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EPL: City back on top after tense win over Spurs

Last updated on: April 20, 2019 22:21 IST
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The victory puts the pressure back on title rivals Liverpool who are at Cardiff City on Sunday and trail by a point with each side having played 34 games.

IMAGE: Manchester City players celebrate after Phil Foden scored the goal against Tottenham Hotspur. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League with a fifth-minute Phil Foden goal giving them a nervy 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad stadium on Saturday.

The victory for Pep Guardiola's side, three days after Spurs eliminated City from the Champions League, puts the pressure back on title rivals Liverpool who are at Cardiff City on Sunday and trail by a point with both teams having played 34 games.


But City's 10th Premier League in a row came at a price with key midfielder Kevin De Bruyne forced off with what looked like another knee injury in the 38th minute.

It remains to be seen how serious that injury is but it will surely put him in doubt for Wednesday's crucial Manchester derby at Old Trafford -- the last game City face against top-six opponents.

After all the emotion of Wednesday's extraordinary Champions League quarter-final second leg, which Spurs won on away goals, it was perhaps not surprising that this game was a tighter affair.

With the result in the balance until the end and City desperate to cling on to all three points, the final stages were as nervous as Wednesday's were thrilling.

"We knew what they were about because we have played them twice (recently) already," said Foden.

"It's hard and we looked a bit leggy but we got the job done."

IMAGE: Phil Foden scores the goal for Manchester City. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Just as on Wednesday, City took an early lead.

Bernardo Silva created the goal, coasting past two Tottenham defenders before floating a delightful cross to Sergio Aguero who headed back across the face of the goal to Foden to nod in from close range.

It was the first goal in the Premier League for the 18-year-old midfielder, making his second start in the competition and he impressed with a confident display.

And just as on Wednesday, Spurs responded positively. Son Heung-min, who had scored a brace in the opening minutes in the Champions League, twice threatened the City goal but both times City keeper Ederson was out quickly to nullify the danger.

City were in charge but too often their attacks broke down on the edge of the area with Spurs quick to get deep in numbers.

The visitors felt they should have had a penalty in the 59th minute when the ball appeared to hit Kyle Walker's arm inside the box but referee Michael Oliver waved away the appeal.

At the other end, Raheem Sterling nearly scored with a close-range shot which Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, in for the injured Hugo Lloris, did well to keep out with his feet.

The pressure was being felt, with Spurs also in need of points in their bid for a top-four finish and Champions League football next season.

But City, looking much more solid at the back and offering fewer openings to Mauricio Pochettino's side than three days ago, showed the steel and pragmatism that was lacking in that 4-3 defeat.

Now the ball is back in Liverpool's court before City's game in hand against their old rivals United.

Deulofeu double seals Watford win at Huddersfield

Watford's Gerard Deulofeu celebrates with teammates on scoring their second goal against Huddersfield Town at John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield

IMAGE: Watford's Gerard Deulofeu celebrates with teammates on scoring their second goal against Huddersfield Town at John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. Photograph: Ed Sykes/Action Images via Reuters

Gerard Deulofeu scored in each half as Watford beat Huddersfield Town 2-1 to clinch their first Premier League away win in four games at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors opened the scoring inside five minutes after an effort from Abdoulaye Doucoure was blocked by Huddersfield centre back Terence Kongolo inside the area, only for Deulofeu to slot home a curling effort.

The Spanish winger doubled his tally for the afternoon with an identical goal after Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl had saved the initial effort from Doucoure.

It was the Deulofeu's ninth league goal of the campaign, continuing his sparkling run of form after his two strikes against Wolverhampton Wanderers put Watford in the FA Cup final.

Relegated Huddersfield struggled to create opportunities for the majority of the game before substitute Karlan Grant headed in a late consolation goal.

The win takes Watford provisionally to seventh in the league table, while Huddersfield suffered their seventh consecutive defeat in the league.

Battling Brighton secure vital draw at Wolves

Brighton & Hove Albion rode their luck to secure a scoreless draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, gaining a vital point in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

With four games left, Brighton remained fourth-bottom of the table on 34 points, three ahead of Cardiff City who host Liverpool on Sunday.

On a run of four straight league defeats with no goals scored, Brighton were desperate to get something out of the game and they backed off from the start, packing their defence and showing little ambition in attack.

Wolves dominated possession throughout and striker Diogo Jota had a strong penalty claim turned down before firing a shot just wide and sending a looping effort bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

Wolves created plenty of chances but they struggled to get shots on target and Mat Ryan was left relatively untroubled in the Brighton goal until late in the second half.

With about 15 minutes remaining Jota struck a post and Ryan had to make a superb save to prevent Leander Dendoncker from slamming home the rebound as Brighton hung on grimly for the draw.

Barnes saves Leicester with injury-time strike at West Ham

Leicester City's Jamie Vardy scores their first goal against West Ham United at London Stadium, London

IMAGE: Leicester City's Jamie Vardy scores their first goal against West Ham United at London Stadium, London. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Leicester City twice came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw with West Ham United at London Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy and then Harvey Barnes netted as the visitors refused to give in after Michail Antonio and Lucas Perez twice put the Hammers ahead.

The two mid-table sides both began in the unusual position of having equalled their points total of last season despite campaigns which promised more than they delivered.

Antonio opened the scoring with a superb bullet header from Mark Noble's cross in the 37th minute, with Vardy countering with a brilliant finish for his 16th goal of the season.

Substitute Perez thought he had won it on 82 minutes with a tap-in after fellow substitute Pedro Obiang had hit the post.

But Leicester fought back again and substitute Barnes kept his cool in injury time to slot home calmly for his first ever goal for the Foxes.

Fulham stun Bournemouth in Howe's 500th game as a manager

Relegated Fulham ruined Eddie Howe's 500th game as a manager by beating Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday to secure their first away Premier League win of the season.

Aleksander Mitrovic scored the only goal from the penalty spot after 53 minutes after the striker had been brought down by a careless challenge from Jack Simpson.

The defender would never have been on the pitch had it not been for a bizarre series of injuries as Adam Smith was hurt in the warm-up and his replacement Junior Stanislaus went off on 23 minutes.

The Cherries still started strongly enough with Josh King side-footing over from close range after fine work from Ryan Fraser, who was also denied by a fine save from keeper Sergio Rico.

But the visitors showed great resilience to stay on level terms before showing more of a threat themselves with Denis Odoi's header forcing a fine save from 39-year-old keeper Artur Boruc.

With Ryan Babel heading over when free on goal, the visitors continued to impress although Mitrovic was fortunate to stay on the pitch after clashing with Nathan Ake.

The win was Fulham's second in succession after last week's 2-0 victory over Everton.

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