Player ratings as Harry Kane’s record-breaking goal seals win
From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Manchester City missed the chance to close the gap on Premier League leaders Arsenal to two points after falling to a 1-0 loss at Tottenham.
Spurs’ perfect record against Man City at their new home was extended to five wins from five as Harry Kane became their outright record scorer.
After a tense opening 15 minutes, Spurs – who were without head coach Antonio Conte on the touchline due to recent surgery – took the lead. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg robbed Rodri of possession and just as he seemed to be falling over after a shove, teed up Kane to slot past Ederson and cement his place as the single greatest scorer in the club’s history.
Much of the first half was contested in midfield with few chances carved out, though Spurs and Man City seemed hell-bent on kicking lumps out of one another in a feisty affair.
The visitors’ first half chance of note came five minutes before the break when Rodri’s sweeping shot from the edge of the area was tame and easily held by Hugo Lloris.
Jack Grealish’s curling strike from a similar distance sailed over the top shortly afterwards, before Riyad Mahrez’s superb half-volley thundered off the underside of the crossbar and out in stoppage time.
Shortly after the break, Kane sliced a glorious chance to add a second when he mistimed a volley from Emerson Royal’s pinpoint cross, while a near-post corner from Ivan Perisic was flicked up and just over by Ben Davies.
Spurs nearly caught Man City on the break when Son Heung-min slipped through Hojbjerg, but his pass over to Emerson was a little underhit and Nathan Ake was able to make a great recovery challenge.
Man City somehow didn’t equalise when Kevin De Bruyne’s clever free-kick picked out Julian Alvarez and his shot seemed destined to find the top corner, only for the head of Eric Dier to deflect it over.
Again Tottenham came agonisingly close to a second as Ivan Perisic’s cross was just too heavy for Kane to tap in, with the England captain missing it by a whisker.
Hojbjerg did have the ball in the net when he managed to lob Ederson from 30 yards, though he had already been flagged for offside after failing to hold his run.
At the other end, Alvarez flashed another shot over as the game seemed ripe for a second goal to finally stand.
Kane so nearly bundled his way to a brace after Son carried the ball 20 yards up the pitch and towards the penalty area, with Ederson denying him from close range and the ball deflecting back out off him for a goal kick.
Spurs’ counters were continuing to cause Man City problems as Ederson had to sprawl to keep Son’s effort from the edge of the area out, with Hojbjerg dragging the second effort wide.
With under ten minutes remaining, Tottenham wanted a penalty when Rico Lewis appeared to handle the ball when beating Dejan Kulusevski to a cross, but their appeals were dismissed.
Tottenham were reduced to ten men when Cristian Romero picked up a second yellow card for a cynical but vital foul on Grealish.
Man City were incensed that they didn’t receive a penalty deep into stoppage time when Lloris’ flapped attempt to claim a cross saw him take out Rodri, and Spurs held on to take the three points.
GK: Hugo Lloris – 6/10 – Commanded his area well and wasn’t a liability.
CB: Cristian Romero – 7/10 – Outstanding before his sending off. Completely shut down Haaland.
CB: Eric Dier – 8/10 – Similarly excellent from a player who has often wilted in big games like this over the course of the season.
CB: Ben Davies – 8/10 – Completely untroubled regardless of who he was up against.
RM: Emerson Royal – 8/10 – Got the better of his duels with Grealish, and though still lacked a little quality on the ball, this could be forgiven.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 7/10 – Did well to set up Kane’s opener and put in a real shift.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – 6/10 – Dribbled his way out of trouble on a consistent basis though his final pass was lacking.
LM: Ivan Perisic – 6/10 – Nearly played his way into trouble at times but was largely solid, the inverse of his performance in the reverse fixture.
RF: Dejan Kulusevski – 6/10 – Slowed down plenty by Ake and Lewis but still gave Man City headaches.
LF: Son Heung-min – 6/10 – Looked ever so sharp when carrying the ball up the pitch but remained hesitant when it came to getting shots away.
CF: Harry Kane – 8/10 – Record-breaker, history-maker. Dropped deep and showed off his full range today.
Ryan Sessegnon (79′ for Perisic) – N/A
Yves Bissouma (84′ for Son) – N/A
Davinson Sanchez (88′ for Kulusevski) – N/A
Cristian Stellini – 8/10 – Superbly handled the game in the absence of the ill Conte.
GK: Ederson – 6/10 – Made a few decent saves and his long kicks threatened to stretch the game.
RB: Kyle Walker – 6/10 – Kept his cool on his return to north London.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – His pace proved a valuable asset in races against Son and Kulusevski.
CB: Nathan Ake – 6/10 – Was also able to break up Spurs counters with his quickness.
LB: Rico Lewis – 6/10 – Tucked into midfield and gave Kulusevski a good battle.
RM: Riyad Mahrez – 5/10 – So nearly scored one of the goals of the season, but routinely failed to get the better of Davies.
CM: Rodri – 4/10 – His sloppiness changed Man City’s afternoon. Again punished for a lack of concentration.
