Alli Blames Mental Weakness For Tottenham Collapse

Tottenham’s English midfielder Dele Alli listens during a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match between Leipzig and Tottenham, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 9, 2020. Ronny Hartmann / AFP

 

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli questioned the mentality of his side after crumbling to a 3-0 Champions League last 16, second leg defeat to Leipzig on Tuesday to bow out of the competition 4-0 on aggregate.

Marcel Sabitzer profited from two errors by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the first 21 minutes to give Leipzig a commanding lead before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on.

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was repeatedly used the absence of key injured players such as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min for a run of six games without a win in all competitions.

But Alli insisted that is not a good enough excuse for the manner in which last season’s Champions League finalists exited the competition with a whimper.

“We were missing some good players, but that’s football, that happens. This is Tottenham, the players that come in have to step up and we haven’t done that today,” Alli told BT Sport.

“I think we have to apologise to the fans. They travelled all this way and to go out and lose like that, they deserve better.”

Alli refused to point the finger at Lloris, but claimed Spurs were not mentally strong enough to produce the same sort of fightback as they did from 3-0 down on aggregate against Ajax in last season’s semi-finals.

“We were second to a lot of balls, to concede them goals shows our mentality wasn’t strong enough,” added Alli.

“We have to stay together and not talk about anyone in particular.

“It’s not down to one player to score goals, to stop goals, the whole team performance and the mentality wasn’t strong enough.”

Tottenham now have just nine games left this season in the Premier League to try and avoid missing out on the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

Mourinho’s men lie eighth in the table, seven points off the top four, and badly need to end their barren run at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

“I think probably it is (a) good (thing),” said Mourinho of his side’s exit from Europe. “Sometimes difficult moments are moments that can prepare the future in a better way.”

On top of losing Kane and Son, Mourinho pointed to the absence of Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko and Davinson Sanchez for his side’s capitulation in Germany.

“People can say excuses but I’m pretty sure it is bad for anyone.

“I don’t think anyone would resist to such a situation. In this moment we have matches to play in the Premier League with these players, there are not others, and we go until our limits. Let’s see how we end the season.”

AFP

Leipzig Cruise Past Tottenham Into Champions League Quarter-Final

leipzig players celebrate after the UEFA Champions League football match between RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur, in Leipzig, eastern Germany on March 10, 2020. Odd ANDERSEN / AFP

 

Tottenham crashed out of the Champions League as RB Leipzig cruised to a 3-0 win on Tuesday to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time 4-0 on aggregate.

Leipzig captain Marcel Sabitzer struck twice in the first 21 minutes to put the tie to bed before substitute Emil Forsberg added the third late on with his first touch.

Unlike many fixtures across Europe this week, there were no restrictions on supporters attending due to the spread of coronavirus and the Leipzig fans were able to enjoy a nerve-free evening.

Spurs travelled to eastern Germany shorn of striking options without the injured Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn.

However, it was at the other end that they buckled inside the opening quarter of the game as two errors from Hugo Lloris in goal turned a tough task into an impossible one.

Mourinho left club record signing Tanguy Ndombele on the bench after publicly criticising the French midfielder’s desire in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley, but the switch to a 3-4-3 formation did little to prevent Spurs’ winless streak in all competitions stretching to six games.

Leipzig took just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Lloris did not get a strong enough right hand to stop Sabitzer’s strike from outside the box finding the bottom corner.

Timo Werner then fired home from close range only to be denied by the offside flag as Leipzig opened up the Tottenham defence at will.

And the visitors did not learn their lesson as Serge Aurier was caught napping by a purposeful burst from Angelino.

The Manchester City loanee’s cross was met by a powerful header by Sabitzer, but Lloris should still have done better to keep the ball out at his near post.

Lloris did make some measure of amends by saving from Werner and Patrik Schick to keep the score down before half-time, while at the other end Peter Gulasci was finally forced into action by Erik Lamela.

