Pep Guardiola sends message to Man City transfer target Harry Kane after Spurs masterclass
Pep Guardiola and Manchester City were left with a 'look what you could have won' feeling after Harry Kane scored a fantastic brace in Tottenham's 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium
Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, after the England captain inspired Antonio Conte’s side to a stunning 3-2 away victory against Manchester City.
The 28-year-old haunted the very club who desperately tried to sign him in the summer transfer window.
His swivelling, first-time pass helped create Dejan Kulusevski’s fourth-minute goal against the Premier League leaders.
In the second-half, Kane put Tottenham into pole position when he guided Son Heung-Min's inch-perfect cross into the far corner on the half-volley.
However, two minutes after Riyad Mahrez's penalty appeared to snatch a late point for the league leaders in the 92nd minute, Kane popped up again to head home a 95th-minute winner.
And Guardiola sang the Tottenham hitman’s praises in the second-half, suggesting the striker was the reason why the north Londoners came away with the three points.
"Well it was a good game. We tried through many sides, especially down the left. It is very difficult, they defend so narrow," Guardiola said after the loss.
"Tottenham have a lot of quality, they give the ball to Harry Kane. They are really good up front.
"In the first half they have the goal and no more. In the second half they have one attack with Harry Kane at the start and they score.
"We try to score but we conceded the goal in extra-time."
The shock result at the Etihad Stadium has completely blown the title race and the race for the top four open.
City came into the contest with a six-point lead over second-placed Liverpool, who currently hold a game in hand over Guardiola’s side.
However, that lead could be constricted to a mere three points, if Jurgen Klopp’s side are victorious in their one-game advantage.
Meanwhile, Conte’s side arrived into the blue half of Manchester having slipped perilously down the table.
A hideous run of three consecutive defeats saw them drop into eighth position, seven points away from fourth-placed Manchester United.
However, Tottenham were left indebted to Kane at the end of the contest, while City were likely cursing their inability to sign him last summer.
Before the explosive contest, Guardiola revealed that the Citizens had four bids for the 28-year-old rebuffed by Tottenham last summer.
And the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich was left reeling by Kane’s brilliance during the contest.
"It's difficult when they defend so deep. We had the chances to arrive and score. Unfortunately we cannot score," Guardiola added.
"They are clinical. They have Kane and Son and Kulusevski. Their crosses we could not defend. We didn't have the momentum.
"We didn't need to lose a game already to know how hard it is [to win the league]. There are many, many games still to play."
While the Premier League leaders managed to secure the services of River Plate forward Julian Alvarez in the January transfer window, they are still expected to try and sign another top striker in the summer.