Man City defeat in north London drops the curtain on Tottenham’s Champions League hopes

A 2-0 defeat against Manchester City in north London has ended Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes of playing Champions League football next season.

After four consecutive wins against the reigning champions at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs were fairly confident of getting a result against Pep Guardiola’s men to keep their faint top-four hopes alive.

Ironically, Arsenal fans were also rooting for their north London foes to bolster their title hopes, but a brace from Erling Braut Haaland was enough to condemn Spurs to their 12th defeat of the season.

Despite heading into the game as underdogs, Tottenham started the clash on the front foot, and their intent translated to an early attacking threat, with Rodrigo Bentancur forcing a flying save from Ederson.

The opening half subsequently turned out to be a cagey affair, but a couple of defensive mishaps threatened to produce an opening goal.

City nearly capitalised on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s glaring error in the box, but Guglielmo Vicario pulled off a fantastic one-handed stop to deny Phil Foden.

Josko Gvardiol’s wild effort from a Kyle Walker cross typified the lack of attacking fluency in the first 45 minutes as both sides struggled to find their rhythm, especially in the final third.

The fireworks came in the second half as Kevin De Bruyne’s perfectly timed run and pass set Haaland up for a simple tap-in. 

Haaland’s strike caused a strange divide in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium crowd. Anti-Arsenal chants echoed around the stands, with a few Spurs fans even adopting City’s ‘Poznan’ celebration in a bizarre display of divided loyalties.

Spurs had their moments in the game, handing City a few scares. Dejan Kulusevski was denied from close range before Stefan Ortega produced a match-defining 1v1 save to deny Son Heung-Min.

City eventually sealed all three points after Pedro Porro brought down Jeremy Doku in the box, with Haaland slotting home the spot-kick.

Spurs are now forced to settle for fifth place and a spot in the Europa League, but they’ll need to be wary about dropping their heads in the final game against relegated Sheffield United.

Ange Postecoglou’s side could still be leapfrogged by Newcastle United or Chelsea if they failed to dispatch the Blades on the final day.