Spurs produced a remarkable fightback from 3-0 down on aggregate away at Ajax in last season’s semi-finals to make the final for the first time in the club’s history thanks to Lucas Moura’s hat-trick.

But in keeping with their collapse since that night in Amsterdam last May, Mourinho’s men lacked the quality and belief needed to reproduce that thrilling fightback.

Moura was again the one source of inspiration as he teed up Dele Alli for Spurs’ best chance of the night, but the England midfielder’s mishit effort was easily saved by Gulasci.

Forsberg was more clinical just 32 seconds after replacing Sabitzer to fire into the far corner three minutes from time.

Tottenham’s season now hinges on refinding their form in the Premier League if they are not to miss out on the Champions League for the first time in five years.

Spurs are languishing in eighth in the Premier League, seven points adrift of the top four, and in desperate need for Mourinho to exact revenge on Manchester United for his sacking last season when the Red Devils visit north London on Sunday.

AFP

Dele Alli Rescues Mourinho’s Tottenham At Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates after scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on March 7, 2020. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Dele Alli rescued a point for faltering Tottenham at Burnley on Saturday, scoring a penalty to earn a 1-1 draw and keep Jose Mourinho’s team in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The home side were dominant in the first half at Turf Moor, taking the lead through Chris Wood, but a much-improved Spurs battled back after the break to avoid a damaging third straight defeat.

Sean Dyche’s men, who were in relegation trouble as recently as January, are now unbeaten in seven league games but will rue missing the chance to clamber above Spurs after taking the lead.

The draw leaves Tottenham in eighth place, just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two behind fifth-placed Wolves. Burnley are a further two points adrift.

Fifth spot could be enough to secure Champions League football next season depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban.

“There was a lot of aggression at half-time, we knew we were not good enough,” said Alli, whose goal was his 50th in the Premier League.

“If you switch off for a second they can punish you. Going in at half time 1-0 down, it was a sticky changing room to be. But we did better and created enough opportunities to win.”

Spurs, again without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, started brightly but Burnley were quickly into their stride and deservedly took the lead in the 13th minute.

Jay Rodriguez shot straight at Hugo Lloris from the edge of the box but the Tottenham goalkeeper spilled the shot and Wood pounced to tap home the rebound.

Burnley continued to carry more of a threat, regularly unsettling the Spurs defence and Dwight McNeil forced a flying save from Lloris from a free-kick.

Ashley Westwood fired wide eight minutes before the break while Wood was narrowly off target from Westwood’s free-kick.

Spurs changes

Mourinho made two substitutions at half-time to lift his flat team, bringing on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele.

Burnley were quickly out of the blocks, putting Spurs’ creaking defence under pressure but the visitors were given a lifeline when Ben Mee clumsily tripped Erik Lamela in the 48th minute.

Alli stepped up and sent Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way, burying the ball in the bottom right corner.

The goal lifted the visitors, who were suddenly playing with more confidence but Burnley’s players believed they had a case for a penalty minutes later when Davinson Sanchez made a robust challenge on Wood.

There were chances for both sides as the second half wore on.

Wood shot straight at Lloris while Lo Celso curled just wide at the other end. Minutes later Burnley substitute Matej Vydra saw his close-range shot saved by the sprawling Spurs goalkeeper as they pushed for the winner.

Liverpool are just three wins away from guaranteeing their first top-flight title since 1990 and Manchester City look secure in second place, seven points clear of Leicester.

But just six points separate Chelsea from Crystal Palace in 11th spot.

 

AFP

Jimenez Late Strike Seal Wolves Win Against Tottenham

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez (L) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on March 1, 2020.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Raul Jimenez boosted Wolves’ bid to qualify for the Champions League as his late winner capped the visitors’ dramatic fightback in their 3-2 victory at Tottenham on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side trailed twice in north London but hit back from 2-1 down thanks to second-half goals from Diogo Jota and Jimenez.

Wolves moved two points above Tottenham into sixth place in the Premier League.

As it stands, finishing fifth could lead to a Champions League place, owing to second-placed Manchester City’s European ban, against which they are appealing.

