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Guardiola's term at City has an end of era feel, while Mourinho looks more like his former self

Eamonn Sweeney


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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

AFP via Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

One moment can make an awful lot of difference. When Manchester City were awarded a penalty at the end of the first half against Spurs this day last week there seemed a certain inevitability about it. Though the game remained scoreless, City had been almost embarrassingly superior to the home team and the penalty seemed certain to put Tottenham en route to a third league defeat in five games.

But Hugo Lloris's save from Ilkay Gundogan seemed to fill City with doubt and Spurs with hope. The game was entirely different in the second half with Oleksandr Zinchenko being sent off for the visitors before superb strikes from Stephen Bergwijn and Son Heung-min gave Jose Mourinho's side a 2-0 victory. It was one of those game whose significance seemed to extend beyond the bare result.

There was a time when Mourinho v Pep Guardiola was the number one battle in football. Nothing was more compelling than their duel in La Liga when they were unquestionably the two best managers in the world. Guardiola won that contest but hostilities seemed set to be renewed when both ended up in Manchester.