OPPONENTS Manchester City
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Saturday 18th October 2014
VENUE Etihad Stadium






While Spurs will travel North to the Etihad hoping for a better outcome from last season's mauling at the feet of Manchester City, there might be a familiar journey home, but perhaps an improvement in the performance might make that a little more palatable.  Last season's game couldn't have gone worse, with Lloris' early mis-kick ending in a goal within two minutes and then there was Lamela's shot against the post at 0-1 before City went on to add five more, one of which was a Kaboul own goal.

Since then City have gone on to win the Premier League title and sign more expensive players, although pegged back a little by the Financial Fair Play scheme.  Their squad is the envy of the league and with players such as Alvaro Negredo allowed to leave, his absence has not been devastating to the team.  Others play a peripheral part, where they might be regular starters at other clubs. 

So Spurs have a tough task on their hands, especially as they are still settling in to Poch's style and tactics.  How he has tinkered with them to try and bring something home from Manchester, we will hope that the way he broke up Arsenal's play and with a strong performance from our defence, we got a point out of that game, which might have flattered us a bit.  However, the performance rather than the score might be an indication of how close Mauricio is getting to bringing the team to a level where they can compete with the top four.

Joe Hart will probably keep Willie Cabellero out of goal for this game, although whoever takes the gloves might be in for a quiet lunch-time. I imagine that Spurs might attempt to give possession to the hosts like they did at Arsenal, but attempt to shut them out in our own final third, while trying to hit on the break.

The starting back four will probably feature Pablo Zabeleta, perhaps tucking inside alongside Vincent Kompany, with two former Arsenal full backs who know what it is like to be beaten by Spurs in Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, but City will be without the haphazard new signing Eliaquim Mangala, who scored an own goal and gave away a penalty at Hull a couple of weeks back.  Kompany is a rock at the heart of the defence, but Zabaleta is suspect against pace, while Sagna and Clichy's desire t ogo forward can leave them exposed to quick counter-attacks.  Other defensive options are offered by full back and dead ball expert Aleksander Kolarov and Martin Demichelis, who looked more like a pub player than a Premier League player last season, but had a good World Cup and is less of a liability for City.

The dis-likeable Frank Lampost is now lining up in a different shade of blue, but expect plenty of badge-kissing by this objectionable midfielder.  City have a wealth of other midfield talent, so there will probably be places for David Silva, who finds himself in areas that he can do damage in and Jesus Navas, who thrives on getting wide and finding good service in to the forwards.  James Milner, is a more defensive minded version of Navas  and is an industrious worker, with both Fernando and Fernandinho being players who work box-to-box and like to get forward, using the ball when when they win it.  City could be without two players who could be influential in Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure.  Toure dominates midfield with his lazy looking but powerful performances, while Nasri pops up in the box and can be effective in the hole behind the two front men.

Edin Dzeko is a classy striker who doesn't mind how he gets the ball in the net, always being on the spot and capable of a good finish, while Argentine Sergio Aguero has been maintaining his ratio of goals to minutes as high as he can, but he hasn't been a regular starter in the City line-up.  Stevan Jovetic has come good this season after missing a large part of the last campaign with injury.

As for Spurs, there are difference sin the set-up, which might still take up AVB's 4-2-3-1 formation, but the people fitting into it are better honed to know their roles and with an emphasis on fitness in training, they may be better suited to the pressing game no than the one the Portuguese coach wanted to implement.  Certainly, we look quicker on the break and may be able to cause problems that way, as long as Adebayor can stay on-side.

Having said all that, I hope Tottenham can give it a go, as Stoke did well getting in City's faces and came away from the Etihad with a win.  I am not sure Spurs will achieve that and I can see them losing out ... but by fewer than last season.

PREDICTION Manchester City    2         Tottenham Hotspur    0
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Spurs have doubts over Hugo Lloris and Nacer Chadli, who returned from international duty with knocks, while Kyle Walker misses out as he continues his recovery from hip surgery and Kyle Naughton is getting loser to a return from the bad tackle in the Southampton match, but he won't be back for this match.  Emmanuel Adebayor and Nabil Bentaleb wer eboht late returning from playing in the African Cup of Nations last week and may not have recovered to play at the Ethiad.
Eliaquim Mangala  will be ruled out with a groin injury and Samir Nasri similarly kept out of the game.  Fernandinho will return after pulling a hamstring, but Yaya Toure might sit the game out after travelling to African Cup of Nations duty in mid-week.

