Man City move into contention; Spurs sputter

Sports Desk, Jan 13 (efe-epa).- Manchester City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 Wednesday to climb to third in the Premier League, while Tottenham Hotspur dropped 2 points against relegation-bound Fulham.

Brighton managed only one shot on target compared with six for the hosts, who had 66 percent possession in the contest at the Etihad.

Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez turned aside several City efforts before Phil Foden broke through in the 44th minute with a great individual display.

Sanchez kept the hosts from extending the lead, denying Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva – with help from the post – and Kevin de Bruyne, before Raheem Sterling fired over the cross-bar from the penalty spot in stoppage time But the 20-year-old England midfielder’s third goal of 2021 turned out to be enough for City to pocket a seventh straight victory in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola’s men are third on 32 points, 1 less than Liverpool and 4 behind leaders Manchester United, and with a game in hand on both of the teams ahead of them.

With just one win in their last 16 Premier League matches, Brighton are 17th with 14 points, just 2 more than Fulham.

“I feel we’re back to our best,” Foden said afterward. “Today I still thought we could have done better but we dug deep to get the win. I’m very proud of the team, how we kept going to the final whistle. They defended well and made it difficult for us, so to get the goal before half-time was really important and I’m delighted.”

In London, Spurs took the lead in the 25th minute as Harry Kane headed-in a Sergio Reguilon cross. The goal after Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola made a pair of great saves against Tottenham’s other sharpshooter, Heung-min Son.

Areola was up to the task again in the 52nd minute, stopping Harry Winks on what would prove to be the closest Spurs would come to a second goal.

Son had a great opportunity in the 71st, but scuffed his shot, and Fulham equalized three minutes later, when Ivan Cavaleiro leapt to get his head to a cross from sub Ademola Lookman.

Reguilon looked to have won it for Spurs in the final minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside and Fulham drew for a fifth straight time.

Tottenham have just one win in their last six league games and are sixth in the table with 30 points.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho expressed disappointment with the outcome.

“Three or four big chances in the first half to have a different result,” he said. “The biggest chance was in the second half to kill the game with 2-0. And then we concede a goal that was completely avoidable. I have to admit that in the second half they played more but of course they were losing and they tried. But even so, we didn’t make a save and could have killed the game.” EFE id-rmm/dr

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