Man City on brink of Premier League history


London, May 16: Erling Haaland scored twice to settle Manchester City's nerves as the Premier League champions beat Tottenham 2-0 to take a giant step towards a historic fourth straight English title on Tuesday.

The Norwegian forward tapped home a pinpoint Kevin De Bruyne cross early in the second half to score City's first-ever league goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

And he netted a late penalty to seal the three points for the visitors, minutes after substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega saved brilliantly from Son Heung-min.

The win takes Pep Guardiola's team two points clear of Arsenal at the top of the table after 37 games.

Victory at the Etihad against West Ham on Sunday will make them champions for a fourth consecutive season, regardless of the Gunners' result against Everton.

No team in English top-flight history has ever won four titles in a row. Defeat for Spurs also guarantees that Aston Villa will finish in the fourth Champions League spot, joining City, Arsenal and Liverpool in Europe's top-tier competition next season.

"We gave the chance in our hands for the last game," Guardiola told the BBC. "The tennis players say 'The serve to win Wimbledon, the last game, is the most difficult one'.

"It happened in our period against Aston Villa (in 2022). And many, many years ago it happened with Sergio Aguero (scoring) in 93 minutes 20 seconds against QPR. So there will be the typical game."

Guardiola called for help from City's fans to get them over the line. "We know what we're playing for," he said. "The tension is there, the rival is so good. It's why it is difficult, we know that.

"Everyone come to the stadium and make noise. These games are more difficult but you have to do it. We'll have one day off, two days to prepare, and then we will do our best."

Haaland tells to 'relax' 

Haaland has urged his City teammates to "relax" after they closed in on making English football history. "Yeah, fantastic mentality," Haaland told City+. "Focus on game by game and now relax. We came here to try to win and we won.

"They're a fantastic team," Haaland said of Spurs. "You know everyone knows that they want to play all the time and all praise to them.

"It was really difficult, but yeah, we came here to try and win and we won. That's my only thing and I'm happy. "I think we were a bit nervous. I think that's normal, there's a lot of emotions for everyone. "Everyone knows the situation, but it's about not thinking too much. Try to focus on your things to do and try to win."

Postecoglou 'misread' 

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou said the foundations he has built at the club are "fragile" after many fans took glee in their defeat.

Postecoglou had dismissed suggestions on the eve of the game that Tottenham supporters would want their own side to lose if it meant denying the Gunners a first title in 20 years.

But after a subdued atmosphere on Tuesday night, with chants mocking Arsenal in the final stages, the Australian admitted he had "misread" the situation. 

The Spurs supporters made their feelings towards their bitter local rivals clear in the opening minutes, with chants of "Stand up if you hate Arsenal" ringing around the stadium.

Thousands of Spurs fans chanted "Are you watching Arsenal" as the City faithful celebrated in their first goal.

"I think the last 48 hours have revealed to me the foundations are pretty fragile. That's things I've got to go back to the drawing board on," said Postecoglou.

The former Celtic boss was further pressed on whether his frustration was aimed at the fans or those inside the club.

"(I) Don't care. Outside, inside, everywhere. It's been an interesting exercise," he added. "I probably misread the situation in what it takes to make a winning team."

Tottenham still have work to do to guarantee fifth place and Europa League football next season, but only need a point when they travel to 

relegated Sheffield United on Sunday to do so. (AFP)

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