opportunities. There was Eriksen dancing his way through defenders on 15 minutes with Laporte attempting to slow him with an arm on his shoulder. In the end Ederson saved, but had he tumbled, Eriksen might have won a penalty.

a group of people playing a game of football: Tottenham's attacks dwindled in the second half but they were left aggrieved when they were not awarded a penalty kick © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Tottenham's attacks dwindled in the second half but they were left aggrieved when they were not awarded a penalty kick

Eriksen's lovely early ball up the pitch reignited the personal contest between Son and Laporte. On this occasion the Basque prevailed. 

As Son streaked away and shot, a diving tackle from Laporte prevented a likely equaliser. Just before half time though Son had the beating of Laporte as he weaved through City players. He might have squared for Moura to score but chose to soot and saw Ederson save.

In the second half an excellent save from Gazzaniga with his feet would prevent Sterling from finishing the game on 72 minutes.  

a man standing in front of a crowd: It proved a nervy finale for both managers given how significant the result was for both the title and the top four standings © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It proved a nervy finale for both managers given how significant the result was for both the title and the top four standings

And Ederson was required to block Moura as he outfoxed Laporte with a header to create himself a great scoring chance. 

Pochettino would chase the game until the end, trying Danny Rose in midfield again and then switching to a back four, as Fernardo Llorente came on to pantomime boos for his crucial contribution to City's Champions League exit. 

By the end they had done enough to make City sweat and their fans curse as the four minutes came up for added time. Crucially, they didn't do enough to take any points, however. 

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