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Tottenham vs Manchester City a few quick thoughts

  • Yesterday we learned that Pep Guardiola is not invincible as Manchester City not only lost their 100% record but also lost out to Tottenham at White Hart Lane
  • It was nothing short of a pulsating encounter which was almost as tiring watching then it would have been for the players featuring on the pitch
  • Tottenham were relentless in their approach right from the start and they really got right at a City side who only just came away from Celtic Park unscathed earlier in the week
  • That 3-3 draw against Celtic showed that City could be got at and that was exactly what Mauricio Pochettino set his side out to do
  • With the in form Heung-min Son leading the line in a false 9 role it meant Tottenham had done away with a conventional striker and had gone for a more fluid attack line
  • And their approach was to pay off after just 11 minutes when Alexsandar Kolarov put Danny Rose’s cross into his own net
  • Anguish for the Serbian left back but delight for the thirty thousand plus home fans who were basking in the autumnal sun
  • It was to be a torrid Afternoon for Kolarov as he was very much the weak link of an off the boil City back line
  • But Tottenham didn’t just rest on their laurels with both Son and Christian Eriksen having chances to double the home sides advantage
  • You always felt that even for all of Tottenham’s energy and endeavour that they were going to need to make their dominance count and get another while City were really in the ropes
  • Nicolas Otamendi’s afternoon was not his best in a City shirt and he was walking a disciplinary tight role after picking up a first half booking
  • That really played in Tottenham’s hands as they began to pressure City even further
  • And their resolve would break once again when Dele Alli slotted the ball past Claudio Bravo to double Tottenham’s lead just before the break
  • This was a 45 minutes played at hyperspeed and although Spurs were deservedly in front you did wonder if they could keep up this pressure after the break
  • The 15 minutes gave Guardiola and his side a chance to regroup but once again Spurs were quicker out of the traps
  • The high press of both sides gave us an end to end encounter as City finally started to get some sort of foothold on the game
  • But Tottenham were presented with the perfect opportunity to put the game out of sight when they were awarded a spot kick after Alli was bundled over in the box
  • With Harry Kane out injured the duty went to Erik Lamela but with his poor penalty easily saved by Claudio Bravo it gave City a fresh wave of optimism for the final 25 or so minutes
  • After the kick was missed we were given the clip of Lamela and Son arguing over who should take the kick. With Son high on confidence he wanted the honour but that disagreement seemed to unsettle Lamela and the subsequent result was not a good one
  • The question now was whether or not City could make them pay
  • The next phase of the game was all about whether or not Spurs could contain City
  • And with Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen at the back they were equal and more to everything that was thrown at them
  • Sergio Aguero did make Hugo Lloris work a couple of times but they were the only opportunities as the two Belgian managed to get a head or foot on absolutely everything
  • They are making a case to be the best partnership in the Premier League while Alderweireld must now be mentioned as one of Europe’s very best defenders
  • With Kelechi Iheanacho coming on and City going two up top it led for a tense finish to the game
  • The feeling was that if City could get one then they could certainly get two but that first goal never came
  • The centre backs will get the most of the praise but Kyle Walker and Danny Rose were excellent
  • Rose had a personal battle with Raheem Sterling with both ending up on yellow cards but you have to say that Rose won that duel on points
  • And it was an all important three points for Tottenham in the end as they now close the gap on City to just one at the top of the Premier League table
  • It’s not a seismic shift but if people hadn’t already they will sit up and consider Spurs as genuine title contenders
  • The title was never going to be won yesterday but the fact that City have tasted defeat at last just changes the landscape slightly
  • For Spurs they are now 5 points better off than this exact stage last season and with added squad depth that picture looks even more promising
  • No Harry Kane or Mousa Dembele, no problem
  • Last season without those two then it is a game we would have probably lost but now their is enough talent to absorb the absence of these two
  • Victor Wanyama was nothing short of immense yesterday and it also begs the question as to whether or not Eric Dier can get back in the first eleven
  • That said there is still a lot of Football to be played between now and May and this is a nice problem for Mauricio Pochettino to have
  • After that win it’s almost a shame that the international break once again rears its ugly head as it stalls the momentum after such a great win
  • But at the same time there isn’t the wave of hyperbole that usually surrounds a win like this. It’s job done and onto the next one
  • Just another sign of the winning mentality that is working its way through the club
  • West Brom awaits after the break and Never Charlie goes up against old friends
  • What price he scores as well when we travel to The Hawthorns
  • Until then and try to enjoy the international break
If you are looking for content creators for your website and/or media outlet, then please drop me an email at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and I'd be happy to discuss what opportunities you have. Thanks, Dan

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