Sitting level on points with fifth-placed Manchester United and just three behind fourth-placed Chelsea, Wolves are firmly in the hunt for an unexpected berth in Europe’s elite club competition.

READ ALSO: Ancelotti Sees Red As Man Utd Draw Everton 

They fell behind to Steven Bergwijn’s first-half opener, but Matt Doherty equalised and even Serge Aurier restoring Tottenham’s lead couldn’t knock Wolves out of their stride.

It was a bitter blow for injury-hit Tottenham, who suffered three consecutive defeats in all competitions for the first time this season.

Heading into this weekend, Spurs had kept just three clean sheets in 22 games in all competitions since Mourinho took charge.

So Mourinho dropped defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as part of four changes following last week’s defeat at Chelsea, with keeper Hugo Lloris sidelined by a groin injury.

Those switches included midfielder Eric Dier dropping back to center-half and exploited Mourinho’s reshuffle time and again.

Tottenham had their chances and took the lead with a superb counter in the 13th minute.

Giovani Lo Celso picked out Aurier’s run down the right and when the right-back’s cross reached Dele Alli, his shot was pushed out by Rui Patricio into the path of Bergwijn, who slotted home from close-range.

It was the Dutch winger’s second goal since joining Tottenham from PSV Eindhoven in January.

But the hosts remained creaky at the back and Nuno’s men crafted an impressive equaliser in the 27th minute.

Ruben Vinagre ran onto Jota’s pass and fought his way past Aurier to the touchline, where he delivered a teasing cross into the six-yard box.

Dier and Japhet Tanganga both made a hash of attempting to clear and Doherty made them pay as the defender fired past Paulo Gazzaniga for his seventh goal of the season.

Spurs In Disarray

Jose Mourinho said this week Tottenham have to “survive” in the race for the top four until they get some of their injured stars back.

Their hopes have been hit by the loss of Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko, and Son Heung-min, but Tottenham were potent enough despite those absences and Aurier put them back in front in first-half stoppage-time.

The Ivory Coast international took Alli’s pass, cut inside Vinagre and curled a brilliant strike into the far corner from just inside the area.

Yet, in what proved a crucial miss, the unmarked Alli ghosted onto Ben Davies’ cross for a glancing header that crept wide.

Nuno sat on the Porto bench as reserve keeper when Mourinho guided the Portuguese club to Champions League glory in 2004.

And, trying to record his first victory as a manager over Mourinho at the third attempt, Nuno was back on level terms in the 57th minute.

Adama Traore bullied his way past Tanganga and found Jimenez, who slipped a pass to the over-lapping Doherty.

Doherty’s low cross reached Jota and he tapped in his sixth goal in three games from virtually on the line.

Tottenham’s back five were in disarray and Jota and Jimenez combined to win it in the 73rd minute.

Jota was the catalyst with an incisive burst beyond Dier and Davinson Sanchez.

His pass found Jimenez and the Mexican striker easily tricked his way past Tanganga, opening space for a fine finish that sparked wild celebrations from Nuno and his staff on the touchline.

AFP

Chelsea Beat Tottenham In Top Four Chase

Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso celebrates with teammates after he scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on February 22 2020.
Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso came in from the cold to inspire Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham as the Blues cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.

Giroud and Alonso had been reduced to fringe figures in Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager.

But Lampard restored both veterans to the team at Stamford Bridge in a gamble that paid rich dividends.

With Tammy Abraham only fit enough to make the bench, Giroud started for the first time since November and the France striker’s fine finish opened the scoring in the first half.

READ ALSO: Lewandowski Double Edges Bayern Past Bottom Side Paderborn

The 33-year-old could have joined Tottenham had Chelsea signed a forward in January, but instead he netted his first club goal since August and his first in the Premier League since April.

Alonso, 29, maintained the theme of exiles getting back in favour as the left-back struck in the second half of his first league start since Chelsea’s win at Tottenham in December.

