With each of the last four Etihad editions of this fixture producing at least three goals, it was little wonder that 2023/24’s meeting kicked off at a ferocious tempo.
Injury-hit Spurs have been up against it of late, but they sprung a surprise for the hosts within six minutes, as Son Heung-min raced onto Dejan Kulusevski’s ball on the counter and squeezed it underneath Ederson.
Having taken the lead in each of their three recent losses, there was surely a sense of déjà vu in the away end as Spurs almost immediately relinquished their advantage through an own goal for Son, who this time turned into his own net from Bernardo Silva’s free kick.
Still, Pep Guardiola’s men remained calm, and they looked effortless as they dismantled the Spurs backline for the second.
Ange Postecoglou has become known for his high-risk, high-reward philosophy since his arrival in the capital, but aside from an impressive early second-half save by Guglielmo Vicario, they tightened things up defensively and gained control of proceedings.
Complacency began to show within the City ranks, and a moment of brilliance sent Spurs back level. Giovani Lo Celso, who returned to the side to score against Aston Villa last time out, used Son’s run to find enough space to restore parity with a sweeping strike off the far post and into Ederson’s net.
Clearly happy with a point to stop the rot, Postecoglou’s men sat back, but that proved their downfall as City edged ahead once more.
Just as the visitors looked to be heading for yet another defeat after such a promising start to the season, Kulusevski steamed in to beat Nathan Aké to Brennan Johnson’s ball and bullet in a header to ensure the points were shared in an enthralling match in Manchester.