» Sports » After Super League climbdown, City and Spurs register wins

After Super League climbdown, City and Spurs register wins

April 22, 2021 08:35 IST
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Man City close on Premier League title with 2-1 win at Villa

Manchester City

IMAGE: Manchester City's Rodrigo celebrates scoring. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Manchester City recovered from conceding a very early goal to win 2-1 at Aston Villa on Wednesday and move a step closer to the Premier League title after a game in which both sides finished with 10 men.

City, who are 11 points ahead of Manchester United with five games left, were caught napping early when Villa took a quick free kick. A pass from Ollie Watkins found John McGinn and he rifled the ball home with 20 seconds on the clock.


City equalised in the 22nd minute after goalkeeper Ederson's long raking ball prompted a slick passing move that Phil Foden finished from the middle of the penalty area.

Displaying superb skill and close control, Foden was instrumental in City's second goal, winning a corner that led to Rodri heading home to give them the lead in the 40th minute.

The home side was thrown a lifeline minutes later when referee Peter Bankes upgraded a yellow card for City defender John Stones to red after reviewing video footage of his dangerous challenge on Jacob Ramsey before the break.

However, that advantage was cancelled out early in the second half when Villa's Matty Cash was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.

Set to face Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Final on Sunday, City took their foot off the gas but were still able to control the rest of the game and close out the win.

City captain Fernandinho praised Foden for his performance.

"He's showed his quality, no doubt about that. He's matured, chooses better actions, scored today and he's been awesome, so pleased and happy for him because he's a nice boy and deserves the best," he told Sky Sports.

Son penalty gives Spurs top-four boost in Mason's first game in charge

Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed some respite in a tumultuous week for the club as Son Heung-min's late penalty earned them a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday to revive their hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

After Jose Mourinho's sacking on Monday and the club's ignominious role in the Super League drama which has rocked football, it was left to 29-year-old caretaker manager Ryan Mason to try to steady the ship.

It looked as though the former Tottenham midfielder, handed the reins until the end of the season, would start with a loss when Danny Ings headed Southampton into a halftime lead.

But Gareth Bale, who Mason restored to the starting line-up for the first time since mid-March, curled home an equaliser on the hour as Tottenham improved after a dismal first half.

Son then gave Tottenham some much-needed cheer as he beat Alex McCarthy from the penalty spot in the 90th minute.

Victory lifted Tottenham into sixth place with 53 points, two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who have a game in hand.

Mason became the first manager under the age of the 30 to take charge of an English top-flight team since Queen's Park Rangers' Frank Sibley in 1977.

A proud night for the local lad who was forced to retire in 2019 after a head injury and who has since become part of the club's youth set-up, had become a side-show in a week dominated by the creation, and disintegration, of a breakaway European Super League for which Tottenham signed up along with five other Premier League clubs.

Fans demonstrated outside the stadium before kickoff calling for chairman Daniel Levy, forced into a humiliating U-turn on Tuesday evening after a global backlash against the Super League, to resign.

There was some cheer for Levy, sitting alone in the empty stadium, but it was Mason's night.

He will take the side into Sunday's League Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley with morale restored as Spurs bid to win their first trophy since 2008.

"It's important to go into a big game on the back of a win," Mason said. "The energy was outstanding in the second half."

Asked his thoughts on the Super League saga and whether Levy should apologise to the fans, he said: "To be honest all my thoughts have been focused on this game."

Tottenham had won only once in their last five games, ending Mourinho's 17-month spell in charge.

Without injured Harry Kane they were poor in the first half and Southampton would have taken the lead inside two minutes had keeper Hugo Lloris not made reaction saves from Mohammed Salisu and Che Adams.

Lloris had no chance in the 30th minute when James Ward Prowse's corner was met by Ings who angled a superb glancing header inside the far post.

Tottenham were far more threatening after the break and Bale curled home a beauty with his trusty left foot.

Son converted Sergio Reguilon's cut back, only for Moura to be adjudged offside, but Son got his goal when a goalmouth scramble ended with a foul by Moussa Djenepo and the South Korean tucked away his 15th league goal of the season.

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Indian Premier League - 2021

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