Tottenham top after beating Man City, Villa fades in EPL

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NEIL HALL

Tottenham's manager Jose Mourinho, left, cheers Tottenham's Son Heung-min during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Neil Hall/Pool via AP)

LONDON – With his team top of the English Premier League, Jose Mourinho enjoyed bragging rights over Pep Guardiola in their longstanding rivalry as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday.

Chelsea moved up to second while Aston Villa's strong early form continued to fade.

A typical Guardiola vs. Mourinho game saw City enjoy the lion's share of possession, only to be frustrated by Tottenham's compact defense and sliced apart on counter-attacks.

“Everyone worked their socks off,” Tottenham forward Harry Kane told Sky Sports. “We knew in the second half that chances would be available and thankfully we took some in the end.”

Kane has either scored or assisted at least one goal in each of his last eight league games. Mourinho was marking a year in charge at Tottenham, while Guardiola acknowledged he had work to do to turn City's season around after signing a two-year contract extension.

Son Heung-min gave Tottenham the lead in the fifth minute when Kane pulled both City center-backs out of position, leaving the way clear for the South Korean to latch onto Tanguy Ndombele's pass and score. With a one-goal advantage, Tottenham was happy to sit back and deflect City's attacks.

City has yet to score at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in three visits since Spurs moved in last year. Aymeric Laporte briefly thought he had ended that run, but his goal was disallowed because Gabriel Jesus controlled the ball with his arm before passing to Laporte.

City pushed up and left space for Tottenham to counter. Kane had three passing options on a 65th-minute break and he opted for Giovani Lo Celso, who scored with his first action after coming on as a substitute.