Guardiola suffers first league defeat at White Hart Lane
FA Premier League
Sunday 02 October 2016, 14.15 KO
City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernando (Gundogan 53), Fernandinho, Silva, Navas (Iheanacho 65), Sterling (Sane 87), Aguero
Unused: Caballero, Clichy, Garcia, Sagna
Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Stones
City suffered their first defeat of the season at White Hart Lane, as Mauricio Pochettino's side ran out deserved winners in an absorbing contest. The Blues remain top of the league going into the international break, but have seen their lead cut to just one point.
Spurs started the game full of energy, and City struggled to cope with their high pressing and intensity. The visitors were harried at every opportunity, and struggled to impose their usual possession based game. Pep Guardiola's side did, however, have the first opportunity of the game, but David Silva failed to get a touch on Jesus Navas' low cross after four minutes.
City were made to pay the price just five minutes later, when Aleksandar Kolarov swung wildly at Danny Rose's cross and diverted the ball past a helpless Claudio Bravo. It has been a torrid week for the Serbian left-back, after an equally calamitous error at Celtic Park also cost his side a goal in the Champions League.
Spurs nearly doubled their advantage after twenty minutes, but Christian Eriksen saw his free-kick flash past Bravo's post after Nicolas Otamendi had up-ended Delle Alli on the edge of the box. Alli, however, was unruffled and extended Spurs' lead eight minutes before the break. A quick counter attack by the home team ended with Son Heung-Min's clever through ball to Alli, and the England international finished calmly past Bravo.
At this point it was hard to see City getting back into the game, such was the home team's dominance. Sergio Aguero saw a shot deflected onto the post by Hugo Lloris at the start of the second half, but City lacked the fluency that had resulted in six successive league victories prior to Sunday. Spurs could have wrapped the game up on 65 minutes when Fernandinho brought down Alli in the box, but Erik Lamela saw his spot-kick saved by Bravo.
City rallied late on, and Lloris saved smartly from Kelechi Iheanacho but Spurs held on and were worthy winners, as Guardiola acknowledged after the game.
"We had problems; they were one step in front of us and we have to learn from that. Do I have regrets about my decisions? Maybe yeah. But we will learn so it doesn't happen again," Guardiola told reporters.
"I never thought that we would not lose a game. It is normal to the process; sometimes it happens and it can help us improve. At the end of the season you can win and still realise that you are not perfect."
"They [Spurs] were fighting for the Premier League last season. We knew how aggressive they are. If you watch last season they were there," Guardiola said.
"Can they also win the league? Why not? There are many teams that can achieve that and Tottenham is one of them."