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Is football standing still for Jose?

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Jose Mourinho has been accused of letting modern football pass him by. But with stubborn defences a rarity this season, is the game standing still for him at the moment?

Villa fans top list of hate crimes reports

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Aston Villa fans were reported for alleged hate crimes on more occasions than supporters of any other club in the 2019-20 season, according to Home Office data.

Carra: Kane most streetwise player in PL

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Jamie Carragher believes that Harry Kane is the most streetwise player in the Premier League and has praised the way he leads the line for Tottenham.

The Fiver | Dabbing the corner of his eye with a balance sheet showing a £63.9m loss

Guardian - man, 23/11/2020 - 17:47

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With Tottenham Hotspur on top of the Premier League just a year after his decision to appoint José Mourinho as manager made him the subject of much eye-rolling and mockery, chief suit Daniel Levy had every reason to wake up feeling smug this morning. Or even more smug than usual. Having been told by assorted armchair experts and daily football emails that Mourinho was a cranky, contrarian has-been who football had finally passed by, Levy could clap himself on the back after Tottenham’s smiting of Manchester City, crow about how he’d been proved right and point out that the rest of us wouldn’t know good management material if it had once performed an embarrassing body-pop on the Wembley touchline.

Related: Daniel Levy warns of 'irrecoverable loss of income' at Spurs unless fans return

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Daniel Levy warns of 'irrecoverable loss of income' at Spurs unless fans return

Guardian - man, 23/11/2020 - 14:33
  • Tottenham post £63.9m loss for the year ending 30 June
  • Club estimates losses of £150m if stadium remains closed

The Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, has warned of an “irrecoverable loss of income” if grounds remain closed to fans after the club posted a £63.9m loss for the year ending 30 June.

The figures stand in stark contrast to the £68.6m profit for the preceding 12 months, and come amid a coronavirus pandemic which Levy conceded “could not have come at a worse time” for the club. Reduced Champions League receipts, shortfalls in matchday and media revenues related to the pandemic, and an increase in operational costs by more than £40m all contributed to the deficit.

Related: José Mourinho sends Pep-ball packing in a rivalry that always delivers | Barney Ronay

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Spurs announce losses of £63.9m

Sky Sports - man, 23/11/2020 - 11:53
Tottenham have announced losses of £63.9m for the year ending June 30, 2020, having made a profit of £68.6m in the previous 12 months.

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend's action

Guardian - man, 23/11/2020 - 09:26

Tottenham can challenge for the title, Arsenal’s search for goals goes on and Timo Werner hits his stride for Chelsea

Perhaps we ought to ask the question differently. How are Tottenham going to mess this up? A tear in Harry Kane’s ankle? A dodgy lasagne? A global pandemic halting the league? Because in the heat of this moment, in which the world is upside down and anything can happen, the biggest reason why Spurs cannot win the title is that they are Spurs. Apart from the loss to Everton on the opening weekend, they have been better than everybody they have faced – and that has included both Manchester clubs, most recently City on Saturday. After an excellent transfer window, they are looking like a winning José Mourinho team. Mourinho refuses to admit it and he will only go game-by-game but, deep down, he knows it is there for the taking. Sunday’s visit to Chelsea is huge. David Hytner

Related: Wrexham's takeover may make football the cart behind a documentary horse

Related: No amount of Marcelo Bielsa’s genius can save Leeds from a bumpy ride | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Liverpool show they have resolve to retain title in season of trench warfare | Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Liew: Arteta’s Arsenal still searching for identity

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Nev: Mourinho vs Lampard for the title?

Sky Sports - søn, 22/11/2020 - 23:24
Gary Neville insists Liverpool will not runaway with the Premier League title and ponders the possibility of a Jose Mourinho vs Frank Lampard title race.

PL predictions: Spoils shared on MNF?

Sky Sports - søn, 22/11/2020 - 23:00
Fresh from tipping Tottenham to beat Man City, a West Ham 1-0 win and Liverpool's easy evening vs Leicester, Jones Knows looks ahead to Monday Night Football..

Jose: Players amazing, we won on strategy

Sky Sports - søn, 22/11/2020 - 08:00
Jose Mourinho said his "amazing" Tottenham beat Manchester City on strategy as a vintage show from the Portuguese boss sent his side top of the Premier League.