Antonio Rudiger’s own goal came too late to ruin Chelsea’s first win in five league games, moving them four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Ending Tottenham’s three-game winning streak in the league was the perfect response to Monday’s home defeat against Manchester United.

It was no more than they deserved after a vibrant performance that finally answered Lampard’s call for a killer instinct in the final third.

Tottenham have now won just once in their last 34 visits to Stamford Bridge, making it a painful return for their former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was beaten by Lampard for the second time this term.

Mourinho had ramped up the mind games on Friday when he claimed to know Lampard was planning to use the same five-man defence that helped the Blues win at Tottenham earlier this season.

Mourinho was spot on, with Lampard making four changes in a return to the system he predicted, but he could not come up with an effective solution.

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, more often used as wingers, led a makeshift Tottenham attack in the absence of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli, who was dropped after reacting angrily to his substitution in the midweek defeat against Leipzig.

Chelsea, pressing hard from the start, were always on top and when Alonso’s superb pass picked out Mason Mount, the young midfielder’s shot was pushed away by Hugo Lloris.

Toothless Tottenham

It was a warning Tottenham failed to heed and Giroud put Chelsea in front in the 15th minute.

Giroud had looked impressive in his substitute appearance against United.

And his physical style and clever movement were crucial to the goal as he held off Toby Alderweireld to reach Jorginho’s pass for a shot that Lloris saved with his foot.

The rebound fell to Ross Barkley but his scuffed effort in the post and cannoned back to Giroud, who lashed a blistering strike past Lloris at his near post.

Willy Caballero almost gifted Tottenham a goal out of nothing before the break.

Needlessly rushing off his line, Caballero completely missed the ball and Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga prodded just wide.

Mourinho had been scribbling away in his notebook before the interval, but there was no discernable change in Tottenham’s toothless display as Alonso increased Chelsea’s lead in the 48th minute.

Giroud guided the ball into Mount’s path and he worked it to Barkley on the edge of the Tottenham area.

With the visitors backing off, Barkley picked out Alonso, who blasted into the far corner from 20 yards.

It could have been worse for Tottenham as Giovani Lo Celso was fortunate to escape a red card when he stamped on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea should have won by more and Alonso’s free-kick hit the bar before Rudiger deflected Erik Lamela’s shot into his own net in the 89th minute.

AFP

RB Leipzig Beat Tottenham In Champions League Last 16 First Leg

RB Leipzig’s German striker Timo Werner (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first Leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and RB Leipzig at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in north London, on February 19, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Tottenham need another Champions League escape act to reach the quarter-finals after Timo Werner’s penalty earned RB Leipzig a deserved 1-0 last 16, first-leg win in London.

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris kept his side in the tie with a string of important saves, but last season’s finalists face a huge task to turn the tie around in Germany on March 10.

Without the firepower of the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Giovani lo Celso’s free-kick that struck the post was the closest Jose Mourinho’s men came to scoring on the night.

Tottenham upset the odds to progress past Manchester City and Ajax in the knockout stages last season but were lacking in ideas and energy compared to the Bundesliga contenders.

READ ALSO: Man City Cruise To Victory Against West Ham

After receiving the news that Son could be sidelined for the rest of the season by a fractured right arm on the eve of the game, Mourinho compared his side’s prospects for the rest of the season to hanging from a fourth-floor building by the balcony.

The hosts could easily have fallen flat on their face inside the first 90 seconds as Leipzig amazingly passed up four chances to open the scoring.

Patrik Schick flashed a shot wide from the edge of the box before Werner’s effort was blocked and Lloris turned Angelino’s driven shot onto the post.

Lloris then had to be alert again to deny Werner adding to his 25 goals this season from close range.

After weathering that early storm, Spurs went close to at the other end through Steven Bergwijn.

The Dutch international has enjoyed an impressive start to his Tottenham career and forced Peter Gulacsi into a smart save low to his left.

Leipzig are challenging Bayern Munich’s grip on the German title this season and the visitors were not overawed by the stage in their first-ever Champions League knockout tie.

