Spurs defeat the Premier League champions on opening day
The weekend delivered a fantastic result for Tottenham Hotspur fans up and down the country as they defeated Manchester City 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
It was a sunny day in North London as Nuno Espirito Santos prepared for his first Premier League fixture in charge at Tottenham.
With this Summer providing one of the most talked-about and exciting transfer windows in recent times, the conversation naturally circled the ongoing Harry Kane transfer story before the match kicked off on Sunday. Kane was left out of the squad however he was, as the sky commentators continued to point out, present in the stadium.
We'll be watching this on repeat all day! 🙌
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 16, 2021
As he has done many times before, it was Spurs superstar Heung-Min Son, who sent a full-capacity Tottenham Hotspur stadium into pandemonium with his 55th-minute goal that sealed the victory. It was a pulsating top-six clash with stand-out performers on both teams. Oh how sweet it is to have regular premier league football back in our lives.
Is Tanganga a new superstar in the making?
Everyone loves an academy player success story. Japhet Tanganga had already registered some very impressive performances under previous managers but his development into a regular first-team squad player was somewhat halted due to a period of injury last season. In fact, before the Man City game, there were serious talks of Tanganga joining Galatasary on a season-long loan. Nuno may have to think about keeping him in North London after a man-of-the-match winning performance.
🥁 Introducing your Man of the Match… ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/ltDoY74FHI
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 16, 2021
Within the opening minutes of the match, it became obvious that City’s strategy was to apply serious pressure on to the left flank with the double-pronged attack of Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish. Tanganga definitely had his work cut out. The 22-year-old rose to the challenge and kept the English superstars in check, earning him a standing ovation as he was subbed off the pitch at 82 minutes. The entire defensive line barely put a foot wrong all game.
City started well but responded poorly.
Manchester City started the game well and dominated possession in the opening ten minutes. Grealish, Sterling and Mahrez were all attacking directly and finding nice passes. Torres cannot be faulted for the effort he was putting in. When they lost the ball, Spurs were quick to counter and looked to threaten Man City on a number of occasions.
Not even a surprise appearance from Kevin De Bruyne could rescue a point for the Cityzens. His introduction most certainly picked up the pace of passing, and he worked Lloris in the closing minutes drawing a decent save from the French captain. Spurs held out until the end and sent a statement of intent to Pep Guardiola, to Harry Kane and to the fans.
The loss represents yet another defeat for Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This is now the 4th visit to the new stadium for Pep and his Sky Blues: it’s their 4th defeat. Never has Pep registered four straight away losses against a team in his entire managerial career. Not to mention, this is Man City’s third competitive defeat in a row. Chelsea beat them in the Champions League final, Leicester in the League Cup, and now Spurs on the first day of the season.
The manager’s thoughts
You could see the passion oozing out of the Spurs boss as he circled the pitch at the final whistle clapping and thanking the fans for creating such an electric atmosphere. Nuno could not have asked for a better start to the season than dispatching the current champions. It was no secret that Nuno was not the first choice manager when he was appointed this summer. But this win will win a lot of brownie points for the former Wolverhampton Wanderers man as he seeks to build trust and respect among his new fan base.
After the game, Nuno said:
“It was good I think. The atmosphere was special off the hard work of the boys. They make any crowd proud when they work so hard.
“It was strong. We were lucky because they had chances but the boys held on and they stayed in the game. We knew it would be tough… I’m sure that with commitment and the talent we have, we will be a good team. We are in the process of that. I am learning every day and I am very proud of them today, very proud.”
Are you watching Harry Kane?
If Daniel Levy, Fabio Paratici and Nuno are planning for life after Kane then that performance was a serious message of intent that the success of Tottenham Hotspur does not lie directly with the England captain.
Chants of ‘Are you watching Harry Kane’ were deafening from the crowd as they toppled the Champions whom he is closely linked with. Man City have 15 days to offer a new bid. Rumours coming out of Manchester suggest that the giants will table a bid in the region of £150m + Bernardo Silva.
Bryan Gil was on the bench for Sunday’s fixture but did not make an appearance after playing for his national side in the Olympics this Summer. The exciting new winger will be given some time to fit into Nuno’s system. Fans got a glimpse of their new CB powerhouse Cuti Romero. Romero joined the action at 90 minutes in and maintained a passing accuracy rate of 100%.
Tottenham Hotspur take on Wolves away at Molleniux on Sunday 22nd August and then take on Pacos de Ferreira at home in the inaugural game of the Europa Conference League on Thursday 26th August.