“Pep Praises Tough-to-Defend Tottenham Duo”

Joe Lee

After the champions lost two more points at home to their recurring rivals on an exciting afternoon that truly put the “super” in “Super Sunday,” the manager of Man City had his fair share of complaints.

As far as Pep Guardiola is concerned, however, the goal that gave Tottenham a thrilling point against all odds was more a testament to the team’s forwards than a harsh critique of City’s defense. Brennan Johnson broke free down the wing and crossed for Dejan Kulusevski, who crashed a header into the top corner in the ninetieth minute.

To Pep Guardiola’s mind, though, the goal that handed Tottenham a thrilling point against all odds was less an indictment of City’s defense and more a tribute to the team’s forwards. In the ninetieth minute, Brennan Johnson got clear down the wing and passed for Dejan Kulusevski, who headed a header into the upper corner.

Tottenham draws with Manchester City.

“(We must be conscious of the fact that) on occasion we must order our teammates to defend the high ball and the cross. However, Guardiola admits to the Man City website that it was a wise move.

“Johnson made a good action. He made a good delivery. For the full-back on the opposite side, it is so difficult to defend these actions. Kulusevski attacked the ball well.”

The silky Swede, arguably Tottenham’s best player in a more central role, became only the second player in Premier League history – after former Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy – to score in three successive top-flight games away to Man City.

“He’s done it a couple of times, Kulusevski, getting on the ball and skipping past Rodri,” Gary Neville said during Sky Sports’ live coverage (3rd December, 4.30pm) after the £25 million signing from Juventus drove through the thirds to set up Heung-Min Son’s early opener.

Dejan Kulusevski strikes again at the Etihad

“You don’t see too many doing that in the centre of midfield. Kulusevski is doing a really good job in there.”

Man City have now dropped points in all of their last three league games. Cole Palmer scored a 94th minute penalty for Chelsea. Trent Alexander-Arnold drilled past Ederson in the 80th minute last week. And, on Sunday, it was Kulusevski’s turn. The Tottenham playmaker giving North London neighbours Arsenal an inadvertent advantage at the top of the table.

Arsenal are now three points clear of the reigning champions, beating Wolves on Saturday.

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