BT Sport - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Football First  -  Saturday 20.25
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:30 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 11.00
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here.


Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152  (live coverage)
Commentary may be found on
>   BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW
TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)
Absolute Radio  (1215 AM/MW)

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne)
SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney) 
Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa 
SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean) 
Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.

Manchester City   4  (2)                                                             Tottenham Hotspur  1 (1)
Premier League
Saturday 18th October 2014                                                                                              Kick off 12:45
Etihad Stadium
Aguero  13m 55s
Aguero (p)  20m 51s
Aguero (p)  68m 28s
Aguero  75m 51s
Eriksen 15m 35s
Navas (foul on Chadli)  56



Mason (foul on Ferdandinho)  34
Dier (foul on Clichy) 38

Fazio (foul on Aguero) 67

Crowd :   45,549 Weather :  Dry and mild
Referee :  Jon Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Long; Mr. S. Bennett
Fourth Official :  Michael Oliver -
Manchester City kicked off and played towards the West Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Manchester City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Joe HART

  3  Bacari SAGNA
  4  Vincent KOMPANY (c)
22  Gael CLICHY

6  FERNANDO (42  Yaya TOURE 77)
18  Frank LAMPARD (25  FERNANDINHO 29)

15  Jesus NAVAS     
  David SILVA (35  Stevan JOVETIC 71)
  7  James MILNER

10  Sergio AGUERO       

Unused subs: 
13  Willie CABELLERO
38  Dedryk BOYATA
11  Aleksander KOLOROV
10  Edin DZEKO


    1  Hugo LLORIS

15  Eric DIER     
  4  Younes KABOUL (c)
21  Federico FAZIO     
  3  Danny ROSE

29  Etienne CAPOUE  (19  Mousa DEMBELE 60)
38  Ryan MASON       (  5  Jan VERTONGHEN 70)

11  Erik LAMELA  (17  Andros TOWNSEND 60)
23  Christian ERIKSEN 
22  Nacer CHADLI

  9  Roberto SOLDADO

Unused subs: 
Michel VORM
26  Benjamin STAMBOULI
18  Harry KANE
10  Emmanuel ADEBAYOR

Manager :  Manuel Pellegrini Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Ethiad Airways Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

This is a match report that I felt I have read somewhere before.  Was it the Man City home game last season or was it the one away from home ?  It is becoming all a little too familiar and I don't just mean the loss to the Light Blues, but the level of refereeing that leaves Spurs punished for matter which are a figment of the officials imagination.  Spurs probably deserved to lose, but not in the manner that Jon Moss forced them to.

With Federico Fazio coming in for Jan Vertonghen and Soldado for Adebayor, Spurs had an unusual look to their line-up.  The rest of the side were in their normal positions, with Nacer Chadli and Hugo Lloris overcoming the knocks picked up on international duty.  City took the opportunity to rest Yaya Toure, such is their depth of squad and James Milner got a rare start.

Having negotiated the first 30 seconds safely, Spurs were set on closing down City players on the ball and Christian Eriksen almost got Mason in into the penalty area with three minutes gone, but the ball was nicked off his toes. At the back, Fazio made a couple of early interceptions and the team broke when they could, with Chadli setting up Mason for a shot in the fifth minute, but he dragged it wide from outside the box.

Soldado was being out-muscled by Kompany, but he chested the ball down to Chadli, who found Eriksen. He played in Lamela, then the ball was moved back to Roberto who astutely found Mason running into the area and as Hart came out, the young midfielder tried to slide it past him, but the keeper stuck out a foot to save it. This was quickly followed by Eriksen waltzing past two defenders into the box and firing over from a tight angle, when a square ball might have been the better option.

Kaboul was called into action when Silva slipped Aguero through on the edge of the six yard box, intercepting the pass, but Ageuro was offside anyway. However, the Argentinian was on the mark when Mason let the ball get away from him 25 yards out and it was picked up and played to Aguero on the left in the area. Kaboul wasn't close enough no him and he cut inside to shoot past Lloris' left hand in the 13th minute.

However, Mason made amends a minute later, when he robbed Fernando 30 yards from the City goal. His sliding tackle took the ball to Soldado, who played it to his right and Eriksen hit it first time and even though Hart got a thigh on the ball as it flew past him, it hit the underside of the bar and nestled in the bottom of the net.

