Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – as it happened

Phil Foden’s first Premier League goal proved just enough to win the points for City on a tense afternoon at the Etihad Stadium

Match report: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Paul Wilson was at the Etihad Stadium for the Guardian and this is how he saw this afternoon’s events unfold.

Pep Guardiola speaks: Talking to Sky Sports, the City boss seems in slightly irritable mood when he is asked a slightly ludicrous question about “how important” winning today’s game was. “A lot,” he says. “A lot important. We cannot afford to drop points and we have to keep fighting the end. After defeat on Wednesday the last two days were very tough for us. The effort the players had was incredible.”

He also seems slightly affronted by a question regarding the immense character showed by his players today. “They have 24 months of doing that,” he says. “This team is incredible so they don’t need to show me their character. I know their character.”

Post-match reflection: While City got all three points, they did have the benefit of a little bit of good luck. They could conceivably have had a penalty awarded against them for a Kyle Walker hand-ball. On Sky Sports, Graeme Souness thinks it would have been a harsh decision, while his colleague Gary Neville said at the time it should definitely have been a penalty. City also lost Kevin De Bruyne to an injury that looks like it might rule him out for what remains of the season.

Bernardo Silva speaks: “We knew after that game two days ago against Tottenham that we wanted to give a response for our fans and keep the race for the title alive,” he tells Sky Sports. “It was very tough because we didn’t have much time to rest and it was really warm outside. If I’m not mistaken we have four games to go now and we need to win them all.”

Asked if Manchester City’s players could feel the tension in the stands: “Maybe a little bit,” he says. “We weren’t nervous but we felt the atmosphere and the support. They [the fans] were amazing and we have to thank them.”

Asked about how he feels playing in such exalted company, Phil Foden says: “Every player I play with in this team - I just look up to them. This guy Bernardo didn’t stop running all day.” He also praises Sergio Aguero and Silva for the part in the build-up to their goal.

Upon being presented with his Man of the Match award by Foden, Silva promptly hands it back, saying he’d like his young team-mate to have it because he deserves it. Awww.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Man City 34 65 86
2 Liverpool 34 57 85
3 Tottenham Hotspur 34 29 67
4 Arsenal 33 26 66
5 Chelsea 34 21 66

Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: It was nervy and tense in the second half of this game, but Phil Foden’s fifth minute header has proved just enough to separate the sides and send his side one point clear of Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table with just four rounds of fixtures to go. City showed real mental fortitude today and have come through an extremely difficult test.

Full-time: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeep! Relief for Manchester City as the final whistle is blown. They’ve held on to get the three points on what must have been a very stressful afternoon.

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and team mates celebrate after the referee blows the final whistle.
Manchester City’s Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and team mates celebrate after the referee blows the final whistle. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

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90+5 min: A victor Wanyama cross into the City penalty area is headed clear by Bernardo Silva.

90+4 min: Llorente and Son combine to create a half-chance in the City penalty area, but the South Korean snatches at a dropping ball and doesn’t make clean contact.

90+2 min: City win a free-kick wide on the right touchline and are in no hurry to take it, as you can imagine. Raheem Sterling takes the ball into the corner and tries to shield it, but is knocked over by Jan Vertonghen. The two players go toe to toe on the touchline before squaring up and referee Michael Oliver ambles over to tell them to behave themselves.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling clashes with Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen for which both earned yellow cards.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling clashes with Tottenham Hotspur’s Jan Vertonghen for which both earned yellow cards. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

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90 min: Good work from Sane, who gallops upfield on a one-man counter-attack that almost takes him to the corner flag. He goes down under a challenge and appeals for a free-kick, but doesn’t get one. The fourth official holds up his board to signal four minutes of added time that is going to seem like an eternity for Manchester City and their fans.

89 min: The cameras cut to assorted City fans in the stands, where many are sitting with their heads in their hands, crippled with nerves and anxiety.

89 min: Tottenham win a free-kick just inside the City half. The ball’s lumped long and diagonally towards Llorente, who is unable to do reach it as it’s too high for him to control.

87 min: Looking pensive on the touchline, Pep Guardiola paces up and down in his technical area as the clock ticks down.

86 min: Victor Wanyama is booked for an ill-advised lunge on Fernandinho.

85 min: Manchester city substitution: David Silva on for Phil Foden, whose goal in the fifth minute separates the sides with five minutes plus added time to go.

