Spurs return to 1st after tactical masterclass vs. Manchester City
CLIVE ROSE / AFP / Getty

Jose Mourinho had two weeks to draft the perfect game plan for Saturday's match against Manchester City - and it went off without a hitch.

Tottenham defended in numbers and struck City on the counterattack to secure a 2-0 win in north London and leapfrog Chelsea into first place in the Premier League.

Heung-Min Son capitalized on Tanguy Ndombele's looping pass to open the scoring in the fifth minute, and Harry Kane fed Giovani Lo Celso in transition to provide Spurs with a two-goal cushion midway through the second half.

Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made a fantastic reaction save on the goal line in the 90th minute to preserve the clean sheet.

Tottenham now sit on 20 points through nine matches - two points ahead of Chelsea and eight ahead of 10th-placed City.

"Big team, big hearts, big solidarity, a proper team, a team that I believe makes Tottenham fans proud," Mourinho said afterward. "People going to the limits of their energy, sacrificing for the team plan, coping very well with the new pressure of, if you win the match, you go top of the league for 24 hours."

Mourinho's side managed just four shots to City's 22 and averaged a negligible 34% possession but ultimately frustrated adversary Pep Guardiola and his charges.

It was a typical performance from a Mourinho-led side and provided yet more concerning evidence of the work that lies ahead of Guardiola as he embarks on another two years with City.

Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte allowed Son yards of space to latch onto Ndombele's ball and set the tone early. Though City dominated possession and buzzed around Tottenham's penalty area, most of it was harmless. Full-backs Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon tracked back and largely kept City's wide men under wraps.

Then, in the 65th minute, Spurs went up and down the field in just a few short seconds. Center-back Toby Alderweireld found Kane in space, and the captain teed up substitute Lo Celso with a perfectly weighted pass to ice the game.

Mourinho had spent most of the week criticizing Raheem Sterling's early withdrawal from international duty, suggesting Guardiola had put pressure on England manager Gareth Southgate to release one of his key players. But Sterling made little impact as a substitute, coming on with just 18 minutes remaining.

Instead, it was the Portuguese's cohesive unit that showed its merits as one of the Premier League's early contenders.

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Spurs return to 1st after tactical masterclass vs. Manchester City
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