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Kane scores twice as Spurs beat Man City to blow open title race



Manchester City’s failed pursuit of Harry Kane continued to haunt them as the England captain scored twice to give Tottenham a stunning 3-2 win over the Etihad, opening the Premier League title race again.

Kane’s header deep into stoppage time, seconds after the hosts drew on Riyad Mahrez’s penalty, caused City’s first league defeat in 16 games.

Liverpool can now get close to the leaders’ three points if they win their home game against Leeds on Wednesday.

The contrast of form between the teams could not have been greater as Tottenham had lost their previous three league games.

But Antonio Conte avoided losing four on the bounce for the first time in his managerial career, thanks to a tenacious defensive play that was lit by flashes of brilliance from Kane and Son Heung-min at halftime.

If Kane had had his way last summer he would have been in blue instead of white for Tottenham.

He was City’s main target to replace club-record scorer Sergio Aguero, but it was Kane’s play-making ability that caught the eye in the first half.

Conte claimed Tottenham had been weakened in the January transfer window in his latest damning look at his side’s assets to the Italian media this week.

Both Spurs’ January signings, Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, started and it was the Swede who gave the visitors a dream start.

Kane’s sumptuous through ball broke City’s offside trap and Son selflessly provided Kulusevski to shoot into an unguarded net after just four minutes.

City boss Pep Guardiola was also critical of his squad’s performance, despite what he described as “a dream” 5-0 win over Sporting Lisbon in the last 16 of the Champions League in the midweek.

This time, some sloppiness on the part of the English champions was punished, as it took them 20 minutes to wake from their slumber.

Joao Cancelo saw two tries just wide either side of an attack by Ilkay Gundogan coming back from the post as Spurs were written back into their final third.

The pressure finally came thanks to Spurs captain Hugo Lloris’ latest mistake in recent weeks on his 400th appearance for the club.

Lloris shot a cross from Raheem Sterling under pressure from Kevin De Bruyne and Gundogan pushed in the rebound.

Despite all of City’s possession, Kane and Son were always a threat on the counter-attack and they combined with brilliant effect to put Tottenham back ahead just before the hour.

Kane started the attack on his own half before racing forward to meet the South Korean’s cross with a cool finish for just his sixth league goal of the season.

Just a fine save from Ederson, Kane denied moments later when another pass from Son opened the City’s defense wide.

Kane had the ball in the net for the second time in the 74th minute when he made a swipe from a cross from Kulusevski with the help of a deflection.

But in a role reversal from the dramatic scenes when City failed to become an injury time winner in a Champions League quarter-final between the teams three years ago, this time VAR intervened in City’s favor for being offside against Kulusevski.

On the other hand, Lloris made up for his earlier mistake with an incredible fingertip stop to leave Gundogan’s goal-bound effort.

City thought they had at least taken a point when another VAR check saw a penalty for hands by Cristian Romero and Mahrez shot high past Lloris.

But there was a final twist to the story when Kulusevski’s teasing cross was answered with a towering header by Kane for a winner in the 95th minute that reinvigorated Spurs’ ambitions to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The Conte men rise to seventh and almost four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with two games to go.

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