84 min: Pep, it seems, has other ideas. On the City bench, David Silva is getting ready to come on, presumably for Phil Foden.

82 min: On the touchline, Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta are deep in conversation and have been for some time. They have a problem to sort out with their defence, which is being repeatedly split by long balls from Tottenham. In the Sky Sports gantry, Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville thinks they will probably bring on Nicolas Otamendi switch to three at the back.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola throws some shapes on the touchline.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola throws some shapes on the touchline. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

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80 min: Christian Eriksen has a shot blocked on the edge of the City penalty area. The ball breaks to Lucas Moura, who sends it fizzing high over the bar with a wild swing of his boot. Manchester City’s fans seem very anxious and who could blame them.

77 min: Here he comes!!! Tottenham substitution: Fernando Llorente on for Toby Alderweireld. Tottenham are switching to four at the back and now have their big man on to further unsettle Manchester City’s clearly nervous defenders.

74 min: With just over 15 minutes to go, Manchester City maintain their one-goal lead but aren’t looking particularly comfortable. If I was Mauricio Pochettino, I’d be thinking about adding a bit of “Llorente” to the Tottenham equation to give City’s knackered defenders a little more to think about. They’re in a real dither and Lucas Moura almost takes advantage as he gallops on to a long pass from deep that splits the two centre-backs. He’s eventually foiled in his attempts to score by a combination of Ederson and John Stones.

Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur has his shot blocked and saved by John Stones of Manchester City and Goalkeeper Ederson.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur has his shot blocked and saved by John Stones of Manchester City and Goalkeeper Ederson. Photograph: Paul Currie/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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71 min: A brilliant reflex save from Cazzaniga, who despite having his view impaired, sticks out a right foot to deny Raheem Sterling who looked certain to score from six yards out after Manchester City had swept through the Spurs defence. Sterling stares at the goalkeeper in disbelief, before sinking his head into his hands.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling shoots.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling shoots ... Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling reacts after his shot was saved.
Sterling can’t believe he didn’t double the home side’s lead. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

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70 min: From a free-kick deep inside the Tottenham half, the ball’s played long to Son, who is unable to win clean possession in the penalty area under pressure from two of Tottenham’s defenders.

69 min: Spurs substitution: Dele Alli off, Danny Rose on.

67 min: Raheem Sterling runs through the centre with the ball at his feet, but is crowded out by the massed ranks of the Tottenham defence. Out on the touchline, Wanyama and Bernardo Silva tussle for the ball, with the Portuguese snapping at the Tottenham man’s heels like a terrier. Outmuscling him, Wanyama hacks clear under pressure.

66 min: Man City substitution: Sergio Aguero off, Leroy Sane on. Aguero wraps his captain’s armband around Fernandinho’s biceps before walking to the sideline. He looks exhausted. Sane takes up position on the left wing, with Raheem Sterling moving to centre-forward.

65 min: Sterling tries to beat Foyth down the left again as Manchester City’s fans try to rouse their clearly edgy team as they try to protect their one-goal lead.

63 min: Raheem Sterling gets in behind Foyth, but Davinson Sanchez gets back to dispossess the winger before he can slalom towards the Tottenham goal. The ball breaks to Sergio Aguero, to the left of the Spurs goal, but he’s unable to turn and do any damage.

61 min: Tottenham substitution: Eric Dier off, Victor Wanyama on.

58 min: Spurs enjoy a rare period of sustained possession, which comes to an end when the ball is played long to Dele Alli, on the run into the Manchester City penalty area. He controls the ball on his chest and as it drops, Kyle Walker definitely plays it with his arm. Ali appeals for a penalty but doesn’t get one, which also seems a harsh decision. Manchester City are pushing their luck here; one can’t help but feel that they really, really need a second goal.

57 min: Ilkay Gundogan stands over the ball out on the left flank before sending a low free-kick towards the near post. It’s blocked easily and Tottenham clear their lines.

56 min: Sterling tries to get around Foyth in a sprint down the left flank and goes to ground. He appeals for a free-kick and gets one, which I think is a fairly harsh decision.

Tottenham’s Juan Foyth tussles with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling.
Tottenham’s Juan Foyth tussles with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

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54 min: Bernardo Silva has picked up in this second half where he left off in the first, wreaking havoc down the right flank, while occasionally winning the ball back for his team with admirable tenacity. This team he sprints down the touchline with the ball at his feet, beating several men in the process, but is thwarted in his attempt to send in a cross.

