Written by on May 15, 2024

Written by: Floyd Nkanyane

The Cityzens are one victory away from an unprecedented fourth successive Premier League title, thanks to the heroic performance of an unlikely contributor – backup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

In their pivotal match against Tottenham Hotspur, starting goalkeeper Ederson sustained a head injury after a collision, forcing manager Pep Guardiola to substitute him for Ortega. This decision proved prudent, as Ortega made multiple crucial saves late in the match, denying Spurs substitute Dejan Kulusevski with a good save and then the same player shortly afterwards as City almost paid the price for a performance that was not one of their best to preserve the 1-0 lead.

The most significant save came in the closing minutes, when Tottenham’s Son Heung-min found himself with a clear path to goal. Ortega held his ground and extended his right leg to deny Son, protecting Manchester City’s narrow advantage. Guardiola emphatically praised Ortega, calling him “a world-class, exceptional goalkeeper” whose cameo appearance may have cemented their title triumph.

Despite not producing their typical high level of performance, Manchester City’s vast experience in high-pressure title races enabled them to grind out the crucial victory against a determined Tottenham side. Their potent attacking duo of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne combined for the match’s lone goal in the 51st minute, with De Bruyne providing his 112th career assist for the club to set up Haaland’s strike. Haaland doubled the lead from the spot in added time to top the EPL scoring chart with 27 goals this season.

Now unbeaten in 22 Premier League matches since a December loss to Aston Villa, Manchester City have won 18 and drawn 4 during this unstoppable surge. With this form and firepower, bolstered by Ortega’s late heroics, they find themselves on the cusp of yet another Premier League crown. A victory against West Ham United on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium will secure their sixth title in seven seasons and etch their names in the history books.

For Tottenham, the defeat concludes a miserable roller-coaster of a season that will see them participate in the UEFA Europa League next season as this defeat confirms Top-Tier European Club Football action in the city of Birmingham in 41 Years.

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