'I don't care about the table': Mourinho insists Spurs still a work in progress – video

Guardian - søn, 22/11/2020 - 00:38

José Mourinho said he was delighted with a 'proper team performance' after Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0. Goals from Son Heung-min and Giovani Lo Celso secured a win which took Spurs to the top of the Premier League table. 

'I don't care about the table, I don't care about opponents, I don't care about the competition – I want to win the next match,' Mourinho said. 'It is just a good feeling, to go home tonight and until tomorrow we are top of the table.'

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Pep Guardiola laments City errors at both ends in defeat by Tottenham

Guardian - lør, 21/11/2020 - 23:04
  • Manchester City manager says title hopes could be over soon
  • ‘They shoot two times and score two. We cannot score with 22’

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes will be over if they do not begin to win games soon, as he lamented errors at both ends of the pitch in the 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.

City were unhinged early on by Harry Kane dropping deep and drawing out their centre‑halves – Son Heung-min would run on to Tanguy Ndombele’s pass to score – while their lack of goals is becoming an issue. They have scored only 10 in eight league games this season. “The stats speak for themselves,” Guardiola said, referring to City having 22 shots compared to Spurs’ four, two of which were on target. “But we cannot concede a goal like the first one. We defended bad and we put the perfect scenario for them [at 1-0]. We conceded a goal against Liverpool [in the 1-1 draw two weeks ago] that we cannot do and today again.

Related: Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

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José Mourinho sends Pep-ball packing in a rivalry that always delivers | Barney Ronay

Guardian - lør, 21/11/2020 - 22:43

Tottenham suffocated a possession-hungry Manchester City in a fascinating tactical contest between two old foes

You know, this might just catch on. For an hour at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium the white shirts of Spurs and the all-blacks of Manchester City played out a game of such familiar contrasts, possession v non-possession, that it felt like watching a sporting remake from the Legends Tours, Tyson v Holyfield or Benn v Eubank.

Perhaps the best thing about José v Pep is that it remains so completely itself. Football may be in a state of constant refinement at the top end. But these two, not so much. So we got Davis v Higgins in north London – and beyond that an evening where Mourinho’s counterpunching Spurs exposed with a brutal clarity the weak points in this City team. A few years back Guardiola referred to Tottenham as “the Harry Kane team” with a raise of the eyebrows, a puff of the cheeks and a pat on the head. Well, Pep, you asked for it.

Related: Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

Related: Pep Guardiola laments City errors at both ends in defeat by Tottenham

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Analysis extra: Spurs 2-0 Man City heated up

Sky Sports - lør, 21/11/2020 - 22:20
Jose Mourinho turned to his old foe Pep Guardiola and smiled at the sound of the final whistle.

Leicester in for reality check at Liverpool - Jones Knows

Sky Sports - lør, 21/11/2020 - 22:00
Our tipster is waiting on a Liverpool win for a 7/1 double after Tottenham did the business at Man City - why does he fancy them so strongly vs Leicester?

Alderweireld faces potential long-term injury

Sky Sports - lør, 21/11/2020 - 21:30
Jose Mourinho is concerned Toby Alderweireld will be out long-term with an apparent groin injury sustained in Tottenham's win over Manchester City.

Tottenham 2-0 Manchester City: Premier League – as it happened

Guardian - lør, 21/11/2020 - 21:10

Spurs went top of the Premier League as City’s sluggish start to the campaign continued

8.10pm GMT

David Hytner was in situ to take it all in. Here’s his match report. Click, enjoy ... and thanks for reading this MBM. Nighty night!

Related: Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

8.09pm GMT

Pep’s verdict. “The perfect scenario for them. We conceded a goal after five minutes. After that they defended so deep. They had two shots on target. The spaces were minimal. We tried to find solutions but we couldn’t do it. We created chances but the reality is we are struggling to score goals. I think we have the ability and quality to score goals. I don’t have the feeling we are playing bad. We come here away, we have more shots on target, we concede less shots on target, we have more possession, but football is the details in the boxes. We are further away than we want to be, and we have to start to win. We want to be there, it is a weird season and I must start to lift the players.”