52 min: There’s a loud appeal for a penalty from the stands as Phil Foden runs into Juan Foyth while chasing a dropping ball and goes to ground. Michael Oliver makes the correct decision and waves play on.

50 min: Replays show an accidental hand-ball by Toby Alderweireld in his own penalty area as he attempted to regain his balance in a tussle with Sergio Aguero. He clearly put his hand on the ball as it rolled along the ground, but had no idea where it was at the time. It would have been a very harsh penalty to give and it’s worth noting that Aguero didn’t even appeal.

49 min: Excellent play from Kyle Walker, who beats three men as he races to the byline before pulling the ball back to Sergio Aguero. His touch lets him down but the ball drops kindly for Phil Foden in the Spurs penalty area. He snatches at his shot and ball zips well wide.

47 min: Phil Foden begins the second half in a slightly more advanced role, with Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho a fair bit behind him forming a two-man screen in front of the City back four.

46 min: Lucas Moura charges towards the edge of the Spurs penalty area with the ball at his feet, but runs into a two-man wall and is dispossessed before he can unleash a shot.

Second half: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

46 min: As things stand, Manchester will go top of the table, with Liverpool due to face Cardiff City tomorrow afternoon. There’s a long way to go in this game however and the longer City go without adding to their tally of one goal, the more nervous and edgy you might expect them to come. Tottenham get the ball rolling for the second half with no further changes in personnel on either side.

Half-time: Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham

Peep! It’s time for the break on a hot afternoon in Manchester. City have dominated and lead by Phil Foden’s maiden Premier League goal. They have looked vulnerable, mind - Spurs have spurned four decent scoring opportunity after getting in behind the City defence. In other worrying news for City, who could really do with a second goal to ease any jitters, they have lost Kevin De Bruyne to what looks it might be a fairly serious knee injury.

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43 min: Son charges through the centre leaving a trail of defenders in his wake and taking advantage of a lucky ricochet before finding his path to goal clear. Ederson saves the day for City, charging out of his goal and smothering the ball at the striker’s feet. That was an excellent save.

41 min: Lucas Moura gallops down the right flank and whips a cross into the Man City penalty area. Son was racing in to meet it, but seemed to hesitate momentarily, allowing Ederson to come of his line and claim the ball. Another warning for City. Moments later, at the other end of the pitch, Kyle Walker fires high over the ball.

39 min: It seems De Bruyne picked up that injury while attempting that shot on goal I mentioned a few moments ago. He looked thoroughly fed up as he sat on the turf and if the crestfallen expression on his face was anything to go by, I suspect we won’t be seeing him playing for City again this season.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City is looks disappointed after picking up another injury.
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City is looks disappointed after picking up another injury. Photograph: Paul Currie/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

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38 min: Nothing comes of the corner, but there’s bad news for Manchester City for Manchester City as Kevin De Bruyne receives treatment on what looks like a knee injury before limping off. He looks gutted as he’s replaced by Fernandinho - is that his season, one punctuated with several injuries, over?

37 min: Poor handling from Gazzaniga, who needlessly concedes a corner when he should have made a straightforward catch.

35 min: Kevin De Bruyne tries to curl a shot towards the top corner from just outside the D, but his standing foot slips from under him and the ball sails high and wide.

34 min: Bernardo Silva has been irrepressible today and once again he finds himself on the edge of the Spurs area with the ball at his feet. He spanks a low drive goalwards, but it’s straight at Gazzaniga, who saves easily.

32 min: Bernardo Silva unleashes a shot from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area that’s deflected out for a corner. Again, Manchester City take it short. The ball is played across the pitch to Zinchenko, whose shot is blocked by Eric Dier. The ball goes out for a throw-in.

30 min: A nice bit of skill from Dele Alli, who nutmegs Bernardo Silva before pirouetting around him to retrieve the ball. The Portuguese winger will not like that one bit.

Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur controls the ball after battling for possession with Bernardo Silva of Manchester City.
Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur controls the ball after battling for possession with Bernardo Silva of Manchester City. Photograph: Matt McNulty/Man City via Getty Images

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28 min: Good scuttling and scurrying from Bernardo Silva, who wins possession and subsequently, another corner for his side. It’s taken short and Spurs get to clear their lines. Manchester City continue to dominate and are clearly in the ascendency, but Tottenham have got in behind their defence on the counter-attack on three different occasions so far in this game and are far from out it.

