Sports

Man City on verge of Premier League title as Haaland scores twice in 2-0 win over Tottenham

LONDON — (AP) — Erling Haaland scored twice as Manchester City beat Tottenham 2-0 on Tuesday and moved to within one win of a record fourth-straight Premier League title.

The three-time defending champion will go into the final round of games on Sunday with a two-point lead over second-place Arsenal.

City hosts West Ham in its last league game of the season, while Arsenal is also at home against Everton.

“The tennis players say ‘the serve to win Wimbledon’, the last game, is the most difficult one,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “We know what we’re playing for. The tension is there, the rival is so good. It’s why it is difficult, we know that.”

Haaland fired City ahead in the 51st minute at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when he converted Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from close range.

He struck his second from the penalty spot in the first minute of stoppage time after Pedro Porro had brought down Jeremy Doku.

Victory means City is in control of its own fate in the race for the title, despite being pushed right to the wire by Arsenal.

Guardiola is now within touching distance of a sixth league championship in seven seasons.

No other English team has managed to win four top flight titles in a row, while City is also looking to secure back-to-back league and FA Cup doubles.

Going into Tuesday's game one point behind Arsenal, Guardiola had warned his players that anything other than maximum points would bring an end to their dominance of England's top division. That only increased the pressure on his team, which was also looking to end a four-game losing run in the league at Spurs.

And the occasion appeared to get to City’s players in a nervous first half.

“They were playing for the consequences of the result. When you do that you are going to lose the Premier League,” Guardiola said. “They are human beings, I understand the pressure.”

Haaland’s goal six minutes into the second eased the tension. But while his goals were decisive, City had to rely on substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega to keep Spurs at bay as the home team pushed for an equalizer.

Coming on in the 69th after Ederson had sustained a head injury in a collision with Cristian Romero, Ortega quickly had to block a close-range effort from Dejan Kulusevski.

Later he produced another save to deny the Spurs forward, but Ortega’s finest moment came in the 86th when Son Heung-min raced through on goal.

With only the keeper to beat, Son looked certain to score as he fired low toward the corner. A draw would have put Arsenal in the driver’s seat for the title heading into Sunday’s season finale — but Son could only watch as Ortega shot out a leg to deflect the ball.

Guardiola, watching on, had his head in his hands before falling to the ground in relief.

Shortly after, Doku lured Porro into a lunge in the Spurs box and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot.

Haaland put the game beyond doubt by blasting his shot into the top corner for his second of the match and 38th of the season.

City’s win also meant Aston Villa secured fourth place and qualification for next season’s Champions League ahead of Tottenham in fifth.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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