MOURINHO TAKES SPURS TO TOP SPOT, SINKS FORMER CLUB, CHELSEA

MOURINHO TAKES SPURS TO TOP SPOT, SINKS FORMER CLUB, CHELSEA
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Tottenham powered to the top of the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester City, while Chelsea are up to second place after their victory at Newcastle on Saturday (Nov 21).

Jose Mourinho’s side are two points clear of Chelsea thanks to goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani lo Celso at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham took the lead after five minutes as South Korean forward Son ran onto Tanguy Ndombele’s lofted pass, beat the City offside trap and slotted a cool finish under Ederson.

It was Son’s ninth league goal this season and his 11th in all competitions.

City dominated possession after Son’s goal and thought they had equalised in the 27th minute when Aymeric Laporte fired home.

But Gabriel Jesus controlled Rodri’s cross with his arm before setting up Laporte and the goal was disallowed after referee Mike Dean consulted the pitchside monitor.

Lo Celso came off the bench to score with his first touch just 35 seconds after his introduction.

The Argentinian midfielder netted his first Premier League goal in the 65th minute, driving his shot past Ederson after Harry Kane’s sublime pass prised open the City defence.

On the one-year anniversary of Mourinho’s appointment, Tottenham are unbeaten in their last eight league games since losing to Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

Mourinho’s team are on a four-match winning run in the league and have been transformed into genuine title contenders just months after finishing outside the top four last term.

Tottenham, who last won the top-flight title in 1961 and haven’t lifted a major trophy since 2008, would surrender pole position if Leicester beat champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

City are languishing in 10th place, eight points behind the leaders after their first defeat in 10 games in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola’s timid side look a shadow of the swaggering outfit that won successive league titles in 2018 and 2019.

‘Stay humble’

Next weekend, Tottenham face a fascinating clash with London rivals Chelsea, who maintained their fine form as Federico Fernandez’s first-half own goal and Tammy Abraham’s strike sealed a 2-0 win at St James’ Park.

Frank Lampard’s side are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and have not lost in their last six league matches.

With five clean sheets in their last six outings in all competitions, Chelsea’s third successive league victory was the perfect way to start a hectic period leading up to Christmas.

Chelsea’s pressure was rewarded in the 10th minute when a short corner caught Newcastle flat-footed.

Mason Mount whipped in a low cross and Fernandez turned it into his own net under pressure from Ben Chilwell at the far post.

Chelsea put the result beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Timo Werner accelerated away from the Newcastle defence and slipped a pass to Abraham, who guided his shot past Karl Darlow and in off the post.

“It’s not an easy game. We played well in patches and the result is key in these games,” Lampard said.

“The Premier League is tough, relentless, and we dealt with the challenge of the game very well.

“I won’t get excited about being top of the table for five minutes. It’s important to be humble and know it’s a long race.” Brighton’s 2-1 success at Aston Villa ended a run of seven games without a win in all competitions, but it didn’t come easily for the Seagulls.

Graham Potter’s side, who had won only once in the league this term, took the lead through Danny Welbeck before Ezri Konsa’s equaliser for Villa.

Solly March put Brighton back in front, but Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey was sent off for a foul on Jack Grealish in stoppage-time.

Villa were controversially denied a penalty in the final seconds when Michael Oliver gave a spot-kick for March’s challenge on Trezeguet, only for the referee to change his mind after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Having survived the late drama, Brighton were able to celebrate their first ever win at Villa Park.

In the day’s late game, Manchester United needed a twice-taken penalty by Bruno Fernandes to see off lowly West Brom 1-0 to end a run of six games without a Premier League win at Old Trafford.

Defeat leaves the Baggies still rooted in the relegation zone with just three points from their opening eight games.

-AFP