28 min: From the corner, Tottenham’s defence push out and Sergio Aguero is flagged for offside once the ball comes his way.

25 min: Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga gifts Manchester City a corner with a fluffed attempt to pass the ball to a defender that results in the ball looping behind him and going wide. His effort is greeted by a raucous, sarcastic cheer from the home crowd.

22 min: Manchester city continue to dominate, but are looking vulnerable at the back. Up front on the flanks, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva are giving Juan Foyth and Ben Davies all sorts of problems and Tottenham’s flat five-man defence is looking anything but comfortable.

Bernardo Silva of Manchester City runs with the ball as Spurs’ Ben Davies looks on.
Bernardo Silva of Manchester City runs with the ball as Spurs’ Ben Davies looks on. Photograph: Matt McNulty/Man City via Getty Images

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19 min: There’s an appeal for an appeal as Bernardo Silva goes down under a Jan Vertonghen challenge just inside the Tottenham penalty area. Referee Michael Oliver is in a good position and waves play on. Replays suggest he probably should have given City a spot-kick - it was a clumsy challenge from Vertonghen, who swept Silva’s leg from under him.

19 min: Bernardo Silva curls another precise cross to the far post, where Davinson Sanchez is on hand to head clear for Tottenham.

16 min: Excellent play by Laporte, who somehow keeps up with Son as he is played into space in behind the Manchester City by a brilliant Christian Eriksen pass from deep. With City playing a very high line, Son is unleashed in acres of space, but Laporte recovers and dispossesses him on the edge of the penalty area with an excellent tackle.

14 min: A chance for Tottenham, as Christian Eriksen gets past Aymeric Laporte, shoots on goal and forces a save from Ederson, who concedes the corner. Did Laporte have a little tug on Eriksen’s shirt as he went past him in the penalty area? I think he might have, but would need to see it again to be sure. Nothing comes of the corner.

Manchester City’s Ederson saves a shot from Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen as Manchester City’s John Stones and Aymeric Laporte look on.
Manchester City’s Ederson saves a shot from Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen as Manchester City’s John Stones and Aymeric Laporte look on. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

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13 min: Phil Foden tries to play a weighted through ball in behind for Sergio Aguero to latch on to, but overcooks his pass and waves by way of apology as the ball rolls out of play for a goal kick.

11 min: City continue playing keep-ball, while Raheem Sterling takes on and beats Juan Foyth, more used to playing centre-back, with worrying ease. He’s going to need Davinson Sanchez to give him a dig out this afternoon, one suspects. Indeed, on Sky Sports, Gary Neville echoes that very sentiment. Great minds and all that ...

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling puts in a cross despite pressure from Tottenham’s Juan Foyth.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling puts in a cross despite pressure from Tottenham’s Juan Foyth. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

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8 min: There are a few tasty challenges flying in around the pitch. Oleksandr Zinchenko is lucky to have avoided a booking and Phil Foden has just escaped a caution for a very rash challenge. City are clearly fired up for this one.

6 min: Another great start in a game between these two teams and Manchester City take the lead. From the right flank, Bernardo Silva curled an inch-perfect cross to Sergio Aguero at the far post. Eschewing the option to go for goal himself, the Argentinian cushioned a perfectly weighted header across the face of goal where Phil Foden was sprinting in to head home from a couple of feet out. Excellent play by City and that’s Foden’s first Premier League goal.

GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Tottenham (Foden 5)

Phil Foden heads home from two feet out to open the scoring and put Manchester City ahead.

Phil Foden of Manchester City opens the scoring.
Phil Foden of Manchester City opens the scoring. Photograph: Matt McNult/Man City via Getty Images
Manchester City’s Phil Foden celebrates scoring their first goal.
Foden celebrates his goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

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2 min: John Stones gives the ball away in midfield and Spurs go on the counter-attack in a move that ends with Heung-min Son shooting at Ederson from a narrow angle. The goalkeeper puts the ball out for a corner, from which nothing comes. Sloppy play from Stones, there, who won’t have endeared himself to his manager by playing fast and loose like that.

2 min: City dominate the possession in the opening stages, not letting Spurs get a touch of the ball. Tottenham have lined up with three central defenders flanked by Juan Foyth and Ben Davies in wing-back roles.

Man City v Tottenham Hotspur is go!

