Record-breaking Kane does Arsenal a huge favour! Winners, losers and ratings as underwhelming Man City fail to capitalise on Gunners' title slip-up

Harry Kane Tottenham 2022-23
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The England captain became Spurs' all-time leading scorer as Pep Guardiola's side again fell in north London

What is it with Tottenham for Manchester City? Coming into this one the signs were not good, with Spurs winning their last three Premier League home games against Pep Guardiola's side 5-0 on aggregate.

However, if there was ever a time for then to break that curse, it was on Sunday as, thanks to the miraculous work of incoming Everton manager Sean Dyche, City were handed an invaluable opportunity to trim the gap on leaders Arsenal to just two points with a victory in north London.

It wasn't to be.

Harry Kane's record-breaking strike early in the first half on Sunday - a goal entirely of City's own making and one that immortalised the England captain as his boyhood club's all-time record scorer - increased the aggregate score over the last four games to 6-0.

City's response was tepid - indicative of their recent trips to the swankiest new stadium in the Premier League. Things might have been different, though, had Riyad Mahrez's wicked effort just dipped under the bar in the dying embers of the first half.

But after the dust settled from that close shave, it was Tottenham who looked far more likely to find the back of the net, as they tore through their opposition on the counter time after time.

In stark contrast, City were infuriatingly ponderous for most of the contest. There was a brief upturn when Kevin De Bruyne was introduced from the bench, but even he could not provide Erling Haaland - who failed to register a shot in a match for the first time since September 2020 - with the service he needed to turn the tide.

Advantage firmly Arsenal in the title race then - here are your winners, losers and ratings from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

  1. The Winners

    The Winners

    Harry Kane:

    It was fitting that Kane etched his name into the Tottenham history books against Man City - the team he would've been playing for had the 2021 summer transfer window gone the way he wanted. The goal that took him past Jimmy Greaves at the top of the Spurs leaderboard was typically clinical, with the England captain latching onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's pass - after the Dane had intelligently intercepted Rodri's terrible through ball - and bobbling it into the bottom corner. After full time, a beaming and, for once, seemingly unguarded Kane, saluted the fans who welcomed him back with open arms following the abortive transfer saga.


    200 goals! put some respect on harry kane's name 😤 #football #premierleague #england #harrykane #coys #soccer #fyp

    ♬ original sound - GOAL


    You could almost hear Mikel Arteta's thunderous sigh of relief as the final whistle went at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Everton's shock win on Saturday opened the door nicely for City to put some serious pressure on the Premier League leaders, only for their fiercest rivals to spoil the party. As a result, the gap remains five points, with the Gunners even having a game in hand. Win against City later this month and Arsenal will be nigh-on impossible to catch at the summit - surely?

    Phil Foden:

    Guardiola had been positive when asked about Foden's chances of starting here. In the end, he didn't even make the squad. His absence was keenly felt as well, with Julian Alvarez struggling to assert himself on proceedings. Foden's insertion into the side would have added some sorely-lacking directness and incision. He needs to be fit for the crunch Arsenal fixture. City could be in trouble if not.

  2. The Losers
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    The Losers


    Just 17 days after he played the ball straight into Dejan Kulusevski's feet for the Swede to put Spurs 1-0 up at the Etihad, the Spaniard was again involved in a textbook example of how not to play out from the back under pressure. In his defence, the blame for that first error in Manchester lay at Ederson's door. However, this time around, there was no sparing Rodri's blushes as his sloppy pass allowed Hojbjerg to nick the ball from Rico Lewis. A few seconds later, Kane made the net ripple and was wheeling away. It set the tone for Rodri's disappointing afternoon, as he was overrun by the Spurs counter-attack.

    Pep Guardiola:

    Guardiola has a reputation for over-thinking big games and he repeated the trick here, setting his side up in an unnecessarily complex hodgepodge of a formation. Talisman Kevin De Bruyne was left out of the XI entirely, poor old Rico Lewis was asked to play as a full-back/supplementary central midfielder in just his ninth Premier League game, while Bernardo Silva was shoehorned into a midfield pivot alongside an underperforming Rodri. The result was an ultra-fluid, but also extremely open formation, which allowed Spurs to obliterate City in transition. Without De Bruyne's directness, City were also far too ponderous in possession for the majority of the game. He may be a genius, but Pep misjudged this one.

    Erling Haaland:

    With half an hour left on the clock and City desperately chasing the game, Haaland dropped deep, laid it off to Rico Lewis and then started motoring towards the space behind the Spurs back three. A well-weighted pass might well have seen him clean through, but, as happened so many times in north London, Lewis instead opted for a sideways pass. Scenes similar to this played out throughout the game, with Haaland cutting an increasingly frustrated figure at the tip of the City attack. It seems remarkable to say, considering his absurd goal tally, but City are genuinely still not playing to the Norwegian's strengths in certain games. If they don't adapt, more poor results like this are bound to follow. For goodness sake, just pass him the ball!

  3. Man City Ratings: Defence
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    Man City Ratings: Defence

    Ederson (6/10):

    Did his job solidly enough. A few decent pieces of distribution and little he could do about the goal.

    Kyle Walker (6/10)

    Made some excellent recovery challenges against his former club.

    Manuel Akanji (6/10):

    A danger in the box from set-pieces. Not sure he could have done too much more defensively.

    Nathan Ake (6/10):

    Did a good job of slowing down some dangerous-looking Spurs counter-attacks.

    Rico Lewis (5/10):

    The 18-year-old is being asked to play one of the most tactically complex roles in the Premier League. Sadly, he looked flustered at times, but still fared okay.

  4. Midfield
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    Riyad Mahrez (6/10):

    Unlucky not to score, with a well-struck effort careering onto the bar on the stroke of half-time. Subbed with over half an hour to play.

    Rodri (4/10):

    Deary me, not sure what he was thinking of for Tottenham's first goal. Generally looked far less assured than usual.

    Bernardo Silva (6/10):

    Added some bite in the middle as he buzzed around, flying into challenges.

    Jack Grealish (5/10):
    Saw one decent first-half effort go the wrong side of the post. Carried the ball effectively, but needs to produce decisive moments in these bigger games.

  5. Attack
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    Erling Haaland (5/10):

    Dropped deep to link things nicely. Made the runs but did not always get it. You feel his side would benefit from releasing it to him earlier at times.

    Julian Alvarez (5/10):

    Looked bright with a few dribbles, but nowhere near influential enough.

  6. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Kevin De Bruyne (6/10):

    Made his side far more direct in transition - for a little while anyway. Slammed a late free-kick into the wall.

    Ilkay Gundogan (N/A):

    Introduced too late to do anything.

    Pep Guardiola (3/10):

    Opted for a remarkably fluid (and open) formation and his side were guilty of overplaying at times. Leaving De Bruyne out was thoroughly odd.