Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Norwich City - Valiant Canaries narrowly beaten by Mourinho’s Spurs
PUBLISHED: 01:35 23 January 2020
A late goal from Heung-Min Son prevented Norwich City from leaving the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a point, as they were beaten 2-1 by Jose Mourinho’s men.
England international Dele Alli gave Spurs the lead in the first-half, converting after Todd Cantwell was dispossessed inside his own half.
City responded well and asserted themselves on the fixture thereafter, with Max Aarons winning a penalty after being bundled over by Ryan Sessegnon in the box. Teemu Pukki dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.
City were level for 10 minutes, with Heung-Min Son profiting from a fortuitus deflection from Dele Alli's attempted cross.
Hugo Lloris was an unexpected name on the Spurs team sheet, as the World Cup winning goalkeeper returned to Mourinho's starting line-up following a prolonged absence from a dislocated elbow.
New addition Gedson Fernandes occupied the bench. The hosts were still without the talismanic Harry Kane, with Son spearheading their attack.
With Emi Buendia side-lined with a thigh injury, Lukas Rupp made his City debut and was deployed on the right-hand side of midfield.
Grant Hanley returned to the starting XI with Ben Godfrey serving the first of a three-match ban.
Those factors meant Marco Stiepermann and Ibrahim Amadou were named among the substitutes as Daniel Farke sought to retain as much continuity as possible after the win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Spurs began brightly and were awarded an early free-kick deep into City territory after Sam Byram pulled back Erik Lamela. The Argentine took the free-kick and looked to intelligently strike it under the wall, but it deflected off a City defender and out for a corner.
The resulting corner was flicked to the back post by Hanley and Alex Tettey headed clear from off the line.
City were forced to absorb plenty of pressure but did have their first chance through Pukki.
A passage of possession saw Tettey progress the ball forward before finding the Finn on the edge of the area, he exchanged passes with Todd Cantwell before curling an effort just wide.
Cantwell himself would have a chance from range soon after, with Ondrej Duda's poor corner being recycled well by Pukki, who teed up the England Under-21 international but his strike went just over the bar.
The hosts interchangeable front three caused City problems with their slick movement, and two of them combined as Lucas Moura played Son through on goal. His effort at the near post crashed into the side-netting.
Despite Spurs putting constant pressure on the Canaries, Farke's men were having positive phases of play themselves, with Tettey finding Byram who fizzed a ball into Pukki. The Finn worked a yard of space before unleashing a shot with his left foot, but his driven effort went well-wide.
Mourinho's men did take the lead in the 38th minute courtesy of Dele Alli. Cantwell was caught in possession after City cleared a Serge Aurier cross, the right-back then delivered a low-cross which met the boot of the lunging Alli, who was left to convert from close-range.
The second-half began with Spurs looking to put the game beyond all doubt. Jan Vertonghen found Son in the area with a cross field ball, the South Korean looked to volley the ball into the net with his first touch, but he was off balance and could only direct the ball over the bar.
City continued to display endeavour as they sought to equalise, Cantwell found Duda with a pass and the Slovakian swept the ball out to Byram.
He galloped into the area and delivered a low cross for Cantwell, his shot nearly deflected into the path of Pukki, but the Finn couldn't direct the ball towards goal.
The Canaries positive play did get the just rewards it deserved in the 70th minute, with Aarons finding Rupp down the right after the latter's intelligent run. Rupp played a pass inside to Duda, who cushioned into the path of the overlapping Aarons.
He burst into the box but was bundled over by Ryan Sessegnon and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed straight to the penalty spot.
VAR intervened and took a period of time before confirming the original decision. Pukki stepped up and netted his second penalty in as many games to draw City level.
Farke's men had a golden opportunity to take the lead moments later, as Byram found Duda on the left with a clever pass. City had an overload in central areas, but Duda's pass towards Pukki was intercepted by Eric Dier.
Dier's block sparked some momentum for Spurs, and Lo Celso's killer pass found Alli, his cross deflected off Christoph Zimmermann and looped over the head of Krul where Son was waiting to head home.
City continued to press, Onel Hernandez injected some impetus into an attack and his cut-back found Pukki. He laid the ball off for the on-rushing Rupp to shoot, but his effort went agonisingly past the post.
They couldn't respond to Son's late sucker-punch and found themselves on the receiving end of a defeat. That said, they displayed shoots of progress and competed for extended periods of the game.
- Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris (capt); Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Fernandes, 75), Sessegnon; Winks (Dier, 56), Lo Celso; Moura, Alli, Lamela (Eriksen, 62); Son. Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Ndombele, Tanganga
- Goals: Alli 38, Son 80
- Norwich City (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann, Hanley (capt), Lewis; Tettey (Hernandez, 82), McLean (Stiepermann, 90); Rupp (Drmic, 86), Duda, Cantwell; Pukki. Subs not used: McGovern, Lewis, Amadou, Trybull.
- Bookings: Cantwell
- Goals: Pukki 70 (pen)
- Added on time: 1 min/ 6 mins
- Attendance: 58, 182
- Referee: Chris Kavanagh
- VAR: Mike Dean