1 min: We go again, with both teams wearing identical kit to that they donned for their most recent meeting. Manchester City’s players wear light blue shirts, white shorts and dark socks. Tottenham’s wear their navy and minty green shirts, green shorts and socks. Manchester City get the ball rolling ...

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Not long now: The teams are out on the pitch for the last of the pre-match niceties and kick-off is just moments away.

Some news: The PFA Player of the Year shortlist has been announced and the following six men are in the mix: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

So, three from Manchester City, two from Liverpool and one from Chelsea. There are no representatives from Manchester United, Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur, or indeed any other teams outside the Big Six. Virgil van Dijk is the bookies’ favourite to win, with Raheem Stirling close behind him. It’s difficult to choose between them, as both would be deserving winners.

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Gary Neville speaks: Asked about the selection of Phil Foden in the Manchester City line-up, the Sky Sports pundit describes it as “an indication of faith” and says that it has got to the stage where the club “cannot hold him back”. He goes on to say that “Guardiola has reached the point where he’s realised this is his moment. He’s handed him his second Premier League start in a massive game. The feedback I’ve been getting from the club over the past few weeks is that they may as well stop having an academy if this lad doesn’t get a chance.”

Phil Foden
Phil Foden, 18, makes his second Premier League start for Manchester City today. Photograph: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez rocks up at the Etihad ahead of today’s grudge match, where he starts on the bench for Manchester City. Photograph: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Man City via Getty Images

A start for Phil Foden: Manchester City’s teenage midfielder makes his second Premier League start for Manchester City and is one of three changes made by Pep Guardiola. He comes in for David Silva, while John Stones replaces Vincent Kompany and Oleksandr Zinchenko starts in place of Benjamin Mendy.

Meanwhile in the Tottenham camp, Mauricio Pochettino makes five changes from the side that lined up at this stadium on Wednesday night. Hugo Lloris and Kieran Trippier are conspicuous by their absence from the match-day squad, while Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Moussa Sissoko are also out. Paulo Gazzaniga, Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier and Juan Foyth come in.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur line-ups

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling.

Subs: Sane, Silva, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Muric.

Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Foyth, Alli, Dier, Davies, Eriksen, Son, Lucas Moura.

Subs: Janssen, Rose, Wanyama, Vorm, Walker-Peters, Llorente, Skipp.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Michael Oliver
Michael Oliver is in charge of maintaining order during today’s game. Photograph: Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

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And a pre-match Potch talk: “There’s a lot of work to do, the competition doesn’t wait and does not allow you to relax or enjoy this type of situation,” said Tottenham’s manager. “We need to be competitive on Saturday again. It is difficult to stop your mind and realise all that happened. We arrived back so late, tried to sleep a little bit, but this morning [Thursday] I started to work and prepare for the next game, assess the players and talk a lot.

“We are going to play in a different competition. City are fighting for the Premier League. It’s not because it’s Tottenham that they are going to find revenge, they are going to fight for the three points like us. We want to be in the top four for the end of the season. It’s going to be another battle.”

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino celebrates his side’s Champions League victory over Manchester City on away goals. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

A pre-match Pep talk: ““We have to react on Saturday,” said Manchester City’s manager in the wake of his side’s defeat on Wednesday night. “But don’t think too much right now, sleep as much as possible and then we will prepare for the game. It’s tough. It’s cruel, but we have to accept it. We fought a lot, nine, 10 months for the Premier League. It’s in our hands. It’s tough, but we have to do it.”

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola addressing the press yesterday. Photograph: Tom Flathers/Man City via Getty Images

Tottenham fans
Tottenham fans enjoying the warm weather and a spot of lunch at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

Premier League: Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur

Greetings and welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of a potentially season-defining final part of a most intriguing trilogy. These two sides have met twice in the past couple of weeks and have notched one victory each, a statistic that will be of no consolation whatsoever to Manchester City, suffered the heartbreak of being eliminated from the Champions League on away goals in the worst scenario imaginable despite beating Spurs on Wednesday night. It will be intriguing to see if they can pick themselves off the floor for this match, as anything less than victory will give leave them behind Liverpool on points at the Premier League summit with just four matches to go for each team. No pressure, Pep.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 57 85
2 Man City 33 64 83
3 Tottenham Hotspur 33 30 67
4 Arsenal 33 26 66
5 Chelsea 34 21 66
The Etihad Stadium
The Etihad Stadium, where Manchester City entertain Tottenham Hotspur today. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/EPA