Manchester City pulled off a dizzying second-half comeback to beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Thursday night.
Goals after the break from City’s Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and a Riyad Mahrez brace nullified strikes from Dejan Kulusevski and Emerson Royal that put Tottenham up at the end of the first half.
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Ahead of the game, City boss Pep Guardiola called this a must-win affair for his side, which came in sitting second in the Premier League and having lost twice in a row following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and an exit from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Southampton on Jan. 11.
However, Guardiola would be left disappointed by the end of a first half that saw City create several chances through Haaland only for Kulusevski and Emerson to strike just before the break to stake Tottenham to a 2-0 lead after 45 minutes.
The mood changed quickly in the City dugout right as the second half began, though, as City came roaring out of the dressing room and drew level with goals from Alvarez and Haaland before the 55-minute mark.
City took a deserved lead soon after with some nifty work by Mahrez on the right flank, as the Algerian settled a switched ball from the left with a clever touch, raced into the area and beat Hugo Lloris at his near post from a tight angle to make it 3-2 in favor of the hosts.
Mahrez then iced the game with his second shortly before full-time, fending off a defender nipping at his heels and beating Lloris with a deft chip to reach the final scoreline.
The result helped City cut Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table to five points, while Antonio Conte’s struggling Spurs will be left wondering what might have been as they slipped five points behind fourth-placed Newcastle United for the final Champions League place.