Lloris was forced into another save by Schick before the towering Czech also headed just wide from a corner.

Werner then wasted the best chance of the first half when he fired too close to Lloris with just the French number one to beat.

Leipzig could have regretted not making the most of their supremacy during the first 45 minutes as Gulacsi saved well from Lucas Moura and Bergwijn fired the rebound wide early in the second period.

However, after grinding out wins over Manchester City, Norwich, Southampton and Aston Villa in recent weeks despite conceding plenty of chances, Spurs’ luck ran out.

An ill-timed lunge from Ben Davies chopped down Konrad Laimer inside the area and Werner confidently converted the resulting penalty.

Moments later only a fine save by Lloris denied Schick a second at the end of a flowing move involving Christopher Nkunku, Angelino and a delightful dummy from Werner to tee up his strike partner.

The introduction of Erik Lamela and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele from the bench gave Tottenham a much-needed injection of creativity for the final 25 minutes.

However, their best effort came from a set-piece when Lo Celso’s powerful free-kick was turned onto the post by Gulacsi.

Lucas then headed over a great chance two minutes from time as Spurs peppered the Leipzig box with crosses, but Julian Nagelsmann’s men held out for a landmark win.

AFP

Champions League: Tottenham’s Son Suffers Injury Ahead Of Leipzig Tie

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min/ AFP

 

Korean star Son Heung-min has fractured his right arm his club Tottenham Hotspur said on Tuesday delivering a blow to their hopes of silverware this season and qualifying for the Champions League next season.

The 27-year-old South Korean international forward suffered the injury in the 3-2 Premier League victory over Aston Villa — in which he scored twice including the late winner — on Sunday.

Son suffered the injury in a robust first-minute challenge from Villa’s Ezri Konsa.

The club did not specify how long Son would be out.

Spurs manager Jose Mourinho is already without star striker Harry Kane — sidelined since January with a torn hamstring — and as the club enters a crucial period. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko is another long-term casualty.

They host German side, Leipzig, in a Champions League Last 16 clash on Wednesday and play Chelsea in a match that could prove pivotal to the fourth and final Champions League spot.

“Heung-Min Son is to undergo surgery this week after sustaining a fracture to his right arm,” read Spurs statement.

“The South Korea international suffered the injury during our win against Aston Villa on Sunday.

“Following surgery, our medical staff shall be reviewing management options for Son’s rehabilitation with the player expected to be sidelined for a number of weeks.”

Son was in a rich run of form having scored in each of the last five matches.

AFP

Son’s Brace Seal Win For Tottenham Against Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (C) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 16, 2020.
Justin TALLIS / AFP

 

Son Heung-min struck deep into stoppage time as Tottenham’s chances of Champions League football next season were boosted by a 3-2 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

A third consecutive Premier League victory lifts Spurs up to fifth — which could be enough to secure Champions League qualification with Manchester City facing a two-season ban from the competition — and within one point of fourth-placed Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho’s men were worthy of their victory after bouncing back from a nightmare start when Toby Alderweireld sliced into his own goal.

The Belgian quickly made amends at the other end with a thumping finish before Son followed up after Pepe Reina had saved his penalty to put the visitors in front.

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Slack defending threatened to cost Tottenham all three points when they allowed Bjorn Engels to equalise early in the second half.

However, Engels was the culprit to cost Villa a point in their battle to beat the drop as he wrongly controlled a long ball forward in the 94th minute and Son sprinted clear to finish calmly.

Alderweireld had not travelled with his teammates to Birmingham after attending the birth of his child on Saturday and admitted to feeling heavy-legged after he turned Anwar El Ghazi’s deflected cross into his own net after just nine minutes.

Tottenham were all over the place defensively and only a goal-line block from Ben Davies denied Douglas Luiz from doubling Villa’s lead from Jack Grealish’s pass moments later.

However, Villa find themselves in a relegation battle due to their own defensive deficiencies.

No team in the Premier League have now conceded more than Dean Smith’s men.

