LONDON: Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Tottenham at Wembley.
The former Leicester star scored after only six minutes and City’s stout defence this season held firm to complete what is a fourth win at Wembley this year.
Pep Guardiola’s side had some great chances to add another, but Spurs had their chances too with Harry Kane going close twice in the first half and Erik Lamela wasting a golden opportunity late in the game when firing over from 12 yards.
The much-maligned playing surface at Wembley had little effect on proceedings, although Lamela may claim otherwise, as City claimed three points they probably deserved on balance to move back above Liverpool on goal difference.
It was Tottenham’s first return to Wembley since the announcement that they would be staying there until at least January and they suffered a first loss in five games.
Boss Mauricio Pochettino will point to that glaring miss by Lamela in the final 10 minutes but in truth they never really had the cutting edge to hurt City, who posted a sixth successive clean sheet.
The visitors needed only six minutes to prove playing on the surface was not going to be a problem as they raced into the lead with a goal that seemed far too easy.
Kieran Trippier failed to deal with a long ball, which Sterling raced on to before skinning his England team-mate and laying it on a plate for Mahrez to tuck home from close range.
It was his fourth league goal of the season and was a fitting tribute to his former chairman at Leicester Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash on Saturday night.