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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says his team came close to perfection in 2-0 victory over Manchester City

Joe Hall
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Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League
Super Spurs: Dele Alli celebrates putting Tottenham 2-0 up (Source: Getty)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his team came close to perfection as they inflicted Manchester City's first defeat of the season in a vibrant victory at White Hart Lane.

Spurs moved to within one point of leaders City at the top of the Premier League thanks to an early Aleksandar Kolarov own goal and a cool finish from Dele Alli.

“The performance was nearly perfect,” said Pochettino. “To play against Manchester City you need to do a fantastic job. Our players showed a big commitment to our philosophy, the way we played was fantastic.

“I told the players today you can win or you can lose but at the end you can not regret anything about what you left on the pitch. That is the attitude we need to keep.

“Today we showed if we play with passion we have enough quality to fight with the big teams.”

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After experiencing his first loss as City manager Pep Guardiola was similarly impressed with Pochettino’s men and described them as serious title contenders.

“There are many teams that can achieve that [win the Premier League] and Tottenham is one of them,” he said.

“They were the better team. When the opponent is better you have to accept it and learn from that.”

Before one of his players had even touched the ball Guardiola's side were almost behind. Heung-Min Son, who once again proved an able deputy for the injured Harry Kane up front, smashed a shot over the bar with barely 30 seconds on the clock.

A shellshocked City were unable to contend with Spurs’ intensity and their discomfort was exposed when the home side opened the scoring after nine minutes.

Left-back Danny Rose fired a low cross towards the six yard box that narrowly evaded Son but found a backtracking Kolarov who bungled a clearance and diverted the ball past keeper Claudio Bravo and into the top right hand corner.

Spurs doubled the lead before the interval when Erik Lamela intercepted in midfield, triggering another high-octane counter-attack completed with a smart Son through-ball to Alli, who slotted home.

City striker Sergio Aguero threatened throughout — he came closest with a first-half free-kick parried by Hugo Lloris — but Spurs were comfortable enough not to rue Lamela’s saved penalty on 65 minutes.

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