8.01pm GMT

Jose Mourinho talks. “I prefer the players to speak, because they are the ones. They gave everything, they followed a strategy, and they were amazing. It was very important to respect them, and not forget who they are. People are speaking about them being not as good as before, following the fake table, because they have one match in hand. So super congratulations to the players. City is a fantastic team that lost against a team that was strategically good. City is still City. Everything was very good.” He also reports that Toby Alderweireld has an “important” injury, a “fatigue one”. When asked if it will be a long-term injury, he grimaces: “I would say so.”

7.50pm GMT

A clearly frustrated Kevin De Bruyne has his say. “We played well but missed that cutting edge. To keep Tottenham to three or four chances, that’s quite good, but if you’re not sharp it’s tough. There have been a lot of changes, it’s difficult to find the consistency. The first two thirds of the pitch we’re playing really well. I don’t know the rules any more, honestly. They change. I’ve been playing professional football for 12 years and the first nine there was no rule changes. And the last few years there has been a lot. I don’t know why, football is such a nice game. But the guys who make the rules should be people in the game. Just so inconsistent. We had about seven days of pre-season. So what do people expect of us? It’s the same for everybody, but sometimes we’re tired.”

7.37pm GMT

The sensational Harry Kane speaks to Sky. “A fantastic performance. We knew it would be a tough game. We had a game-plan to defend as a unit in a mid block, sometimes as a low block, and everyone worked their socks off. We knew in the second half chances would be available, and we took one towards the end. We knew if I dropped deep the centre halves would come quite tight and Sonny and Stevie could get in behind, and the first goal is the perfect example. You’ve got to do all it takes to win games. Part of my job is to work hard and win tackles as well as goals and assists, I enjoy defending, the feeling after putting in a great shift, there’s none better. We’re doing well but there are parts we can improve on and there are a lot of tough games to go. Whoever can put a good spell together will have a chance. Hopefully we’ll keep it up.”

7.27pm GMT

That’s a magnificent display by Tottenham, who go top of the Premier League table. Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were all outstanding this evening. Jose Mourinho - after shaking hands with a drained Pep Guardiola - walks off the pitch with the springy step of a man who knows a title challenge is a very realistic possibility. They’re on 20 points, eight ahead of City, stuck in tenth albeit with a game in hand. City were good in the first half, but the less said about the second the better, and while the Premier League is far from a pipe dream, they’re already in a position where they can’t afford too many more mistakes. This is going to be one hell of a title race.

7.22pm GMT

Jose Mourinho has done a number on his arch-rival Pep Guardiola.

7.21pm GMT

90 min +1: Cancelo tries a curler into the top right, but it’s no good. “Perhaps too early to say this but I really can’t see City winning the title this season,” begins Rick Harris. “If it stays like this and United beat the Baggies later in then they will go above their neighbours and City will drop into the bottom half of the table. That is crisis territory surely?” It’s certainly the worst start to a season in Pep’s managerial career: 12 points from the first eight games. His previous low was 16, something that happened twice at Barcelona, and once at City, last year.

7.19pm GMT

90 min: Now Kane goes in the book for a fairly agricultural slide through the back of Dias. De Bruyne takes the free kick, to the right of centre, 30 yards out. He floats it to the far post, where Dias must score, but heads straight at Lloris from six yards.

7.17pm GMT

89 min: Nothing comes of the free kick.

7.17pm GMT

88 min: Lo Celso snatches the ball off Jesus and begins a run down the left towards the City box. Torres clips him cynically and goes in the book as well.

7.16pm GMT

87 min: Kane breezes down the left and draws a cynical foul from Dias. The City defender goes into the book. Kane really has done a number on the City centre-backs tonight. He’s been fantastic.

7.13pm GMT

85 min: Moura floats in from the left, draws a couple of defenders, and is this close to releasing Son free down the inside-right channel.

7.11pm GMT

83 min: Reguilon and Jesus clash heads. A free kick for City, 30 yards out, just to the right of centre. De Bruyne wedges it in, but Sterling can’t get on the end of it close to the left-hand post. Goal kick.

7.10pm GMT

81 min: Alderweireld limps off. Joe Rodon, who has played one minute of football so far for Spurs since joining from Swansea, takes his place.

7.08pm GMT

80 min: Mourinho was preparing to send on Gareth Bale, probably in place of Son. But suddenly Alderweireld goes down holding his groin. He won’t be able to continue. Jose alters his plans.

