2018/2019 English Premier League
  • Phil Foden (5')

Manchester City return to top of table as Foden goal earns win vs. Tottenham

Manchester City moved back to the top of the table with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham thanks to Phil Foden's first Premier League goal.

The 18-year-old headed Sergio Aguero's knock down in from close range after the Argentina international had got on the end of Bernardo Silva's cross.

Guardiola joked that he was genius for bringing in Foden for just his second Premier League start with the 18-year-old scoring the only goal after five minutes.

"How good is the manager? I am a genius. He scored a goal," Guardiola said. "Phil is an incredible player. We needed this capacity to press high and he has quality to arrive in the box and every time he plays he scores a goal or has chances to score goals.

"He has the ability to play in small spaces. It's an incredible experience for him and I trust him a lot."

This was the third meeting between the two sides in the past 10 days after the dramatic double-header in the Champions League quarterfinals, which saw Tottenham progress on away goals after City had seen a stoppage time goal overturned by the video assistant referee.

"The last two days have been really tough for us," Guardiola said.

"We could have lost the Premier League today -- after Wednesday it was really tough. As a footballer, I could not have done what my players have done today. The title is still in our hands."

City looked hungry for revenge at the Etihad as they came running out of the blocks and took the lead early.

However, despite dominating for the majority of the first half, the hosts failed to add to their slender advantage and had goalkeeper Ederson to thank after he stopped Son Heung-Min from equalising.

There was a major blow for Pep Guardiola's men just before half-time when Kevin De Bruyne had to leave the pitch with another injury after reacting badly to taking a shot from the edge of the area.

"It was something muscular, which is normal after injuries and three or four games of a lot of minutes with no preparation," Guardiola said.

"Maybe he will miss the four games and the FA Cup final. I don't know how big the impact is. We will see tomorrow but I think for the next game, he will be out."

Spurs had a strong penalty shout turned down early in the second half after Dele Alli flicked the ball onto Kyle Walker's arm, but referee Michael Oliver awarded the visitors a corner.

Player of the Year nominee Raheem Sterling came close to extending City's lead, but saw his close range effort blocked by Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.

City held on to return to the summit -- a point clear of Liverpool -- while defeat left Tottenham just three points clear of sixth place Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

For Spurs, who have a two-legged Champions League semifinal against Ajax to look forward to, the focus now shifts to the battle for the top four, starting with Tuesday's home game against Brighton.

"It is in our hands to be in the top four, to be in the Champions League next season," Mauricio Pochettino said. "The next two games are going to be decisive, against Brighton and West Ham."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.