The game was quite open and in the 15th minute, Fernando could have made up for his part in the Spurs goal by heading in a corner, when he was left unmarked just outside the six yard box and right in the centre of the goal. Luckily he put it wide. Not that it mattered, as Lampost crumpled under a light challenge from Lamela and referee Moss pointed to the spot. With Aguero stepping up to take it, you knew it would end up in the back of the net and it did. 20 minutes gone and another dodgy decision against us at the Etihad.

Once more, Spurs looked to get back in it and Chadli almost got put through but the pass was a little too far in front of him. At the other end, Eriksen and Rose allowed Navas to sneak in on a pass behind them and this time Lloris was behind Aguero's low shot when the ball was cut back to him. Luckily, Lampost went off after 26 minutes after he pulled a thigh muscle to go with the fast one he pulled with his flop in the box.

Kompany got caught pushing through the back of Chadli on the edge of the box in the 30th minute and a free kick 28 yards out was taken by Christian Eriksen, but it went over the bar by a foot, dipping too late. The next attack for City saw Aguero have the chance to complete his hat-trick when Kaboul tripped Silva in the 32nd minute, but his shot from 12 yards was down the middle and Hugo stopped it with his legs and the striker scissor kicked the rebound over the bar. Aguero was through on top a long clearance and beat Kaboul too it, before turning around him in the area, but his cross-shot was beaten out by Lloris.

Mason picked up a booking for a foul on Fernandinho in midfield, during a spell when City enjoyed a lot of possession. Interestingly, Navas got away with treading on Rose's foot well after the ball had gone, but then Dier picked up a yellow for pulling back Clichy when he looked to break from halfway. Then the ref was at least consistent, when he didn't book Capoue for a step on Silva's heel.

While Soldado was up front on his own, he was brining others into the play with some good first time touches, rather than waiting for Kompany to come through him. His link up when Eriksen was set up for a 25 yard shot that Hart looked unconvincing in beating out for a corner, which came to nothing, but when the ball was played forward again, Roberto nodded it on to Eriksen, who laid it in front of Lamela. Erik's shot was blocked but it came out to Mason, who hit it first time and drew a diving save from Hart.

Spurs were building up play well and Soldado set up Eriksen again, but he was crowded out before Milner jumped into a tackle on Capoue and took him out with his trailing leg and this set up a move that saw Navas run through and hit a shot that Hugo got over the bar off the side of his attempted punch. The Frenchman also had to save from Silva near half-time, but didn't need to when Navas shot over just seconds before the whistle blew for the break.

There were no changes at the break and no change within three minutes, when Lloris had to beat out a viciously swerving 25 yard effort from Aguero dealing with the bounce that the ball took just in front of him. With Spurs closing the ball down quickly, City's passing went a little bit to pot, but when they did get it right, Spurs were found lacking at the back and only over-playing by City failed to make the most of the space there was.

Tottenham were still looking to get forward, believing that keeping the ball in City's half kept it away from their own goal. A couple of corners came to nothing and when a City move broke down, Navas committed a cynical foul on Chadli as he brought the ball away. When they did get up the other end, the ball pinged about with it falling Tottenham's way and when a shot came in from Eriksen, there were big shouts for a penalty as it flew off Sagna's chest and onto his hand. Breaking away at the Spurs end, Hugo stopped Navas' shot at his near post and then Silva's low ball across the face of the goal couldn't be turned in at the far post by Aguero, who looked injured after he eventually got up.

Dembele came on for Capoue and Townsend for Lamela and when a long ball was chased by Soldado and he got it and got in front of Dimichelis, there was a touch on him and he went down. It looked outside the box and when a penalty was given, Roberto's side-footed spot-kick to Hart's right saw the keeper get down to it and push it aside. A couple of minutes later, Rose broke down the left and his low cross was hit first time by Soldado and his effort was kept out by Hart's legs.

Danny Rose headed a long ball back towards his own dead ball line, but Navas was alert to it, got  to the ball and pulled it across to where Aguero should have been, but the referee decided that Fazio had pulled him back as he tried to get on the end of the cross. Another penalty and a red card for Fazio. This time the Argentine made no mistake and now there was 22 minutes to play with ten men as is usual against the top sides when we have crap refs. Mason made away for Vertonghen and Jovetic replaced Silva as the game entered the final third.

