Christian Eriksen strikes late as Tottenham stun Manchester City

      Yaya Touré will not wish to see a replay of the error that led to Christian Eriksen’s late goal that sent Tottenham Hotspur home jubilant and put a further dent in Manchester City’s championship hopes.
The Ivorian ran into traffic and trouble near halfway and from there City unravelled. Erik Lamela had just come on as a substitute but a cool head allowed the Argentinian to carry the ball forward before passing to Eriksen, whose finish beyond Joe Hart may prove priceless when the Premier League trophy is handed out in May.
City had fought back impressively during a second half in which they appeared the more likely to claim the points, especially after Kelechi Iheanacho’s equaliser. Yet by the end, after Nicolás Otamendi had failed to beat Hugo Lloris to a header that might have grabbed the draw, Tottenham had moved to within two points of the leaders, Leicester City.
With only 12 games remaining Manuel Pellegrini’s side suffered a second consecutive loss but look at the same six-point gap to the top with which they began the day. The normally cool-headed Pellegrini stopped to “congratulate” Mike Dean, the fourth official, before walking off at full-time.
Pellegrini was particularly unhappy at the 53rd-minute penalty awarded by Mark Clattenburg after the referee decided Raheem Sterling had handled Danny Rose’s cross.
Yet the truth is this result means City’s best showing against their three title rivals remains a goalless draw at Leicester in late December and they have still not beaten a side in the top six. This is not the kind of form to offer convincing evidence Pellegrini could yet guide City to a second title in three years. Since Pep Guardiola was announced as his summer successor they have lost twice and won only once.
The start was the opposite of the free-for-all that had been the Arsenal-Leicester game earlier in the day. It featured the kind of cautious exchanges that often occur in a title race’s defining phase.
City, however, posed the greater threat. David Silva was in chief-conductor mode, Sterling was finding space and Sergio Agüero was given two chances to open the scoring.

Pellegrini positioned Touré as the No10 behind Agüero and in flashes the Ivorian posed the visitors problems – either by running with the ball or without it, as a late arrival into the area.Each of these came from City corners. A Silva-Fernandinho-Silva-Sterling-Silva move along the Spurs right ended with the Spaniard’s shot being deflected out. Silva took the kick from the left but Agüero’s header was looping and weak, and simple for Lloris to collect. The second chance again saw Silva swing his cross in from the left, but Agüero’s attempt with his left foot was high.
The way to trouble this Pellegrini team is to hound and cut off their thinking time. This is how Leicester departed with a 3-1 win just over a week ago, but during the first half Spurs failed to do the necessary.
Any questions they asked were more prosaic. Eriksen, the No10 in Mauricio Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1, drifted across the turf and let fly a 25-yard shot that forced the under-worked Hart to save. Later, Rose hit a volley that was on course to trouble Hart before Pablo Zabaleta’s head intervened.
Vincent Kompany had been confirmed in the City starting XI for the first time since 8 November and given their defensive maladies the hope was he could immediately reach match-day speed.
As the interval arrived the home rear-defence had indeed been more composed, though Kompany’s rustiness caused two errors. There was an awry header that conceded possession and a clearance that allowed Tottenham to rove straight back at City. But like the rest of the opening half, this came to nothing.
Only eight minutes of the second half were needed to change the picture as the referee awarded a penalty after Sterling was ruled to have committed the handling misdemeanour from Rose’s attempted ball into the area. It was actually more of an elbow after the No7 turned his back.
Kane made no mistake, smacking the spot kick past Hart. The atmosphere had become raucous and City nearly enjoyed an instant response when Touré addressed a 25-yard free-kick after Kevin Wimmer’s foul, for which the central defender was booked. Touré stuttered his run-up and was unlucky to see his fine attempt crash back off the bar.
After 74 minutes Pellegrini made his first move, taking off Fernando for Iheanacho. Having to look to a 19-year-old for help to turn round such a crucial match is illustrative of the injuries that blight a City squad whose most important miss is Kevin De Bruyne, a long-term absentee.
Iheanacho did not make the best start when a regulation touch was clumsy and the ball ran away for a goal kick. The next time he was found the youngster made serious amends. Gaël Clichy fashioned a slick one-two with Silva and when the City left-back pinged the ball over the substitute produced an instant finish that left Lloris no chance.
City had grabbed the momentum and were flying at Tottenham. Touré galloped forward and aimed a shot a Lloris that warmed the Frenchman’s fingers but at the final whistle all the positive energy and feelings belonged to the visitors.
Man of the match Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

reference source:theguardain