7.06pm GMT

78 min: Jesus dribbles with purpose down the inside-right channel, making it as far as the box. He shoots. It’s blocked. He grimaces.

7.04pm GMT

76 min: Dier blooters the free kick straight into the City wall, though it nearly squeaks through to Son. That would have been an outrageous stroke of luck. Laporte clears.

7.04pm GMT

75 min: Kane brings down a high ball and glides towards the City box from deep. He’s pulling Laporte and Dias all over the shop. Dias is panicked into bringing him down, 25 yards out. “Harry Kane is the best 8, 9 and 10 in the Premier League,” suggests Gary Naylor.

7.01pm GMT

73 min: Bergwijn is replaced by Lucas Moura.

7.00pm GMT

72 min: Pep rolls the dice. Silva and Mahrez make way for Foden and Sterling.

7.00pm GMT

71 min: Laporte has looked shaky against Kane all evening. Kane nearly spins him with absurd ease. Laporte does just enough to get back and nibble at the ball, but for a second the Spurs captain looked ready to burst clear on goal.

6.59pm GMT

69 min: As things stand, Spurs will be going top with 20 points. City will be stuck in tenth, eight points back, albeit with a game in hand.

6.56pm GMT

67 min: City look visibly deflated. Spurs were proving difficult enough to break down, and now they’ve got a cushion. A big 25 minutes coming up here. Can City respond?

6.55pm GMT

Kane spins in the centre circle and races into the City half. He spots Lo Celso scampering down the inside-left channel. Lo Celso’s got the lead over the desperately backtracking De Bruyne. He enters the box, then slips the ball between the legs of the out-rushing Ederson. He’s been on the field for 35 seconds! This is turning into another Mourinho Masterclass.

6.53pm GMT

64 min: Ndombele is replaced by Lo Celso. Mourinho throws an arm around his shoulder, a relationship repaired. And what a substitution this is! Because ...

6.52pm GMT

63 min: Kane slips Son free down the inside left. Ederson comes haring out of his box. It’s a rash decision, but he gets way with it, because Son takes a heavy touch as he tries to round him on the left. Son scampers off to retrieve the ball by the corner flag, with the net gaping but tantalisingly out of reach. For a split second, City were in a world of trouble.

6.50pm GMT

61 min: Dier’s clearing header rolls along the nearby Sissoko’s arm. Nobody in a City shirt complains, and VAR doesn’t seem that interested either. A few Spurs hearts in mouths when that one was being replayed, I’ll be bound.

6.48pm GMT

60 min: ... De Bruyne tries to thread a shot into the bottom right from the edge of the box. Dier blocks that out for another corner.

6.48pm GMT

59 min: Spurs commit a few men in attack for once. Son nearly gets a snapshot away from 15 yards; Kane and Sissoko nearly open City up with a cute one-two down the right. Not quite, and City break upfield, winning a corner on the right. From which ...

6.45pm GMT

57 min: Walker drives hard at Spurs, then slips the ball wide for Torres, who opts to turn tail rather than heading towards goal. He’s forced to lay off to Silva, who crosses deep in the hope of finding Jesus at the far post. Too much. Goal kick.

6.43pm GMT

55 min: De Bruyne latches onto a loose ball on the right-hand corner of the Spurs box, then harmlessly floats it over the bar from a tight angle. A chip? A cross? Not sure.

6.42pm GMT

54 min: Some more space for De Bruyne, but an uncharacteristically loose pass as he tries to release Jesus down the inside-right channel. Lloris comes out to gather.

6.41pm GMT

53 min: Mahrez cuts in from the right and whistles a diagonal daisycutter towards the bottom left. It’s an easy enough snaffle for Lloris.

6.40pm GMT

51 min: Space for De Bruyne 30 yards out. He turns and advances on the Spurs box. He curls low towards the bottom right ... but the ball’s always flying a couple of feet wide. That’s the first time he’s been afforded so much time and space today. More chances to come as hard-working Spurs become tired?

6.37pm GMT

49 min: Bergwijn drives down the left and slides in Reguilon on the overlap. The full-back fizzes a ball through the City box, but there’s nobody in lilywhite to take a shot.