Alderweireld made amends for his earlier error by smashing a loose ball from a corner high past the helpless Reina.

A rash challenge by Engels on Steven Bergwijn handed the visitors the chance to go in front just before the break, albeit it took a VAR review to award a penalty.

Son’s spot-kick was saved by Reina, but the South Korean followed up to prod home and become the first Asian player to score 50 Premier League goals.

But Spurs allowed Villa back into the game early in the second half.

El Ghazi fired the warning shot that Hugo Lloris did well to save.

Yet, Mourinho will have been furious at how easy his side made it for Engels to head home a Grealish corner on 53 minutes.

Tottenham took the game to the hosts in the final quarter, but struggled to find a way past the inspired Reina.

Son placed a shot too close to the Spanish goalkeeper from the edge of the box; Villa defenders scrambled to block Bergwijn’s effort behind before Reina again stood tall to block from Alli.

The on-loan AC Milan stopper was needed to perform more heroics in the closing stages as he twice denied Son.

However, the South Korean had the final say by composing himself to slot just beyond Reina’s reach with virtually the last action of the game and send Spurs closer to a fifth straight season of Champions League football.

AFP

Tottenham Beat Man City In Thrilling Premier League Match

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (L) has this shot blocked by Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on February 2, 2020. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

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 half-time as in a recurring theme of their season, the champions were wasteful in front of goal.

However, Tottenham also felt City were lucky not to be down to 10 men earlier when Raheem Sterling caught England international teammate Dele Alli with his studs.

Lloris was making just his third appearance since returning from a long-term layoff due to a dislocated elbow, but the French number one was back to his best to keep his side level at half-time.

Lloris 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.

The chances continued to come for City as Aguero fired into the side-netting from point-blank range just before the break.

Dream debut 

Gundogan was the guilty party again minutes into the second period after a calamity of errors.

Lloris collided with Japhet Tanganga, Aguero’s effort was cleared off the line by Toby Alderweireld and when Sterling squared to Gundogan rather than go for goal himself, the German spooned the ball over.

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 had 14 shots on goal to Tottenham’s none, but they 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.

Eight minutes later, Spurs were out of sight when Son, who scored three times in a famous Champions League quarter-final win over City last season, was the scourge of City again with a fine low finish from Tanguy Ndombele’s pass.

City’s failings at both ends of the field leave Guardiola with plenty of problems to solve just weeks away from his side’s Champions League last-16 clash with Real Madrid.

And there was more concern for Guardiola ahead of that tie as Sterling hobbled off with a muscle injury five minutes from time.

AFP

 

Giovani Signs $35m Permanent Tottenham Deal

Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on January 22, 2020.  Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Tottenham have exercised their option to convert the loan signing of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis into a permanent deal, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

The Argentine midfielder joined Spurs in August on loan but has now signed a contract for a reported fee of around £27 million ($35 million), keeping him at the club until 2025.

“We are delighted to announce that we have exercised the option to convert the loan of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis Balompie to a permanent transfer,” Spurs said in a statement on their website.

“The midfielder has produced impressive performances after establishing himself in the team following a hip injury which restricted his playing time in the early part of his loan at the club.”

The former Paris Saint-Germain player has made 20 appearances for Spurs this season, scoring two goals.

Tottenham also confirmed the departure of Christian Eriksen after the agreement was reached with Inter Milan for the sale of the Denmark international.

“We wish Christian well for the future,” the club said.

Jose Mourinho’s side are currently sixth in the Premier League, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

AFP

FA Cup: West Ham Suffer Defeat As Southampton Relish Draw Against Tottenham

West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (L) controls the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The London Stadium, in east London on January 25, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

West Ham crashed out of the FA Cup as their former manager Slaven Bilic led West Bromwich Albion to a surprise 1-0 win, while Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in Saturday’s fourth-round action.

Albion boss Bilic, sacked by the Hammers in 2017, made eight changes as he prioritised the Championship leaders’ push to return to the Premier League.

