Man City player ratings vs Tottenham: One hand on the trophy! Erling Haaland and Stefan Ortega break Arsenal hearts as champions find a way to edge towards fourth-successive Premier League title

Pep Guardiola won’t have been delighted by aspects of his side’s display, but they still came away with an absolutely vital victory


In the end, it was job done, but Manchester City should count themselves lucky that they are entering the final day of the Premier League season with a two-point advantage. Pep Guardiola’s side may have secured a 2-0 victory against Tottenham on Tuesday, but this was a decidedly clunky display – which will have made the result even harder to digest for the hundreds of thousands of Arsenal fans tuned in around the world. City’s job is now simple: win against West Ham on Sunday and a fourth-straight Premier League title will be theirs.

Perhaps it was the cricket-like atmosphere or maybe Ange Postecoglou’s unexpected, striker-less formation, but the visitors looked well off it in the first 45 minutes. Tottenham put them under sustained periods of pressure and even forced Ederson into action once or twice, dispelling any notions that they would roll over to avoid handing Arsenal a boost in the title race.

City did come closest to opening the scoring before the break, though, with Guglielmo Vicario pulling off a superb, reaction save to deny Phil Foden and Radu Dragusin diverting Bernardo Silva’s effort away with his head when it appeared certain to fly in.

The tension that had been building in the first half was soon punctured after the restart, though. Kevin De Bruyne was the architect, fizzing a wicked ball across the penalty area where Erling Haaland was lying in wait to tap home.

The goal drastically changed the atmosphere in the stadium, but it wasn’t all plain sailing for the reigning champions. With a little over 20 minutes of normal time remaining, Ederson had to be replaced by Stefan Ortega and the German was immediately called into action, just about smothering Dejan Kulusevski’s point-blank effort to keep his side’s slim advantage intact.

City had an even shakier moment before the full-time whistle mercifully blew too, with Son Heung-min bursting through on goal after Manuel Akanji dithered on the ball. Ortega was equal to the challenge again, though, with his manager collapsing in a heap on the floor as the dust settled.

Spurs were quickly punished for this missed opportunity too, with Pedro Porro fouling Jeremy Doku in the box in the final minute of the 90, and Haaland duly stepped up to seal an ugly, but vital three points.

GOAL¬†rates City’s players from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium…

Goalkeeper & Defence

Ederson (7/10):

Made a couple of important stops when Spurs were threatening early on. Frustrated to be subbed, but head injuries must be treated with caution.

Kyle Walker (6/10):

Was afforded plenty of space down the right-hand side, but did not always make the most of it.

Manuel Akanji (5/10):

Fluffed a clearance to give Kulusevski a sight at goal in the second half and was also at fault for Son’s chance.

Ruben Dias (5/10):

A couple of sloppy moments, including a potentially costly slip in the closing stages.

Josko Gvardiol (6/10):

Pretty good in both directions. Might have done better with a first-half chance on the volley.

Midfield

Rodri (6/10):

Shut down pretty effectively in the first half as Tottenham attempted to flood the midfield. Grew into things.

Mateo Kovacic (6/10):

Sprayed a couple of really impressive passes, though looked a little lightweight at times.

Kevin De Bruyne (7/10):

Provided a much-needed moment of inspiration and was subbed off soon after with the final day of the season in mind.

Attack

Bernardo Silva (7/10):

Did well to release De Bruyne in the lead-up to the goal. Linked up well with Walker at times.

Erling Haaland (7/10):

Barely touched it, but of course he scored from a De Bruyne assist. Converted the pressure penalty too.

Phil Foden (6/10):

Ran down a couple of dead ends. Definitely not his best game of the season, even if he did play a role in both goals.

Subs & Manager

Stefan Ortega (8/10):

Made a huge save to prevent Kulusevski seconds after coming on and then kept Son out in the dying stages. Some cameo from the bench.

Jeremy Doku (7/10):

Drew the foul for the penalty.

Julian Alvarez (N/A):

On for the final few minutes.

Pep Guardiola (6/10):

His side seemed to struggle with Spurs’ approach in the first half, but they got the job done. His ability to breed a winning mentality is quite incredible.