Report

Kulusevski's late goal earns Spurs a point in six-goal EPIC

3 Dec 2023
Kulusevski, Spurs

Swede's header ends Spurs' three-match losing streak as Man City drop to third following Liverpool win

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Dejan Kulusevski's 90th-minute header ended Tottenham Hotspur's three-match losing streak as they drew 3-3 against Manchester City in an absorbing contest at the Etihad Stadium.

See: Spurs show why Guardiola must rethink his tactics

A third consecutive draw for City leaves them in third following Liverpool's dramatic 4-3 victory over Fulham, three points behind leaders Arsenal. Spurs remain three points behind City in fifth but climb into the top five, above Newcastle United.

The title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 26 +38 60
2 Man City MCI 26 +33 59
3 Arsenal ARS 26 +39 58
4 Aston Villa AVL 26 +21 52
5 Spurs TOT 25 +14 47
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How the match unfolded

Pep Guardiola made three changes to the side that beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, with Ederson, Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvarez coming in for Stefan Ortega, Rico Lewis and Jack Grealish.

As for Spurs, Ange Postecoglou only made one change from the team that lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, with Yves Bissouma returning from suspension in place of the injured Rodrigo Bentancur

The match started at a breathless pace, and Spurs opened the scoring after only six minutes through Son Heung-min.

The visitors produced a lightning counter-attack, Son breaking from inside his own half, latching on to Kulusevski’s long pass and outmuscling Doku before firing a low shot that Ederson was unable to keep out.

Son became the first player in history to score away Premier League goals versus four reigning champions, doing so against Leicester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City when they had won the league in the previous campaign.

But Spurs’ lead only lasted 137 seconds, as Alvarez’s free-kick was flicked on by Erling Haaland before Son inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

It made Son only the second player in Premier League history to score a goal and own goal in the opening 10 minutes of a match, after Gareth Barry for Aston Villa v Charlton in May 1999.

Son own goal

The chances continued to flow, with Haaland dragging a shot wide with the goal at his mercy before Doku crashed a strike against the underside of the crossbar.

But City did go in front on 31 minutes, Phil Foden collecting Alvarez’s clever pass before slotting past Guglielmo Vicario from close range.

City were denied by the woodwork for a second time as Alvarez’s effort hit a post and bounced clear as it remained 2-1 at the break.

Guardiola’s side came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, with Bernardo Silva’s sublime strike with the outside of his left foot tipped over spectacularly by Vicario.

Doku’s afternoon came to a premature end when he limped off early in the second half, with the winger an early doubt for Wednesday night’s trip to Aston Villa. The champions will be without the suspended Rodri and Grealish at Villa Park after both were booked against Spurs.

The chances temporarily dried up for City, and it was Spurs who struck next on 69 minutes as Giovani Lo Celso collected Son’s layoff before sweeping a low strike in off the inside of the post for his second goal in as many matches.

Lo Celso celebrates

City came again, with Rodri blazing a shot over the crossbar before Grealish put the home side 3-2 up with nine minutes remaining.

Rodri dispossessed Bissouma and City broke quickly down the right, with Haaland cutting the ball back for Grealish to slot low past Vicario.

But the drama wasn't over as Brennan Johnson advanced down the left and crossed for Kulusevski, who guided a header into the top-left corner to level in dramatic fashion.

Kulusevski is only the second player in Premier League history to score in three consecutive seasons away to the reigning champions, doing so for Spurs in 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24, after Danny Murphy’s run of four between 2000/01 and 2003/04.

It was the 24th and final goal of an EPIC five-match day, the most goals ever scored on a Sunday with a maximum of five matches.

Next five PL fixtures
Did you know?

There were just 137 seconds between Son putting Tottenham 1-0 up and then scoring an own goal to level the scores. He is only the second player in Premier League history to score a goal and own goal in the opening 10 minutes of a game, after Gareth Barry for Aston Villa v Charlton in May 1999.

Today was the first time in the big-five European leagues that Man City’s Erling Haaland has had as many as five shots in a game without one being on target.

After scoring just once in his first 58 Premier League appearances for Spurs, Giovani Lo Celso has scored in each of his last two games, with two of his three goals in the competition coming against Manchester City.

Spurs’ Son was just the fifth Premier League player to score (one), assist (one) and score an own goal (one) in the same Premier League game after Jacob Ramsey in November 2022, Gareth Bale in November 2012, Wayne Rooney in October 2012 and Kevin Davies in December 2008.

Son scored his 50th Premier League away goal for Spurs, becoming just the seventh different player to score at least 50 home goals, 50 away goals and provide 50 assists for a side in the competition, and the first to do so for Spurs.

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