A long ball forward caught Spurs asleep, leaving Aguero one on one with Vertonghen and he came inside from the right to bend a shot around the Belgian and inside the far post to give him all four of City's goals.

Townsend had a swerving effort miss by half a yard with Hart struggling, but City used the space left by the eleventh Spurs man not being there and passed the ball around, waiting for another chance to score. Spurs struggled to close City down as they dropped into a 4-4-1 formation.  Every time Tottenham cleared the ball, it came straight back. They did keep trying to go forward, but when the ball was lost, it was with tired legs that the black shirted men trudged back. Dembele was a culprit when he lost the ball outside City's penalty area and it was left to Rose to stop Navas, who had the cheek to go to round looking for another spot-kick.

A move down the City left saw Jovetic back heel the ball into Milner's path and the England international curled the ball around Vertonghen and Lloris, but the ball cannoned off the outside of the post. When Spurs did get the ball with a chance to break, they invariably lost it. Kaboul did and Townsend did later, but the defence held out as City tried to score the perfect goal. Chadli broke and got brought down by Dimichelis a few yards outside the box to the right of centre, leaving Townsend to take the free-kick which was headed away by the wall. A Rose burst into the box was ended by a shove by Kompany, which was no worse than the first City penalty, but the referee once more showed how poor he was by giving City a goal-kick.

While Soldado missed the penalty, he did work tirelessly up front and probably gave Spurs more up front than Adebayor has done lately. And penalties were the name of the game in this match, with one saved which could have made it 2-2 and the next leading to a sending off and a 3-1 lead for the home side. As well as Kaboul played against Arsenal, he played as poorly today. The individual mistakes cost Spurs once more and making the most of the many chances we created cost us. Lloris saved a lot of City's efforts on goal, but they did convert a good ratio. Ruing a missed penalty and a red card, Spurs will look at the score-line and hark back to last season's home game, when Rose was sent off and we let in five.

The play was closer than the final score-line indicated, though not close enough to guarantee a point for Spurs, but the quality in the City team was clear, although the way Spurs set about City did show they have some vulnerabilities. Taking advantage of those deficiencies is something Pochettino has to make sure the team don't let those opportunities pass them by.

Anthony Spicer



Before 2008, nobody knew Manchester City existed.

Their sky blue shirts have made Manchester City a prime target for attracting advertising from airlines.  And with Manchester meaning "land of sun and warmth" in Abu Dhabi, it was an obvious step for the Royal family of that country to sponsor the club.


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What you thought
East Stan I'm not sure I agree that this was a match report I have read before.  Apart from missing chances we made, the attacking intent looked better than of recent games and Soldado played well ... his weedy penalty excepted. 

And as we are doing with Liverpool, so we are with Manchester City.  Working down from 6 to 5 and now 4, in three matches time, we might get a pint off them !!

- -.



Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 Hull City 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Chelsea 2 Saturday
Everton 3 Aston Villa 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Leicester City 0 Saturday
Burnley 1 West Ham United 3 Saturday
Southampton 8 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Swansea City 1 Sunday
QPR 2 Liverpool 3 Sunday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Manchester United 2 Monday




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 8 7 1 0 23 8 22 +15
2 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 18 8 17 +10
3 Southampton 8 5 1 2 19 5 16 +14
4 West Ham United 8 4 1 3 15 11 13 +4
5 Liverpool 8 4 1 3 13 12 13 +1
6 Manchester United 8 3 3 2 15 12 12 +3
7 Arsenal 8 2 5 1 13 11 11 +2
8 Swansea City 8 3 2 3 11 10 11 +1
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 8 3 2 3 10 11 11 -1
10 Stoke City 8 3 2 3 8 9 11 -1
11 Hull City 8 2 4 2 13 14 10 -1
12 Aston Villa 8 3 1 4 4 12 10 -8
13 Everton 8 2 3 3 16 16 9 0
14 Leicester City 8 2 3 3 11 13 9 -2
15 West Bromwich Albion 8 2 3 3 10 11 9 -1
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 11 14 8 -3
17 Sunderland 8 1 5 2 8 15 8 -7
18 Newcastle United 8 1 4 3 8 14 7 -6
19 Burnley 8 0 4 4 4 13 4 -9
20 QPR 8 1 1 6 6 18 4 -12


Position before match :  6th
Position after match :  6th
Position after the weekend :


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.


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