Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur reign is well and truly up and running.
Of course, the former Chelsea boss has been at the helm since November, but he had yet to record a proper, statement win.
Since his appointment, Spurs have played 18 games in all competitions. They have won nine, including the victory over City, but before Sunday, their only major three points came over Wolves, in December.
Their losses, though, are something of a who’s who of clubs fighting to finish in the top four or for a major trophy: Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool; their only outlier is against Southampton. Bayern Munich also beat them in a Champions League dead rubber.
This is the first time, then, that Spurs have recorded a statement under his management.
One cannot say that this was a part of a major gameplan; Spurs, per WhoScored, had just 32.6% possession and had just three shots on goal, scoring two of them.
Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-Min were on the scoresheet and gave the club all three points.
But this is the kind of result that can be something of a springboard.
Mourinho’s men face Southampton in an FA Cup fourth-round replay in midweek before clashes with Aston Villa in the Premier League, RB Leipzig in the Champions League and Chelsea in the top-flight.
The Blues, of course, are fourth in the table; one has to feel that game could be a must-win for Mourinho’s men.
But beating City can encourage the kind of consistency that is necessary to finish in the top four.
They may have got slightly lucky against Pep Guardiola’s men – Ilkay Gundogan saw a penalty saved and City missed a boatload of chances – but such a win can give Spurs something of a leg-up in terms of their team spirit and the atmosphere that will be present at their new stadium.
This win could be a turning point in their season.