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PREMIER LEAGUE: Manchester City’s Erling Haaland calls for ‘calm’ ahead of title run-in as Arsenal remain hopeful

City returned to the Premier League summit with victory in their game in hand on Tuesday night after Haaland’s second-half brace ensured they moved two points clear of second-placed Arsenal.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland salutes the fans after the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium.

City returned to the Premier League summit with victory in their game in hand on Tuesday night after Haaland's second-half brace ensured they moved two points clear of second-placed Arsenal.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

It means a win against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium would result in City clinching a fourth consecutive league title – a feat which has never previously been achieved in the top tier of English football.

“Yeah, fantastic mentality. Focus on game by game and now relax. We came here to try to win and we won. Focus on the next game and try not to think too much. Let’s get all together and finish this,” Haaland told City+.

Much of the pre-match narrative had surrounded how sections of Spurs’ fan-base were happy to lose given what a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s team would mean for the title bid of north London rivals Arsenal.

However, Ange Postecoglou’s team made a strong start and arguably edged an even first half, which was played out in front of a subdued home crowd.

Haaland broke the deadlock six minutes into the second period when he tapped home after Kevin De Bruyne got in behind the Tottenham defence, but the hosts rallied and went close to a late leveller when Son Heung-min raced clear with four minutes left.

City’s back-up goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, introduced in the 69th minute after Ederson took a whack to the face from Cristian Romero, stood up tall to make a crucial save, which Guardiola feels could be hugely significant in the title race.

Haaland then tucked home a penalty six minutes later, after Jeremy Doku was brought down by Pedro Porro, to move City to the brink.

“They’re a fantastic team,” Haaland said of Spurs. “You know everyone knows that they want to play all the time and all praise to them.

“It was really difficult, but yeah, we came here to try and win and we won. That’s my only thing and I’m happy.

“I think we were a bit nervous. I think that’s normal, there’s a lot of emotions for everyone.

“Everyone knows the situation, but it’s about not thinking too much. Try to focus on your things to do and try to win.”

He added: “Ortega man of the match… What can I say? He’s incredible and such a good guy as well, so I’m happy for him.”

Postecoglou was left disappointed with a number of aspects of the night as Spurs’ top-four hopes officially ended.

The 58-year-old was also caught on camera in a heated exchange with a fan behind the Tottenham dugout during the game, but – on a more positive note – did help make it a memorable evening for 16-year-old Mikey Moore.

Moore was introduced in stoppage time and became the youngest player to represent Spurs in the Premier League.

“He’s still got a long way to go, he’s only 16, he’s a great kid, but it’s a reward,” Postecoglou said.

“We’ve had him training with us and he hasn’t been playing with the under-21s either. We thought it wouldn’t be fair to not reward his hard work with an appearance.”

Attacker Moore, who has scored 16 times in 14 appearances for Spurs’ under-18s this season, told SpursPlay: “Coming on, it is probably the best feeling I have ever had, to be fair.

“The pace, it was so quick, but it felt crazy coming on. It felt like I was playing FIFA. It was mad.

“I got a couple of touches of the ball and hopefully some more soon.”

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