6.35pm GMT

47 min: City press the hosts back immediately. More of the same. Rodri shifts the ball to make space, 25 yards out, but his low shot is blocked easily enough.

6.33pm GMT

City get the second half underway. No changes.

6.21pm GMT

Half-time entertainment. In case you missed it earlier this week, John Ashdown’s retelling of the 1954 World Cup final is a must-read.

Related: Hungary's Golden Squad: the greatest team never to win it all? | John Ashdown

6.20pm GMT

The whistle goes. De Bruyne and Jesus argue with the referee about the disallowed goal, before trooping off with faces on. It’s been all City in terms of possession ... but Spurs are halfway to a classic Mourinho rope-a-dope. As things stand, Spurs are going top, and City are dropping more points in an uncharacteristically slow start to the season. A big second half coming up for both teams in the context of this season’s Premier League, for very different reasons.

6.16pm GMT

45 min: De Bruyne, perhaps getting a little frustrated at City’s inability to open Spurs up, takes a shot from distance. It pings off Hojbjerg and out for a corner. De Bruyne takes, and it’s easy meat for Lloris, who claims and sends Bergwijn scampering off down the left. Walker comes across to run the ball out for a throw, as he had to. Bergwijn would otherwise have been one on one with Ederson.

6.14pm GMT

44 min: Sissoko is booked for delaying the restart after a Spurs foul, a few minutes go.

6.14pm GMT

43 min: Walker sashays down the right and nearly opens Spurs up. But some determined work by Hojbjerg puts a stop to his gallop.

6.12pm GMT

41 min: Cancelo busies himself down the inside-left channel again. He enters the box and lets Torres take over. A tangle of bodies, but no fouls. The ball breaks to Jesus, who whips over the bar from a tight angle, ten yards out.

6.11pm GMT

39 min: Lloris takes his sweet time over a goal kick. The Mourinho masterclass continues. City betray their agitation.

6.08pm GMT

37 min: Spurs hold their shape. City can’t work any space. It’s more intriguing than exciting right now.

6.06pm GMT

35 min: Laporte comes through the back of Kane. Again, another referee on another day would have flashed a yellow card for that one, but it’s just a free kick. City are showing a few signs of frustration, despite playing pretty well, regardless of the score.

6.05pm GMT

34 min: Now it’s Tottenham’s turn to look fairly comfortable for a couple of minutes. Mourinho will be beyond pleased with how this match has panned out for him so far.

6.03pm GMT

32 min: Kane spins away from two City shirts in the centre circle. He’s planning to launch a counter, but Silva sticks out an arm, then a boot, to stop him in his tracks. A clever if sneaky foul that could have got Silva booked on another day, but the referee’s not of a mind to make too much of it.

6.01pm GMT

31 min: Cancelo powers his way down the inside-left channel and into the Spurs box. Aurier does extremely well to stay shoulder to shoulder and eventually overcome his opponent.

6.00pm GMT

Referee Mike Dean goes over to the VAR screen, spots the ball brushing the arm of Jesus, and changes his decision. Rodri is incensed and hops about in theatrical fashion with his head in his hands, but the ref waves his protest away.

5.58pm GMT

Mahrez crosses deep from the right. Jesus jumps to chest down on the left-hand corner of the six-yard box. He pulls back to Laporte, who sidefoots powerfully into the bottom left. Brilliant finish ... but did the ball hit Jesus on the arm when he took it down? Here comes VAR.

5.57pm GMT

25 min: Spurs snaffle possession and counter again. It’s four on three! Kane slips the ball wide for Hojbjerg on the left. Hojbjerg pulls back for Bergwijn, free just inside the box. He dithers, though, allowing Rodri to come from behind and poke away. Bergwijn falls, and wants a penalty, but the referee is quite rightly not interested.

5.54pm GMT

23 min: They’ve just shown a replay of the Spurs goal. Kane’s role in it was subtle and quite brilliant. As Ndombele prepared to play the defence-splitting pass, Kane dropped deep, taking both Laporte and Dias with him. Bingo: space for Son to race into. He’s an incredibly intelligent footballer.

5.52pm GMT

21 min: City are certainly dominating. They’re pushing Spurs right back. They win a succession of corners: one, two, three. Aurier battles Torres on the edge of the six-yard box, just about winning the duel. City are knocking at the door.

