City suffer first loss as Leicester, MU draw

Agence France-Presse . London | Published: 23:48, Oct 02,2016 | Updated: 15:56, Oct 03,2016

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur forward Dele Alli (2nd-R) scores his team’s second goal against Manchester City during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane in London on Sunday. — AP photo

Manchester City suffered their first defeat under manager Pep Guardiola as Tottenham Hotspur underlined their Premier League title credentials with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Meanwhile reigning champions Leicester City were held to a goalless draw by Southampton while Manchester United endured a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Stoke City.

An Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and a Dele Alli strike gave Spurs victory and they could even afford for Erik Lamela to squander a second-half penalty.

The result lifted Spurs to second, a point below City.
It was Guardiola’s first defeat in 12 games as City manager and followed a mid-week 3-3 draw at Celtic in the Champions League that ended his side’s perfect start to the season.
‘It was a great, great victory for us against this opposition. I am very happy,’ said Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino after the match.

‘Sometimes when you have a plan, it is good, sometimes less so, but Manchester City are a great team. It is difficult to play against them.

‘We need to follow this after the international match and we have more tough games after the international break.

‘The belief and faith in the way that we work needs to be consistent from the start of the season and we need to concentrate that all the way to the end of the season.’
Guardiola, who had gone unbeaten in his first 11 games as City manager, had no complaints about the outcome of the match.

‘They were better,’ he said. ‘We were not in the right positions, so congratulations to them.
‘(Losing) is part of the game, part of our job. I never thought that we would not lose a game. You can’t imagine that. It is normal to the process. Sometimes it happens and it can help us improve.

‘I am not here for the talk around me; I am here to do my job. It is October, you cannot imagine my team is already done.

‘I am new here. So far it has been an amazing performance, but we need more, we have to work more. It is what it is.’

At Old Trafford, it looked as if substitute Anthony Martial’s 69th-minute goal would give United victory over a Stoke side who started the day bottom of the table.
But a mistake by United goalkeeper David de Gea led to Joe Allen’s equaliser eight minutes from time, the point gained seeing Stoke leapfrog Sunderland.

United wasted numerous chances, with world-record signing Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic among the offenders as Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant, on loan from Derby County, made several fine saves.

‘This is the best performance all season and could have been one of these fat results in the Premier League, it could have been 5-0 or 6-0,’ United manager Jose Mourinho told BT Sport.

‘We had big chances, with amazing saves and big misses.’
The Portuguese boss added: ‘We will play worse and win games...We had 90 minutes of control, we had 90 minutes of ambition.’

Meanwhile, Stoke manager Mark Hughes said: ‘I’m really pleased with the performance.
‘We had a game plan and we executed it to the letter.’

Elsewhere, strikers Jamie Vardy of Leicester and Charlie Austin of Southampton both missed chances in a drab goalless stalemate at the King Power Stadium.

The draw left Leicester marooned in mid-table, with hopes of a successful title defence fading fast.

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