Son Heung-Min’s second-half goal earned Tottenham Hotspur three points as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men beat Premier League champions Manchester City 1-0 in Sunday night’s season opener.
After winning most of their closest rivals earlier in the week, City set off to prove a point and started the upward move. Spurs, on the other hand, started slowly, but gradually gained a foothold in the game as half time approached.
Neither goalkeeper, however, was unduly tested as both teams went into the break on an equal footing.
Ten minutes into the second half, the impasse was broken when Son ended a quick Spurs counterattack with an excellent left-footed shot into the lower corner.
The goal spurred Pep Guardiola and his squad to action as they stepped up gear and called for reinforcements from the bench only to face a well-trained Spurs defense they ultimately couldn’t break through.
So Nuno’s Spurs tenure begins on a profit as City seeks to recover from consecutive losses in their upcoming games at the start of the season.
With that in mind, here are the player ratings for both sides:
Tottenham Hotspur Player Ratings:
The seasoned goalkeeper had a few moments of indecision in the first half but was ultimately able to cope with whatever the opponent threw at him.
Given the task of playing as a right-back and marking Sterling, the young defender performed admirably and received much praise for his excellent defensive performance.
Like Tanganga and Dier on either side, the Colombian made good use of his pace and physicality, making several key tackles to help his side take down City’s attackers.
A typically straightforward defensive performance by the Englishman, who was dominant in the air and was responsible for fending off several City crosses into the penalty area.
Had my hands full with the double threat of Mahrez and Cancelo and handled it very well, even finding time for some promising forays into the field.
A sovereign performance in midfield by the Danish international who took a lot of pressure off his relatively inexperienced midfield partner by throwing himself into the duels with all his heart and stopping several city attacks.
Like his team as a whole, the young midfielder shook off a nervous start and grew in confidence over the minutes and delivered a consummate performance.
Passed Bergwijn on the other side with excellent speed and tricks, which barely gave the city defense a break.
The Englishman still seems to be getting used to life as a regular first-team starter and has been a bit off the pace compared to his teammates and was often more on the edge of the Spurs attacks than in the heart of it.
A constant threat to City’s backline with his fast and direct run, which paid off when he claimed the templates for Son’s opening game and should have added himself shortly afterwards.
Son Heung-Min: 8/10
He showed a tireless performance, skilfully leading the Spurs in the conspicuous absence of Harry Kane and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal that turned out to be the winner.
Added a touch of calm and serenity to the Spurs ranks after replacing Bergwijn with about 15 minutes remaining as the Spurs tried to maintain their lead.
Took the role of Tanganga’s right-back for the final minutes, helping his side watch the game.
He made his spurs in the last minute or so to ensure a clean hand but barely got a ball on the pitch.