5.50pm GMT

19 min: City have enjoyed 67% possession so far, and taken five attempts at goal. Spurs have had just the one. But look at the score.

5.49pm GMT

17 min: De Bruyne dazzles his way down the right and whips towards the near post. Dier is forced to stick out a leg and deflect away for a corner. The set piece is mainly notable for Bergwijn getting as close to the taker Mahrez as the law allows. Mahrez shouts in frustration as Bergwijn grabs a cheeky extra yard or two. The corner is subsequently wasted.

5.45pm GMT

15 min: Free kick for City out on the right. De Bruyne lifts it in. Rodri powers a header straight at Lloris. Either side of the keeper and that could have caused the keeper serious problems.

5.45pm GMT

13 min: Spurs have the ball in City’s net again. Bergwijn works the ball wide to Son, who rolls across the face of the City goal for Kane to tap in. But Kane is well offside, and he clearly knew it, apologetically poking home. The flag goes up.

5.43pm GMT

12 min: Torres bustles down the left and into the Spurs box, then falls to the floor when Sissoko comes over to usher him away from goal. The referee isn’t interested in awarding a penalty, and rightly so.

5.42pm GMT

11 min: Spurs continue to sit back and let City do their worst. Again they eventually break up play, and Bergwijn romps down the left on the counter. His low cross looks for Son, but the striker can’t control and the move breaks down. City were wide open there, though.

5.40pm GMT

9 min: Jesus dribbles into the Spurs box from the left at great speed. His twinkle toes prepare to shoot on the six-yard line. Alderweireld sticks out a brave leg to block. What a challenge! That’s saved a goal ... although the ball balloons to De Bruyne, who has another dig. That one smacks into the prone Jesus, and out for a goal kick. It’s fair to say this has been an eventful start.

5.38pm GMT

7 min: City look to respond immediately. Cancelo and De Bruyne probe down the left. Mahrez has a look down the right. Then De Bruyne comes over and nearly powers his way past Reguilon, but is penalised for barging into the back of the Spurs left-back.

5.36pm GMT

This is absurdly easy. Ndombele has the ball in the centre circle. He rolls a pass down the middle to find Son in acres of space. Ederson has come to the edge of his box, making Son’s mind up for him. Son slides it under the keeper, and once again he’s scored at home against City. What a start!

5.35pm GMT

4 min: Some room for Silva just inside the Spurs box on the left. Alderweireld blocks. Spurs counter through Son and Kane, the latter sweeping the ball left for Reguilon, who decides to take on Walker in a foot race. Bad choice. Walker wins that one.

5.33pm GMT

3 min: Spurs seem happy to sit back and let City have the ball. The visitors stroke it around at the back. Everyone gets a touch.

5.32pm GMT

2 min: An early touch for the in-form Torres, who zips past Son on the left, drifts inside, and whistles a rising shot straight at Lloris. An exciting run.

5.30pm GMT

Spurs get the ball rolling ... but only after the players take a knee of love and solidarity. There’s no room for racism. Black lives matter.

5.30pm GMT

Before kick-off, a moment of applause in memory of the great Ray Clemence, who spent seven years in the Tottenham goal during the 1980s.

Related: Ray Clemence obituary

5.28pm GMT

The teams are on the pitch. Spurs in their lilywhite, City in second-choice black. We’ll be off in a couple of minutes. “Of course real football fans only care about the players on the pitch, all this Jose v Pep drama is media-generated melodrama. Who’s kidding who? This is the best kind of water cooler gossip and we all love it so!” Mary Waltz can speak for me. Meanwhile Tony Barr wonders if Pep has fallen for a classic Mourinho double bluff. “Surely, master of mind games that he is, Jose stated that Sterling would start knowing this would force Pep to bench him, thus weakening City’s attack? Or did you already get to that? I’m finding it hard to keep track.” He’s got you exactly where he wants you.

5.20pm GMT

Pep isn’t in the mood to take any nonsense, and there’s an edge to his pre-match interview. “Sterling trained one day in the last week, but he has special physicality. It’s not perfect-perfect. It is important Aguero is back. All clubs need their players, and Sergio ... what can I say as a striker? He is amazing. [Cracks huge face-covering grin] Team is perfect, so good! We score 100 in the last two seasons. Team is so good, we are going to try to do it again! Go out there, let them play, and try to do their best.” He sounds really up for this one. A fair bit of needle in the air tonight. Rise above it if you like, but there’s good old-fashioned fun to be had scrabbling around down here.

