Steven Bergwijn’s debut goal helped Tottenham to a remarkable 2-0 win over 10-man Manchester City on Sunday to breathe new life into their challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho’s men had been completely outplayed for the first hour, but were kept in the game by City’s profligacy and Hugo Lloris’s first-half penalty save from Ilkay Gundogan.
However, Oleksandr Zinchenko’s sending off changed the course of the game as Spurs scored with their first two shots on goal through Bergwijn and Son Heung-min.
Victory lifts Spurs up to fifth, just four points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
A sixth league defeat of the season for City sees Liverpool remain 22 points clear at the top and within touching distance of their first league title for 30 years.
This was arguably the least anticipated of Mourinho and Pep Guardiola’s 23 meetings as opposing managers, but it resorted to type as the Portuguese set up Spurs to defend deep, while City monopolised possession.
The visitors could have been out of sight by halftime as in a recurring theme of their season, the champions were wasteful in front of goal.
Lloris was making just his third appearance since returning from a long-term layoff due to a dislocated elbow, but the French No 1 was back to his best to keep his side level at halftime.
He turned Sergio Aguero’s low shot onto the post before the Argentine was chopped down in the area by Serge Aurier.
Referee Mike Dean initially waved play on, but with no break in play for a few minutes he eventually stopped the game after being told to give a penalty by VAR.
City’s dreadful run from the spot continued as Gundogan joined Gabriel Jesus and Sterling in failing to convert in recent weeks as his low effort was parried by Lloris.
Sterling then pounced on the rebound and went down over Lloris, but no second penalty was awarded and Sterling also escaped the possibility of a second booking for diving.
Gundogan was the guilty party again minutes into the second period when he hooked over with the goal gaping after a calamity of errors in the Spurs defence saw Lloris collide with Japhet Tanganga.
However, the game was decided in three minutes just after the hour mark.
Zinchenko was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Harry Winks as Tottenham launched a counter-attack.
At that point City had attempted 14 shots on goal to Tottenham’s none, but the hosts only needed one.
Bergwijn, signed earlier this week from PSV Eindhoven, capped a dream debut as he chested down Lucas Moura’s pass and volleyed past Ederson.
“As a little kid I wanted to be here and play in the Premier League, so to score on my debut is unbelievable,” said Bergwijn.
Eight minutes later, Spurs were out of sight when Son, who scored three times in a famous Champions League quarterfinal win over City last season, was the scourge of City again with a fine low finish from Tanguy Ndombele’s pass.