Tottenham suffered a slender 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City on a bitterly cold Monday night, one that sees them cede ground to the defending champions in the race for the Premier League title.
Wembley was the venue that played hosts to these two sides, and it is perhaps fair to say that the pitch that they played a rather agricultural ninety minutes on at the start of the week has certainly seen better days.
With the NFL coming to town over the past few weeks, Wembley has had to serve a dual purpose to both codes of transatlantic football. However, this meant that the surface that both clubs had to deal with was not conducive to an entertaining display.
That said it is an issue that both clubs would have had to work around going into the game and with City passing the pitch based test at Tottenham’s expense, it does now perhaps ask questions of just what the North London outfit can do in the league this season.
Had Mauricio Pochettino’s men come out on top then it would have seen them leapfrog the side that won last season’s Premier League at a canter, while also extending the club’s best ever start to a season.
And although one defeat does not define a season, it does perhaps make you wonder as to whether Tottenham can be truly considered bona fide contenders to lift the title come next May. On the evidence of Monday night’s performance, you would not be betting on them to win the title.
Fans of the club will point to the fact that they only lost by a solitary goal, but ultimately it is the defeat that matters the most. Tottenham have certainly had to win ugly as of late, but that came against the likes of West Ham and Cardiff.
While there is no offence intended to those two sides, it is a far different test when going up against the likes of Manchester City and bar the clash against their crosstown rivals United in August there have been few high spots for Spurs this season.
They will have to dust themselves down though as although the hopes of winning the Premier League title have diminished, they certainly cannot be ruled out of earning a fourth successive top four finish and another appearance in the Champions League.
Their next league outing sees them travel to Molineux as they prepare for a clash against promoted outfit Wolves. One that won’t be easy when you consider this will be their third fixture in just six days.
Add to the fact that Nuno Epsirito Santo’s men have got off to a very decent start and the Midlands outfit will be confident of taking advantage of what could be a potentially fatigued Tottenham eleven.
However, at the same time this could well be the perfect tonic for Tottenham fans after their recent Wembley disappointment. A crack at the title may well evade them, but don’t rule them out when it comes to the battle for the final Champions League spot.