Premier League
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Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City: Son Heung-min strike gives Spurs victory without Harry Kane

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham 1-0 Manchester City: Nuno Espirito Santo 'very proud' of Spurs after opening win

Tottenham made light of the absence of unsettled Harry Kane to start the Premier League season with a win over champions Manchester City and their £100m man Jack Grealish.

Kane - heavily linked with a move to Manchester City - sat out this pulsating encounter but Pep Guardiola wasted no time in throwing in his British record signing from Aston Villa.

It was Son Heung-min who gave new manager Nuno Espirito Santo the perfect start to his reign with a low shot that snaked beyond Manchester City keeper Ederson 10 minutes after the break.

Spurs fully deserved their win as they survived a shaky opening phase to play with real purpose, already showing signs of the Nuno trademark with fierce defensive discipline allied to pace on the break.

Grealish had a quiet debut, being shown a yellow card late on, and it was actually Spurs who had the best opportunity after Son's goal, only for Steven Bergwijn to shoot wide when clean through.

City had fleeting opportunities but rarely tested Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris as they looked rusty in contrast to the sharpness of their opponents.

Spurs revel in superb victory

Harry Kane on a big screen above Spurs fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Harry Kane has been at Tottenham since he was a schoolboy

Manchester City's pursuit of England captain Kane gave this game an added edge - so how the home fans enjoyed victory against the club attempting to snatch away their main marksman.

And Spurs delivered exactly what their supporters, finally back inside their magnificent new stadium, wanted with this opening-weekend victory - the chance to taunt Manchester City and to remind Kane what he might be leaving behind.

Late on, those fans sent a chant of 'are you watching, Harry Kane?' reverberating around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

And it was Son, the man who has been Kane's partner in goals for so many years, who provided the flourish befitting this high-octane Spurs performance with a typical piece of skill and ingenuity to slide the winner low past Ederson.

Spurs players - and manager - Nuno rightly took the acclaim at the final whistle. The home side had heroes everywhere in match-winner Son, the outstanding defender Japhet Tanganga and the tireless Lucas Moura.

It remains to be seen how the Kane affair plays out but this will be the perfect psychological lift to Spurs that will sustain them until the saga comes to a close one way or the other.

Rusty Man City can have no complaints

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says new signing Jack Grealish was 'excellent'

Manchester City's race appeared run long before the end of this game, with the early spark of promise snuffed out by the endeavour and skill of Spurs.

Grealish made some useful contributions early on but his day ended in the frustration of a yellow card and it is clear Guardiola, understandably, still has some work to do to integrate his talents into a squad already packed with creative ability.

One look at the City bench hinted at what Guardiola can introduce in the weeks ahead, even if Kane does not make the move to Manchester.

Kevin de Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus were introduced in the final 20 minutes, while England's Euro 2020 pair Kyle Walker and John Stones were unused substitutes, as were Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and Bernardo Silva - a formidable array of talent.

But nothing could save this over-complicated and listless City show with Benjamin Mendy showing yet again what a flawed figure he is at left-back while Nathan Ake was also uncomfortable.

And, significantly, City's lack of punch, with the great Sergio Aguero now gone, may just have prompted Guardiola to look even further into the acquisition of Kane, especially as Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have already given notice that there will be very little margin for error in the title race this season.

Player of the match

Son Heung-MinSon Heung-Min

with an average of 8.29

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating


  2. Squad number25Player nameTanganga
    Average rating


  3. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating


  4. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating


  5. Squad number29Player nameSkipp
    Average rating


  6. Squad number23Player nameBergwijn
    Average rating


  7. Squad number6Player nameD Sánchez
    Average rating


  8. Squad number20Player nameAlli
    Average rating


  9. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating


  10. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating


  11. Squad number18Player nameLo Celso
    Average rating


  12. Squad number4Player nameRomero
    Average rating


  13. Squad number2Player nameDoherty
    Average rating


  14. Squad number15Player nameDier
    Average rating


Manchester City

  1. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating


  2. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating


  3. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating


  4. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating


  5. Squad number25Player nameFernandinho
    Average rating


  6. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating


  7. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating


  8. Squad number21Player nameTorres
    Average rating


  9. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating


  10. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating


  11. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating


  12. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating


  13. Squad number11Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating


  14. Squad number22Player nameMendy
    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Lloris
  • 25TangangaSubstituted forDohertyat 83'minutes
  • 6D SánchezBooked at 90mins
  • 15Dier
  • 3Reguilón
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forRomeroat 90'minutes
  • 29Skipp
  • 20Alli
  • 27Lucas MouraBooked at 66mins
  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 23BergwijnSubstituted forLo Celsoat 77'minutes


  • 2Doherty
  • 4Romero
  • 8Winks
  • 11Gil
  • 17Sissoko
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 22Gollini
  • 33Davies
  • 44Scarlett

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Ederson
  • 27Cancelo
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 6Aké
  • 22MendySubstituted forZinchenkoat 79'minutes
  • 8Gündogan
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 10GrealishBooked at 90mins
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forDe Bruyneat 79'minutes
  • 21Torres
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 70'minutes


  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 14Laporte
  • 16Rodri
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 20Bernardo Silva
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamMan City
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Manchester City 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Nathan Aké (Manchester City).

  4. Post update

    Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Booking

    Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Booking

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jack Grealish (Manchester City).

  8. Post update

    Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Cristian Romero replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Matt Doherty.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ferran Torres (Manchester City) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by João Cancelo.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

  15. Post update

    João Cancelo (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

  17. Post update

    Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Matt Doherty replaces Japhet Tanganga.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. João Cancelo (Manchester City) header from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne following a corner.

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