But Albion took a shock lead at the London Stadium when Conor Townsend drilled in his first goal for the club after nine minutes.

West Ham, struggling in the top-flight under new boss David Moyes and now without a win in four games, were given a lifeline when West Brom’s Semi Ajayi was sent off in the 72nd minute after his push earned a second yellow card.

Sebastien Haller should have equalised with a headed chance and Manuel Lanzini then dragged his shot wide, but Albion held on.

West Ham were jeered off by their furious fans, while Croatian Bilic, who also played for the east Londoners, celebrated a sweet success with his Albion players.

At St Mary’s, Christian Eriksen was left out amid reports in Italy suggesting the Tottenham midfielder has agreed to a move to Inter Milan, while Gedson Fernandes made his full debut for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Tottenham’s last visit to Southampton was a painful one, with Harry Kane suffering a torn hamstring in a Premier League defeat on New Year’s Day, a clash that saw Mourinho embroiled in a touchline row with a member of the Saints’ coaching staff.

Mourinho’s side struck in the 58th minute on their return to the south coast.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min fired home from Erik Lamela’s pass for his 12th goal of the season.

But Southampton hit back to equalise through Sofiane Boufal’s powerful strike from Danny Ings’ cross in the 87th minute.

 Newcastle frustrated 

Newcastle had to settle for an embarrassing 0-0 draw with third tier Oxford at St James’ Park as their wretched FA Cup form haunted them again.

Steve Bruce’s side are looking to make the fifth round for the first time since 2006, but they needed a replay to beat minnows Rochdale in the previous round and they will have to go the distance again after this limp display.

Burnley and Norwich made a combined total of 12 changes at Turf Moor, with the Canaries running out 2-1 winners.

Grant Hanley’s 53rd-minute goal and a 57th-minute strike from Josip Drmic put Norwich in control before Erik Pieters reduced the deficit in the 74th minute.

Cardiff fans were warned not to sing “racist or homophobic songs” after two incidents were reported during their 1-1 draw at fellow Championship side Reading.

Sheffield United won 2-0 at second-tier Millwall through Muhamed Besic’s 62nd-minute goal and Oliver Norwood’s 84th-minute strike.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal sealed a 1-0 win for Leicester at Championship side Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers’ team are chasing a trip to Wembley on two fronts and they took the next step in the FA Cup after surviving a hard-fought fourth-round clash in west London.

Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup, are hoping to reach the final for the first time since 1969.

In the League Cup, they are through to the semi-finals and head to Aston Villa in the second leg on Tuesday after being held to a 1-1 draw in the first match at the King Power Stadium.

Despite Jamie Vardy’s absence with a glute injury, it took Leicester just four minutes to go ahead when Nigerian striker Iheanacho met James Justin’s cross with a clinical close-range finish.

Chelsea travel to second-tier Hull in Saturday’s late game.

AFP

Tottenham Target Willian Jose Pulls Out Of Real Sociedad Squad

Real Sociedad’s Brazilian forward Willian Jose gestures during the Spanish league football match between Real Sociedad and Villarreal CF at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on January 5, 2020.
ANDER GILLENEA / AFP

 

Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose withdrew from the squad to face Espanyol on Wednesday amid speculation he is close to joining Tottenham. 

Willian Jose has been key to la Real’s strong first half of the season in La Liga but asked the club to be removed from the squad to face Espanyol in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey.

“Last minute change to the squad: Lobete (number 35) comes in instead of Willian Jose. The forward has asked the club to be left out until his situation is clarified,” read a message posted on Real Sociedad’s official Twitter account.

AS and Marca had both reported on Wednesday afternoon that only the final details of the transfer were still to be agreed between the Spanish side and Spurs.

The 28-year-old’s contract, which he signed in 2018, contains a 70-million euro release clause but it is unlikely Tottenham would pay the full amount.

Willian Jose has scored eight goals in 22 games this season. The Brazilian would be tasked with filling the void at Spurs left by the injured Harry Kane.

AFP