CM: Bernardo Silva – 3/10 – Offered very, very little. Easy to forget he was playing.
LM: Jack Grealish – 4/10 – Often left frustrated by his battles with Emerson.
CF: Erling Haaland – 3/10 – Shut out of the game by Romero.
CF: Julian Alvarez – 5/10 – Slightly more effective than his quiet strike partner, but not by much.
Kevin De Bruyne (59′ for Mahrez) – 5/10
Ilkay Gundogan (84′ for Silva) – N/A
Pep Guardiola – 4/10 – Is it really that hard to win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium?
Player of the Match – Emerson Royal
Arsenal 4-1 Leeds: Player ratings as Gunners restore eight-point lead at Premier League summit
Arsenal restored their eight-point lead at the Premier League summit with an ultimately commanding 4-1 victory at home to Leeds United on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners will have watched Manchester City close the gap with a second-half dismantling of Liverpool earlier in the day – the match was shown on the Emirates’ big screens – and began their game in a fog of hesitancy. Although, their visitors warrant some credit for that.
Javi Gracia had lost all three of his previous meetings with Arsenal by an aggregate score of 0-6 but arrived in north London with a plan to frustrate. Jack Harrison on the left and Rasmus Kristensen, a right-back shunted into midfield, were tasked with plugging the gaps between Leeds’ full-backs and centre-backs, the half-spaces from which Arsenal have wreaked so much havoc this season.
With Arsenal’s regular avenues to goal protected by a military blockade of neon camouflage kits, the hosts had to rely upon a returning weapon of their own. On his first Premier League start since the World Cup, Gabriel Jesus roamed around in constant search of space. The Brazilian nodded a header over the bar after ten minutes before wriggling into the box with the ball at his blurring feet.
Chopping away from Kristensen, Jesus sent Luke Ayling to the turf but soon joined him on the grass when the Leeds skipper carelessly left his studs dangling. Jesus dusted himself off and cooly slotted the spot kick he had worked so hard to win down the middle of the goal, finding the net for the first time since the opening day of October.
Leeds had enjoyed the better of the opening half-hour but their stubborn resolve melted in the wake of Arsenal’s opener. Jesus soon launched a counter-attack which culminated with Gabriel Martinelli watching his 40-yard lob hurriedly scrambled off the line by Ayling. Within two minutes of the restart, Leeds’ beleaguered captain couldn’t stop Martinelli’s cross from bouncing along the box for Ben White to crash in at the back post.
The tight stitching in Leeds’ rearguard was well and truly frayed thereafter. Jesus, who had spotted whispers of room throughout, revelled in the newfound patches of green grass. Arsenal’s number nine picked out Leandro Trossard in the box, surging beyond a trailing pack of disheartened visiting players to receive a return pass and stuff it past Illan Meslier after 55 minutes.
Just as the final 15 minutes threatened to meander towards a tame conclusion, Kristensen exploited his advanced positioning with a thumped shot from the D. Aaron Ramsdale was unsighted by a wicked deflection from Oleksandr Zinchenko and gave up yet another clean sheet; Arsenal have conceded in seven of their last eight home games.
Granit Xhaka restored Arsenal’s three-goal advantage within ten minutes, bursting into a scantily-clad box and guiding Martin Odegaard’s feathered cross into the corner. A matter of hours after City underlined their title credentials against Liverpool, Arsenal responded with a 4-1 win of their own, the club’s seventh consecutive top-flight victory – the longest run of any team at any point of the season.
GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 4/10 – Alert right from the opening whistle, making a save inside the first ten seconds but very shaky with the ball at his feet.
RB: Ben White – 7/10 – No punches were pulled against his former club with a spiky, stud-filled showing.
CB: Rob Holding – 6/10 – Rarely ventured away from a safe pass but managed to clear most of the danger that fell his way.
CB: Gabriel – 7/10 – Commanding on and off the ball.
LB: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 5/10 – Struggled when lured into a one-on-one out wide but limited those scenarios as he spent much of his time in midfield.
CM: Martin Odegaard – 6/10 – Grew into the game as space opened up between the lines.
CM: Thomas Partey – 7/10 – Exerted a sense of reassuring serenity in possession.
CM: Granit Xhaka – 7/10 – Readjusted well when faced with the initial obdurate shape but continued to crash the box when space opened up.
RW: Leandro Trossard – 8/10 – Starting on his unfavoured right flank, Trossard was brilliantly disciplined when counter-pressing and set up Jesus’ second.
ST: Gabriel Jesus – 9/10 – Breezing around the final third, Jesus was back to his untameable best.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 8/10 – The Brazilian’s unwavering directness helped pierce Leeds’ stubborn resolve.
Bukayo Saka (60′ for Jesus) – 5/10
Jorginho (60′ for Partey) – 5/10
Emile Smith Rowe (85′ for Odegaard) – N/A
Fabio Vieira (86′ for Xhaka) – N/A
Kieran Tierney (86′ for Zinchenko) – N/a
Mikel Arteta – 7/10 – Watched on as his players unpicked the problem in front of them with admirable cunning and creativity.
