Tottenham Hotspur are top of the Premier League following a stellar tactical display from Jose Mourinho over his old rival Pep Guardiola at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Goals from Giovani Lo Celso and Heung-min Son secured all three points for Spurs in a dogged and well-rehearsed performance from which they emerged with a deserved win.
For Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, it was certainly a frustrating evening.
Tottenham had just two shots all game and scored from both whilst City could not turn their dominance in possession into anything meaningful in attack.
The Spaniard made it clear that this should have come as a surprise to his players, considering the opposing manager.
“We knew it, Mourinho’s teams are like this,” Guardiola told BBC Sport. “We do a mistake, one moment you lose momentum and they punish you on the counter-attack. We knew it and we could not control it especially in the first and after it is not easy.
“You know Harry Kane and (Tanguy) Ndombele defending in the halfway, 20 metres from the ball, so the space is so difficult but we tried. We try, in possession we were good but football is the boxes and we were not good.”
Now some critics might lament Mourinho’s style of play in this fixture but off the back of the international break, to set up a team in such a rigid and disciplined way, deserves immense credit.
The Portuguese is known for being a defensive mastermind when it comes to setting up his teams and that was certainly the case here, with Tottenham also economical when on the attack.
Guardiola was not exactly complaining about the way Tottenham played, even if it is against his own ethos. If Spurs can produce similar masterclasses against Chelsea and Arsenal in their next two fixtures then there is surely no doubt about their title-challenging credentials.