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Man City record at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: No Premier League wins or goals

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Manchester City had just secured their third Premier League title in a row and a fifth in the past six seasons.

A treble beckoned, with Manchester United and Internazionale ultimately taken down at Wembley and the Ataturk Olympic Stadium to seal a place in history for Pep Guardiola and his players.

In an interview with Sky Sports in late May 2023, Guardiola was asked what could be the next challenge after a treble-winning campaign.

“Score a goal against Spurs away,” he joked. “I stay because I want to beat Spurs away.”

If City are to win a record fourth consecutive Premier League title, it looks like he’s going to have to do just that.

The reigning champions head into the final week of the season one point behind leaders Arsenal but with a game in hand to play at Tottenham. Win that and they will be within touching distance of glory heading into a final-day clash with West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened in April 2019, with Spurs hosting City for the first time at their new home a week later. During a period when Guardiola’s men have been a dominant force, scoring goals by the bucketful and hoarding trophies, their record at this state-of-the-art north London venue has been absolutely abysmal.

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On their first five visits, City lost five times to four different Spurs managers and failed to even score a goal, missing a couple of penalties along the way. On January 26, Nathan Ake scrambled a late goal to secure a 1-0 win in the fourth round of the FA Cup. This week we’ll see whether or not the curse is truly broken.

Six days on from the inaugural game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs welcomed their Premier League counterparts for the first leg of a Champions League quarterfinal. City actually had a golden opportunity to become the first visiting team to score at the new ground after 12 minutes, but Hugo Lloris guessed correctly and saved Sergio Aguero’s penalty.

A tense encounter unfolded and Guardiola kept Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane on the bench until the 89th minute as he juggled the demands of battling for trophies on four fronts. Eleven minutes before that, Son Heung-min caught out Fabian Delph and fired a shot through Ederson to seal victory on the night. It would be the only game City lost in their final 23 matches of the campaign as they won a domestic treble but bowed out of the Champions League on away goals after a remarkable 4-3 victory over Spurs in the following week’s return clash.

Aguero won a first-half penalty, drawing a foul from Serge Aurier, but passed on responsibilities to Ilkay Gundogan following his mishap at the same end 10 months earlier. The result was the same, with Lloris diving to his left to repel the Germany midfielder’s attempt.

In what would become a common theme of these encounters, City proceeded to dominate possession and couldn’t find a way through. Oleksandr Zinchenko then brought down Harry Winks with an hour played to earn his second booking and Spurs led shortly afterwards through a fabulous volley from debutant Steven Bergwijn. Picking up another repeated narrative thread, Son thumped into the bottom corner to seal the points.

Mourinho made it back-to-back wins over his former Clasico rival, with Son on target once more to give Tottenham an early lead. City thought they had that elusive goal when Aymeric Laporte drilled beyond Lloris from a Gabriel Jesus knockdown, although replays showed the Brazilian handled to make the assist possible.

Giovani Lo Celso crowned a Harry Kane-orchestrated counter-attack to put Spurs top of the table after nine games, with City languishing in 12th having played one fewer. Guardiola’s side still managed to finish English football’s behind-closed-doors season as champions and beat Spurs a few days after Mourinho’s sacking in the Carabao Cup final, with Laporte the man on target in a 1-0 win.

It’s sometimes easy to forget Nuno Espirito Santo’s 17-game tenure at Spurs happened at all, but it started in fine fashion with a win over the Premier League champions. Guardiola handed a full debut to £100m man Jack Grealish, with a slightly mix-and-match feel to his line-up following their European Championship commitments.

Once again, City were left to rue missed chances after dominating possession. Once again, Son rattled a shot past Ederson. Rinse and repeat.

Antonio Conte’s most notable success against City came amid a Kane masterclass at the Etihad Stadium in February 2022, when the England captain responded to Riyad Mahrez’s injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot with an even later winner to seal a 3-2 triumph. Spurs were also 2-0 up in the corresponding fixture in 2022/23 before Mahrez inspired a rip-roaring 4-2 win for the hosts.

All of that counted for nothing as an off-colour City reverted to type in a match where there was a sense of peculiar inevitability after Kane opening the scoring in the 15th minute. Even Erling Haaland, on his way to a record-breaking Premier League season, could not break the spell. The only unusual thing was Son not finding the net before being substituted in the 84th minute. Cristian Romero was then sent off but Guardiola’s team ran out of time

When Oscar Bobb had an early goal ruled out for a wafer-thin offside verdict it seemed City’s Tottenham curse might be about to hold strong. However, Ange Postecoglou’s more expansive approach when compared to his immediate predecessors in the Spurs dugout created the sort of contest that Guardiola’s side enjoys and they had the upper hand for long periods.

De Bruyne missed a glorious chance as the minutes ticked away but, from the Belgium playmaker’s 88th-minute corner, Ake was on the spot to capitalise when Ruben Dias got to the near-post delivery ahead of Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

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