GK: Illan Meslier – 5/10 – Sharp off his line but not always so decisive.
RB: Luke Ayling – 2/10 – The former Arsenal academy graduate played as though he was still harbouring north London leanings.
CB: Robin Koch – 4/10 – Rash when robbed of the extra security provided by so many extra players flooding into Leeds’ backline.
CB: Pascal Struijk – 6/10 – Safe and sturdy on the left of Leeds’ rearguard.
LB: Junior Firpo – 5/10 – Curbed his natural attacking instincts as Leeds were reluctant to commit more than the front three forward.
CM: Rasmus Kristensen – 6/10 – Despite nominally starting further forward, Kristensen’s defensive discipline was integral to tracking Xhaka’s roaming.
CM: Marc Roca – 5/10 – Sweeping up at the base of midfield, Roca sometimes slipped in the backline himself as well.
CM: Jack Harrison – 6/10 – Dropping as deep – and sometimes deeper – than Leeds’ left-back Firpo.
RW: Luis Sinisterra – 5/10 – Skirting around the fringes of the contest.
ST: Brenden Aaronson – 4/10 – A striker in name only, the flitting attacking midfielder drifted in and mainly out of the contest.
LW: Crysencio Summerville – 7/10 – A wriggling menace as Leeds swept forward in transition.
Weston McKennie (66′ for Aaronson) – 5/10
Rodrigo (66′ for Sinisterra) – 5/10
Liam Cooper (74′ for Koch) – N/A
Georginio Rutter (74′ for Summerville) – N/A
Patrick Bamford (85′ for Harrison) – N/A
Javi Gracia – 5/10 – Deployed his side in a compact shape that also threatened in transition until the opening goal.
Player of the match – Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)
LAFC sign midfielder Mateusz Bogusz from Leeds United
LAFC finally signed Polish youth international midfielder Mateusz Bogusz from English Premier League side Leeds United.
He joins on a three-year contract through the 2026 Major League Soccer season, with an additional option for 2027.
“Mateusz is a talented young player with great ability who will provide another quality piece to our club,” LAFC co-president & general manager John Thorrington said in a release. “He is a dynamic and exciting attacker who has the ability to help our group in our ambitions to win more trophies. I am excited to welcome Mateusz to Los Angeles.”
Bogusz arrives after spending much of his Leeds United tenure on loan in the Spanish second tier, accumulating seven goals and eight assists across 65 appearances for UD Ibiza and UD Logroñés.
Internationally, he’s become an integral part of Poland’s U-21 team.
He now joins the likes of Ilie Sanchez, Kellyn Acosta and Jose Cifuentes in LAFC’s midfield as the reigning MLS champions defend the title. Head coach Steve Cherundolo also brought in Timothy Tillman during the Primary Transfer Window, adding to the competition after hitting the ground running when arriving from 2. Bundesliga side Greuther Fürth.
Though the options are not limited for Cherundolo, Bogusz offers an offensive component on the wings that the team could certainly use. And depth will be much-needed as the Western Conference giants balance the regular MLS season, Concacaf Champions League and Leagues Cup before even thinking about the redesigned, extensive playoff format in the winter.
LAFC currently sit in third place of the Western Conference table with 10 points in four games, and a record of 3W-0L-1D.
Jurgen Klopp explains why Liverpool were ‘lucky’ in Man City defeat
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confessed that his side were fortunate not to be on the receiving end of a truly humiliating scoreline in Saturday’s defeat to Manchester City.
An early Mohamed Salah goal proved to be a false dawn for Liverpool, who watched on as Julian Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Jack Grealish scored in a dominant response to seal a 4-1 victory.
After the game, Klopp admitted his side were expertly dismantled, conceding Liverpool ‘may not even have won against ten men’.
He told BT Sport: “I think we saw a first half which you would expect. A dominant City side with us well organised, having our moments. We caused problems and scored a wonderful goal and had another big counter-attacking moment.
“So, 1-1 at half-time, it’s clear, you can show the boys what we have to do and where we have to defend them. We concede the first goal, an open ball in midfield where we don’t even have a challenge, then we are too deep and the counter-attack happens.
“After that, 3-1, where we have a massive overload on one side. We should win the ball but don’t even have the challenge. These kinds of things cannot happen but they happened.
“After that, we were just open. Wow. They could whatever they wanted and we were lucky they weren’t in the most greedy mood. They scored a fourth one but then they were happy. Apart from that, there is nothing good to say about this game.
“It’s a game we have to use, unfortunately, to make clear which things cannot happen. We cannot no have challenges in key areas. We cannot be that kind of open. It’s not possible. But it happened. I have to explain it but I can’t. I can only describe it.”
The defeat – the first time Liverpool have lost three straight games in over two years – was their eighth away loss in the Premier League this season and their fifth at any venue in 2023, having lost just four across the entirety of 2022.
Klopp must now pick Liverpool up and prepare for a trip to Stamford Bridge to face fellow European outsiders Chelsea on Tuesday, seeking to avoid a fourth straight loss – something Liverpool have not experienced since November 2014.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
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