Spurs 0 Man City 1: Mahrez dedicates goal to Leicester owner
Algerian winger pays tribute to former boss Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Tottenham 0 Manchester City 1
Riyad Mahrez scored the winner for Manchester City against Tottenham last night and then dedicated the goal to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Describing the Leicester City owner as being “like a dad” to his players, the City star said news of his death in a helicopter crash on Saturday evening had hit him hard.
“It has been very, very difficult for me,” Mahrez told Sky Sports.
A big heart
The Algerian played 179 times for the Foxes between 2014 and 2018 before joining City in a £60m move in the summer, and the bonds he established at the King Power Stadium remain deep.
“The boss was very special to me,” explained Mahrez. “I spent four-and-a-half years there and have many memories with him. He was such a good person and had a big heart.
“It was heartbreaking and shocking for me to hear this news and for all of the other people who died with him. I am with Leicester and the family of the victims.”
Mahrez scored the only goal of a lacklustre encounter on seven minutes, sweeping the ball past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after good work by Raheem Sterling down the left flank.
“When I scored, I put my hands in the sky for him [Srivaddhanaprabha],” said Mahrez. “He did a lot for me and Leicester and it is difficult to speak about.”
Tottenham had chances to equalise, but Harry Kane squandered a good opportunity in the first-half and then Erik Lamela missed a sitter late on when he was teed up by Dele Alli’s pass.
As a result, Spurs remain in fifth, a point behind Arsenal and a point clear of Bournemouth. As for City, they climb back to the top of the Premier League table, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference but tied on 26 points.
“It was a great victory in special conditions, against one of the most physical teams in Europe,” said City manager Pep Guardiola, who also expressed his displeasure at the state of the Wembley pitch.
Having hosted an NFL match between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the turf was not in good shape and Guardiola went public with his complaints.
“It was not football conditions to play,” he said. “We reacted well. For our players and the players of Tottenham, hopefully, they will sort the problem for the future.”