|OPPONENTS||Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium|
|DATE||Saturday 20th April 2019|
Writing this on Good Friday, Spurs had a good Wednesday and will
they have a good Saturday ? Well, realistically, it is
unlikely to happen, as City will adopt an aggressive approach to get
revenge for their exit from the Champions League at our hands (quite
literally, if you listen to them). Not only will they want to
win the game, but we will see the side of their game that Pep will
have brought from Barcelona, which is in stark contrast to heir taki-taka
Their manager will not make the mistake of leaving Sane, de Bruyne and Ferdnandinho on the bench and out will go Laporte too, as he was rubbish in both legs against us, probably being replaced by Stones. Having had a lot of joy on the flanks, expect plenty of service to the wide men to try and carve out openings with balls into the box.
Spurs must try and match the intensity of their play from Wednesday, but that may be difficult both in terms of replicating the energy shown after the emotion of getting past City, but also in terms of personnel, as new injuries were picked up to add to those already being suffered. It will take a Herculean effort, but we need the points, as do City, who are chasing what is left of their quadruple.
While I would love it,
absolutely love it if we could repeat the performance of Wednesday,
but with a positive result. Howevr, I fear the reality will be
somewhat different ...
|PREDICTION||Manchester City 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1|
|Premier League||Kick off 12:30|
Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0)
Foden 4m 16s
|Crowd : 54,489||Weather : Warm, sunny|
|Referee : Michael Oliver (Northumberland)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Stuart Burt; Mr. Simon Bennett|
|Fourth Official : Chris Kavanagh|
|Manchester City kicked off and played towards the South Stand in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
Sterling (handbags with Vertonghen) 90+3
Wanyama (foul on Fernandinho) 86
Vertonghen (handbags with Sterling) 90+3
|Manchester City :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
17 Kevin de
7 Raheem STERLING
Alli ( 3
7 Heung-Min SON
|Manager : Pep Guardiola||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Etihad Airways||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Nike|
For the second time in three days, Tottenham lost to Manchester City at the Etihad, but whereas in Wednesday's game, City were outstanding and Spurs clinical, this game showed that the sides were not able to replicate those characteristics, with Tottenham losing to the game's only goal.
The effort and emotion of the Champiosn League game must have taken its toll on the players, Spurs made five changes, while City made only In came Dier, Foyth, Davies, Sanchez, Gazzaniga for Sissoko, Lloris, Rose, Alderweireld and Trippier. City started Foden for only the second time, with Stones in for Kompany, Zinchenko for Mendy. The sun shone down and the flags were out again to try and gee the home crowd up for this game that was a must win for their title hopes. For Spurs, it was a must win to keep their noses clear of the pack chasing them for a Champions League placing for next season.
While City had a lot of possession for the first two minutes, Stones presented the ball to Moura in midfield and Eriksen had soon put the ball into Son’s path down the left. He shimmied past Stoned and rasped a shot at Ederson’s near post that the keeper had to beat out. Spurs held out for at least a little longer than on Wednesday, but when Bernardo Silva floated a ball to the far post from the right, Aguero headed back across goal for Foden to dive in and head home from a yard out. Aguero was totally unmarked and nobody had picked up Foden’s run, so it was a poor goal to let in. 4m 16s City were being allowed to fly in and get away with it, while every Spurs challenge brought a whistle from Oliver. Aguero’s exercised excessive force on Moura, but only got a talking to and Foden brought Lucas down from behind and didn’t even get that. To say Oliver was being lenient was an understatement.
By the time it got to 12 minutes, it was still 1-0. Boring !
A great move down Tottenham’s right saw a first time pass by Son to Moura, who played Eriksen into the box. With Laporte looking to pull him back, he did enough (illegally) to put him off, with the shot that Christian got in, saved by Ederson for a corner. Spurs opened up the City defence once again, when Dele and Moura won the ball in their own half, then Eriksen sent a brilliant pass behind Laporte and Son ran in on goal, but the ball held up on the grass and the defender got back to block his shot with a very good piece of defending. Tottenham had created a couple of decent chances and there was a hint that they could benefit from the loose City back four.
Bernardo Silva threw a hissy fit when Jan tackled him excellently, then beat four players as he took the ball out of defence. Silva carried on his whingeing for a good five minutes ! Foden struck a shot from the 18 yard line that Gazzaniga took in his midriff. Around the 20-25 minute mark, Spurs were giving the ball away cheaply and in trying to play the ball out from the back, were sloppy, as Paulo gave away a corner with a poor pass. Also, Spurs were losing the ball too easily in the tackle, allowing City to build pressure on the Spurs goal. It was strange, as City were winning and at the Spurs end for much of the time, but their fervent support of Wednesday was missing, as all you could hear was Spurs fans singing “Super Jan Vertonghen” ! Silva’s mood wasn’t improved when Dele did the most outrageous nutmeg on him !
Sterling looked to come
inside onto his right foot when he got in the box, but Juan Foyth
made a fantastic tackle to block him. Spurs gave the ball away in
their defensive third and Foden crossed, Spurs cleared and
Silva drove a daisy-cutter in on goal, but it was straight at
Gazzaniga before De Bruyne blazed an effort well wide. Paulo fumbled
a Zinchenko cross, low at his near post, wide for a corner
just before de Bruyne went off injured and it looked like a bad one,
so Guardiola brought on Fernandinho in his place. Spurs
did have one attack five minutes before the break, when they won
the ball in midfield and Son’s pass was a little behind Dele,
slowing the move down, but they kept it going and Foyth put a good
ball into the goalmouth, but Ederson beat Moura to it. Aguero nut-megged
Sanchez on the edge of the box, although Foyth prevented him getting
any further, but the ball ran to Walker, who impetuously drilled a
shot over the bar. It was an unusually hot day and the effort both
teams were putting in, with City playing the rump of their side from
Wednesday, you wondered if they would wilt in the heat. Sonny
wasn’t, as Dele won the ball down in our own corner and the ball was
played up to the Korean on the halfway line, He brilliantly turned
three players in one movement and raced away, but in trying to get
the ball onto his left foot, he allowed Ederson to close him down
and save to his right.
It was another long pass
straight through the middle of the City defence, from a free-kick
for a foul on Davies by Fernandinho (surprise, surprise), that
saw Moura win the ball in the air and as City defenders stood off,
he got the second ball and only Ederson’s advance blocked his shot.
It came off Stones first and unlike Rose’s touch on Wednesday, they
had the luck to keep it out. The chances seemed to give
Tottenham a little more confidence, passing the ball better and
realising that the long pass put fear into the City defence’s mind,
not knowing who should defend it first. With
thirteen minutes remaining, Pochettino threw on Fernando Llorente
for Alderweireld. Silva again play-acted looking for a booking for
Rose, who took the ball out for a throw-in and the City midfielder
rolled around like a man in his death throes. It had rattled City
and Spurs were pressing higher up and City gave the ball away that
created a shot for Eriksen that was blocked and then Moura
followed-up, firing over the bar.
It leaves us needing to win all our remaining games to end up in the top four, so with any luck the misfortune we experienced here will even itself out over the course of the season. Next season's introduction of VAR into the Premier League might sort some of these issues out, but knowing our luck, it will probably resolve decisions against us !
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|West Ham United London||2||Leicester City||2||Saturday|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Saturday|
|League Table 2018-19|
|11||West Ham United London||35||12||8||15||44||54||43||-10|
|17||Brighton & Hove Albion||34||9||7||18||32||53||34||-21|
Position before match :
Position after match : 3rd
Position after the weekend : 3rd
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