Player ratings as Riyad Mahrez inspires comeback

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Riyad Mahrez inspired a second half comeback for Man City, scoring a brace as the Citizens came from two goals down to record an important win.

Spurs had taken the lead in the first half thanks to goals from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal, before Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and a brace from Mahrez completed a brilliant comeback.

As expected, Manchester City dominated possession of the ball in the opening exchanges, but Tottenham were largely able restrict the home side’s efforts on goal.

Cristian Romero proved to be particularly impressive in the opening half-hour and perhaps provided the only real highlight of that period when he stormed back to pull of a brilliant slide tackle on Jack Grealish.

The game opened up a bit more following that period, with Tottenham finding their way into the final third a bit more frequently. In doing so, however, they left themselves more open at the back, allowing City to have their first notable effort on goal in the 38th minute. That effort would come from youngster Rico Lewis, who forced Hugo Lloris into a decent saw with his drilled effort from 25-yards out.

Their next chance would come a few minutes later, when Nathan Ake clipped the ball over the top of the Spurs defence and into the path of Erling Haaland. After controlling well, the Norwegian saw his subequent side footed strike well saved by Lloris.

After a few decent saves, Lloris would throw in his customary clanger in the 43rd minute, rushing out in an attempt to beat Haaland to a cross into the heart of the penalty area. Haaland got there first, but could only head over the crossbar.

Then, out of nowhere, Tottenham took the lead.

The goal would come from some horrid play from Man City, with Ederson playing a terrible ball into Rodri inside his own penalty which Rodrigo Bentancur nabbed off his feet. The ball would then spill out to Kulusevski who coolly side-footed into the net.

Just before half-time Tottenham scored again. This time it was Emerson (of all people) who’d get the goal, with the wing-back reacting first in the six-yard box to head home after Ederson parried a Harry Kane strike.

At the start of the second half Man City found a route back into the game, as Alvarez reacted well to a goalmouth scramble to fire the ball into the roof of the net.

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A few minutes later, City drew level.

The second would come from Haaland, who latched onto a delicate header across goal from Mahrez to make it 2-2.

Despite all the momentum being with City, it was actually Spurs who almost re-took the lead on the hour mark. After some brilliant play from Kulusevski on the right flank, the Swedish international pulled the ball back into the back of Ivan Perisic who saw his subsequent strike on goal deflected on to the post by Lewis.

Spurs and Perisic would be made to rue that miss a few minutes later when Mahrez made it 3-2. The Algerian – in electric form in the second half – burst past Davies on the right of the penalty area before drilling the ball past Lloris.

The wide player bagged his brace in the 89th minute, capitalising on a woeful first touch from Clement Lenglet before chipping the ball over Lloris.

GK – Ederson – 2/10 – His woeful play led to the opening goal.

RB – Rico Lewis – 7/10 – Man City’s best defender and is only 18 years old. A serious talent.

CB – Manuel Akanji – 4/10 – Poor on the ball at times. For anyone who watched the Bundesliga over the last five years, it remains a mystery that Guardiola is starting Akanji week in, week out.

CB – John Stones – 5/10 – Passing was better than his partner’s.

LB – Nathan Ake – 5/10 – Struggled up against Kulu.

RM – Riyad Mahrez – 10/10 – Turned on the style at the start of the second half to propel his side back into the game, before scoring the third to give City the lead.

CM – Rodri – 4/10 – Slow in possession, slow to react out of possession. Not at his best.

CM – Ilkay Gundogan – 6/10 – In a proper midfield battle against Bentancur and Hojbjerg.

LM – Jack Grealish – 4/10 – Cuts back instead of taking on his man way too often.

ST – Erling Haaland – 7/10 – Missed a few really good chances in the first half but finally got his goal in the second.

ST – Julian Alvarez – 7/10 – Paid his manager back for starting him by scoring City’s first of the evening.

SUB – Kyle Walker – N/A.

SUB – Bernardo Silva – N/A.

GK – Hugo Lloris – 4/10 – Made a few good saves but also probably could’ve done better for City’s third.

CB – Cristian Romero – 7/10 – He was brilliant in the first half, stifling most of City’s attacks on his own.

CB – Eric Dier – 6/10 – Put in a decent enough performance.

CB – Ben Davies – 3/10 – Turned inside out a few times too many in the second half.

RWB – Emerson Royal – 6/10 – Scored a very rare goal and did well defensively too.

CM – Rodrigo Bentancur – 7/10 – How much of a difference he makes to this Tottenham teammate can’t be underestimated. His diligence set up Kulu’s opener.

CM – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 6/10 – Worked hard to track City’s midfielders.

LWB – Ivan Perisic – 4/10 – So nearly gave Tottenham a 3-2 lead, but was denied by Lewis and the post.

RW – Dejan Kulusevski – 7/10 – Scored the opener and caused Ake problems throughout.

ST – Harry Kane – 6/10 – A few nice touches and his movement cause City some problems.

LW – Heung-min Son – 2/10 – Devoid of confidence. By far Tottenham’s least effective forward on Thursday evening…and throughout the rest of the season too.

SUB – Ryan Sessegnon – N/A.

SUB – Yves Bissouma – N/A.

SUB – Clement Lenglet – 0/10 – Came off the bench and made a mistake which led to a goal. Full bad.

SUB – Richarlison – N/A.

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