Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have never been best friends during their rivalry.
But the same cannot be said of their respective Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City players – as evidenced by a spectacular event before the kick-off on Saturday evening.
Joe Hart was signed as Mourinho in the summer on the Spurs bench for the Premier League clash, as expected, with club captain Hugo Loris going in the middle of the stick.
Among Man City’s alternatives was John Stones, who went on to play in North London, who has not been in the Premier League since a 3-1 win over the Wolves in September.
Hart and Stones have played each other countless times for the England national team and have obviously become very good friends while performing international duties.
It was reunited with friends before the game started in north London.
Besides, Hart had seen some old faces at Etihad Stadium since his time, but there was a special moment between the Spurs back-up goalkeeper and the Stones.
Marked by Sky Sports cameras, the two players enjoyed a light-minded mini wrestling match in practice.
Hart’s last smile would be the final whistle.
Goals from Son Hyung-min and Giovanni Lo Celso in the half gave Spurs a 2-0 win, meaning they will spend the night as Premier League leaders.
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The Europa League group stage clash against Ludogarts next Thursday on behalf of Heart & Company.
It remains to be seen whether Hart will have a rare start, especially as Hugo Loris could be rested three days later in the Spurs’ huge game against Chelsea in the Premier League.