5.14pm GMT

Jose talks to Sky with that twinkle in his eye. “Progress is a process. An isolated match doesn’t tell us much. But of course this is an important match against a team for the last ten years is always champion or trying to be champion. So it is going to be very difficult. We are not as ready as Sterling because he was resting the whole week, but we are fine. We are ready for the game. Bale was with his international team, playing 90 minutes plus 75, which at this moment for him in his evolution is quite a lot. Bergwijn was with us recovering and training. We have a lot of matches to play.” A couple of early salvoes there. The jibe about Sterling keeps that particular plate spinning, but there’s also the passive-aggressive reference to City being a championship-chasing team for the last decade, i.e. long before Pep. You know exactly which buttons he’s attempting to press here. A maestro of the form.

5.07pm GMT

Pre-match yada-yada. “What do you think the chances are that Pep isn’t starting Sterling just so he can stick it to Jose who insisted that he ‘knew’ Sterling would start?” asks a man who is clearly going to answer his own question. JR in Illinois replies: “I would put my guess at right around 100%.” JR would also like to illustrate his point via the medium of Seinfeld:

4.39pm GMT

Tottenham make two changes to the XI named for the last-gasp victory at West Bromwich Albion. They’re without Matt Doherty, who has tested positive for coronavirus, while Gareth Bale drops to the bench. Serge Aurier and Steven Bergwijn take their places.

Manchester City also make two changes, from the side that drew 1-1 with Liverpool. Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva are in; Ilkay Gundogan and the much-discussed Raheem Sterling are benched. Sergio Aguero is back from injury and named as a sub, but Fernandinho is still out.

4.32pm GMT

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Sissoko, Hojbjerg, Bergwijn, Ndombele, Son, Kane.
Subs: Bale, Hart, Rodon, Lo Celso, Lucas Moura, Davies, Vinicius.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Torres.
Subs: Stones, Sterling, Gundogan, Aguero, Steffen, Foden, Garcia.

11.06am GMT

One of the best things about the 2020-21 Great League of Unpredictability is the sheer amount of summit meetings it’s throwing up. Before the international break we had Manchester City versus Liverpool. Tomorrow evening Liverpool take on Leicester City; the day after that, Wolves play Saints. And right now we have Tottenham Hotspur versus Manchester City, which on its own terms is a monster match, but is even more combustible when you throw in Jose and Pep. This one really is on!

Good luck calling it. Had they not shipped those three late dramatic goals against West Ham, Spurs would be on a five-match Premier League winning streak. As it is, they’ve taken 13 points from the last 15 and will go top with another win here today. They’ve beaten City on their last two visits to N17, 2-0 in the league back in February, 1-0 in the Champions League the previous April. The way Son Heung-min and Harry Kane are carrying on, a hat-trick of victories is far from beyond them.

Related: Pep Guardiola renews José Mourinho feud over Sterling's England withdrawal

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Spurs make big statement as City fall for Jose classic

Sky Sports - lør, 21/11/2020 - 20:50
New Premier League leaders Tottenham made a big title statement as a vintage Jose Mourinho operation saw them beat Manchester City 2-0.

Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

Guardian - lør, 21/11/2020 - 20:37

For José Mourinho, this was the definition of a plan coming together. There was the satisfaction of introducing Giovani Lo Celso in the 64th minute and seeing him score Tottenham’s second goal almost immediately, with his first involvement. But it went deeper than that, as Spurs got the result to carry them to the top of the Premier League table.

Lo Celso’s goal was just one part of Mourinho, in the vernacular of his trade, doing a number on Manchester City and his rival and counterpart, Pep Guardiola.

Related: Pep Guardiola laments City errors at both ends in defeat by Tottenham

Related: José Mourinho send Pep-ball packing in a rivalry that always delivers | Barney Ronay

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Aguero & Sterling on City bench, Bergwijn in for Bale

Sky Sports - lør, 21/11/2020 - 17:30
Steven Bergwijn starts for Tottenham against Man City on Saturday Night Football, with Gareth Bale on the bench, while Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are also on the City bench.
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