Debut goal for Bergwijn as we beat City at home
Spurs 2-0 Manchester City
Sun 02 February 2020, 18:31|Tottenham Hotspur
New signing Stephen Bergwijn scored a superb goal on his debut as we produced a spirited performance to overcome Manchester City 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Dutch international converted an excellent volley in the 63rd minute to give us the lead, just moments after City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko had been sent off for a second yellow card, before Heung-Min Son doubled our lead eight minutes later to secure a fine victory against the reigning Premier League champions.
But we had to endure a difficult first half as the visitors were by far the better team and had a penalty saved when Hugo Lloris kept out Ilkay Gundogan’s 39th-minute spot-kick – three minutes after the initial foul by Serge Aurier on Sergio Aguero following an intervention by VAR.
Zinchenko was booked after a melee following the penalty save and received his marching orders when he fouled Harry Winks just after the hour mark, which proved decisive as we took full advantage of the extra man to take the points and move up to fifth in the table.
The first major chance of the game came on eight minutes when Aguero had two shots in quick succession blocked by Davinson Sanchez, before Raheem Sterling went down in the area under a challenge from Aurier but no penalty was given. City were enjoying the majority of possession, with our main threats coming from counter-attacks. Twice we were almost in on goal but Ederson was well placed on both occasions to rush from the edge of his area and clear ahead of first Lucas Moura and then Son. On 25 minutes, Kevin De Bruyne’s 25-yard piledriver was fired straight at Lloris and two minutes later City went close again. Sanchez gave possession to Riyad Mahrez who set Aguero free but his right-foot shot took the merest of flicks off Lloris and cracked against the post before we cleared the danger.
The visitors broke through again on 36 minutes but Aurier tackled Aguero in the area and looked to have won the ball, with referee Mike Dean waving play on. And on play went – for two minutes until Dean suddenly brought play to a halt. Everyone wondered why, but then a VAR check appeared on the big screens briefly, before the official pointed to the spot – Aurier adjudged to have fouled Aguero in the box on that earlier challenge. Up stepped Gundogan for the penalty – three minutes after the original foul – and hit a right-foot shot but Lloris dived to his left and pushed the ball away, as he had done against Aguero at the same end in our Champions League fixture last April.
The drama wasn’t over though as the loose ball from the penalty was contested between Sterling and Lloris, the City player going sprawling and appealing for another spot-kick. An almighty melee broke out among players from both teams while VAR ruled no penalty. Eventually, the referee booked Toby Alderweireld and Zinchenko for their part and the game restarted. It was a moment which certainly sparked the atmosphere into life but we still couldn’t really fashion a decent chance and instead it was the visitors who almost went ahead on the stroke of half-time, Aguero firing into the side-netting from inside the six-yard box as we escaped again.
Three minutes into the second half, we had another huge let-off as City spurned a glorious chance. Mahrez released Sterling down the middle but excellent defending from Japhet Tanganga held him up while Lloris also sprinted out to clear the danger. Our two players collided, De Bruyne played the loose ball to Aguero whose shot towards goal was then cleared away by Alderweireld. It only went as far as Sterling though, who squared for Gundogan at the back post as we were scrambling to cover, but the City midfielder blazed over the bar stretching for the pass. A bizarre passage of play!
Then came the red card, which all stemmed from a City corner. A short one across the area was cut out by birthday boy Winks, who burst forwards past Rodrigo and knocked the ball beyond Zinchenko, who blocked his path and brought him down. Out came the yellow card, followed by the red and City were down to 10 men. And then came the goal in the 63rd minute, with a short corner routine of our own which ended with Lucas clipping a pass in to Bergwijn on the edge of the area and the new signing controlled on his chest and hit a volley which curled into the bottom corner.
We made a couple of changes with Tanguy Ndombele and Erik Lamela replacing Dele and Bergwijn and within a minute we had doubled our lead. Ndombele received a pass from Giovani Lo Celso, beat Rodrigo and slipped the ball in to Son, who took a touch and hit a 20-yard effort inside the near post past Ederson’s dive. That was pretty much game over as the goal knocked the stuffing out of Pep Guardiola’s side. They did have chances late on, substitute Eric Dier heading away Bernardo Silva’s shot, while Lloris tipped De Bruyne’s cross-shot over the bar and Sanchez headed against his own bar in the closing minutes. But we held on for the win, a real boost as we enter a critical stage of the season.
There were plenty to choose from – Zinchenko’s dismissal and Bergwijn’s debut strike so soon after that red card just two options – but it has to be Lloris’ penalty save. City were well on top at that stage and had they gone ahead, they may well have pushed on to win. But the skipper wasn’t to be denied, diving to his left to save Gundogan’s effort and then getting up quickly to push away the rebound and keep the game goalless.
Jose Mourinho said: "The boys were fantastic, amazing spirit. It was a difficult match, of course, and the three points so important. It’s good when you work so hard during the week, like we did, a complete week of work from Monday to Sunday and it’s the best feeling for the players to have that week and say ‘fantastic work, fantastic result’. Everyone on the pitch, even the ones not on the pitch, I think everybody played, great empathy with the fans, great feeling for Steven (Bergwijn) to come and to feel that this is not just a beautiful stadium, but also a great atmosphere, so, perfect."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 2-0 Manchester City
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga, Lo Celso, Winks, Bergwijn (Lamela 70), Dele (Ndombele 70), Son, Lucas (Dier 84). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Sessegnon, Vertonghen, Gedson.
City (4-3-3): Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho (c), Otamendi, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Rodrigo, Gundogan, Mahrez (Jesus 72), Aguero (Cancelo 64), Sterling (B Silva 84). Substitutes (not used): Bravo, Garcia, Foden, D Silva.
Goals: Spurs – Bergwijn 63, Son 71.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Alderweireld 42, Lo Celso 66; Manchester City – Sterling 12, Walker 33, Zinchenko 42, 60, Rodrigo 90+4.
Red card: Manchester City - Zinchenko 60.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, moderate breeze, 12 degrees.