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Stunning Son shocks City

Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 1-0 at the new Tottenham Stadium on Tuesday night to move a step closer to the Uefa Champions League semi-finals. Son Heung-Min got the only goal of the game in the 78th minute.

City came into this tie as outright favourites as they were on a 14-game unbeaten run, while Spurs endured a poor run of form seeing them drop out of the title race in the English Premier League.

However, a new stadium seems to have sparked new life into Spurs. They played their first game against Crystal Palace last Wednesday in the Premier League and cruised to a comfortable 2-0 win.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino knew that City were a tougher test, labeling it as “one of the most important matches of his career”.

“It is our second game in our new stadium and the first in the Champions League so we hope the atmosphere is amazing and tough for our opponent,” Pochettino added.

When the game began, the new stadium factor did not affect City as they started like a house on fire. City pressed Spurs in the first quarter of the game and were awarded a penalty in the 11th minute when a Raheem Sterling shot struck the arm of Spurs defender Danny Rose.

Sergio Aguero — City’s all time top goalscorer — stepped up, but was denied by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

That seemed to wake the Spurs players up as they went on to dominate the remainder of the first half. The fans could feel that this was a European night for Pochettino’s men. The teams would go in at half time at 0-0.

Just like the first half, the second half started in horrendous fashion for the hosts as they saw their talisman, Harry Kane, suffer an ankle injury, which forced him off after he collided with Man City defender Fabian Delph.

City seemed to take control of the game after that and held possession but offered no real threat going forward. There was always a feeling that the longer Spurs could frustrate the Citizens, the better the chance of them nicking a result would be.

And in the 78th minute, Christian Erisken lobbed a through ball to Heung-Min Son who only had Man City goalkeeper Ederson to beat. The Brazilian goalkeeper pushed the Korean wide and it looked like the chance had vanished, but Son skipped past a defender and produced a neat left-footed finish to give Spurs the lead.

City chased the game for the last 10 minutes, but could not grab an equaliser, which showed how important the Aguero penalty in the 11th minute proved to be.

The match ended 1-0 to Spurs who will now have to show the same determination when they travel to the Etihad Stadium for the second leg next without their main man Harry Kane.

City are still favourites to progress to the last four of the competition, but Tottenham will take the confidence of their new stadium to Manchester as they look to reach their first ever Champions League semifinal.

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Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia is a member of the Mail & Guardian's online team.

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