Match Report: Spurs vs Manchester City
Manchester City have been crowned champions this weekend as a result of a 3-1 victory over Spurs at Wembley, as well as a shock loss from their rivals Man Utd, who suffered a 1-0 defeat to bottom of the league West Brom.
Manchester City looked to recover what had been a shocking string of three defeats which had seen them crash out of the Champions League 5 goals to 1, and had their crowning delayed by fierce rivals Manchester United. Spurs were fighting to extend their 14 matches unbeaten record to a club record 15 in the Premier League.
Manchester City’s attitude from the outset was faultless as they unravelled a sluggish Tottenham Hotspur early on. Three minutes in, Leroy Sane found himself in acres of space on the edge of the box; David Silva whipped a ball into him, only for Leroy to leather it off the framework. Six minutes later De Bruyne rocketed a shot wide after Silva was just given bags of space and time to pick a pass. In a very uncharacteristic manner for this Spurs side, Dembele and Dier could not deal with the tempo of Silva and De Bruyne, and Eriksen was forced to draw back and cover deep which somewhat isolated him from the attack.
The first goal for Manchester City came in the 22nd minute. From a simple route-one ball from Kompany over the top of the Spurs defence, Gabriel Jesus got behind Sanchez, outpaced him, and clinically slotted the ball behind Hugo Lloris. It only took two minutes for City to dispossess Spurs again and win a penalty after a reckless lunge from Spurs skipper Hugo Lloris. The ref, unfortunately for Tottenham, got this one wrong: Hugo’s challenge made contact with Sterling just outside of the area. Gundogan executed the penalty with precision, sending Lloris the wrong way, and struck it in off the post. 2-0 to Man City.
After a sloppy start for Spurs, they responded well to the quick-fire City goals and began to string some nice passes together. Ben Davies unleashed his frustrations onto the calf of Vincent Kompany in a late challenge that was nowhere near the ball. The Spurs fullback got away lightly; if the ref had seen that challenge first-hand, he would no doubt have dismissed Davies from the pitch. Eriksen then handed the Lilywhites a lifeline with a fortuitous goal in the 42nd minute. A nice bit of Spurs interplay saw the ball move from Dembele, to Davies, and then to Kane, who put a sly through ball into Eriksen in the box. Laporte looked to clear Eriksen’s shot but his clearance ricocheted off the Spurs midfielder and into the Man City net. City, once again, looked in danger of throwing away a two-goal advantage.
The goal invigorated Tottenham Hotspur with a new lease of energy early in the second half, but they couldn’t manage to turn that energy into goals. City again picked holes in the Spurs defence, Jesus found himself in a one-on-one in the 63rd minute but scuffed the shot wide of the goal. Heung-Min Son replaced Lamela in order to try to add a spark to the Spurs attack, but they couldn’t dispossess Man City for long enough to muster one. Lloris parried a ball into the path of Sterling, who went around the French Keeper, but found his target blocked by Jan Vertonghen.
Sterling made up for his miss with a goal in the 72nd minute. The goal was a sloppy one and came as a result of Tottenham Hotspur not managing to clear their lines adequately. Sanchez initially failed to clear his box, leaving the ball at the feet of Jesus for a shot on target. Lloris then parried the effort straight into the path of Sterling, who was not missing from three yards out.
Lucas was substituted on in the 75th minute and his flair shone through. I think he will be an integral part of this Spurs team once he’s had a full summer of training with the Lilywhites. Spurs didn’t really test Ederson from thereon out, apart from a long-distance rocket from Lucas which forced a parry. Man City more than deserved the three points at Wembley Stadium. Spurs looked good in patches but didn’t seem to wake up until 20 minutes in.
Spurs vs Manchester City Attendance
Wembley Stadium: 80,811
Starting Line-Ups: Spurs vs Manchester City
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Davies, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Trippier, Dier, Dembélé, Alli, Eriksen, Lamela, Kane
Manchester City: Ederson, Delph, Laporte, Kompany, Walker, David Silva, Gündogan, De Bruyne, Sané, de Jesus, Sterling
“I think that first of all we started the game really badly. We missed 25 minutes, and we conceded two goals. Against a team like Manchester City, who showed they are the best team in the league, we made it easy for them. We started well in the second half, but Manchester City, after 90 minutes, were better. After 14 games unbeaten for us, today was a difficult game to play, we missed the first 25 minutes and couldn’t find a way to compete.
“we need to be ready to compete Tuesday. We are doing so well we are in the top four and that is our aim. When you play Man City, they play at such a good level, they have unbelievable players that when they are focused, can perform in the way they showed today”
Man of the Match
Raheem Sterling took home the Man of the Match award at Wembley Stadium. Although Raheem missed a few chances in front of goal, his effort, and his pace cannot be questioned. He can lift that team in terms of remaining alert and energetic, and that is impressive amid a squad of such high calibre. The Spurs defence struggled to keep up with Sterling.
What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?
Spurs travel to Brighton on Tuesday night, before battling for a place in the FA Cup final against Manchester United on the weekend.