OPPONENTS Manchester City 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 21st January 2017
VENUE Etihad Stadium
Manchester City  SQUAD .



PREVIEW With City having been battered at Everton last week, their poor run of form looks like it should continue, as Spurs visit the Etihad, but Guardiola will have worked his side hard in training this week.  They have struggled to adapt to his high tempo, hard-pressing game, but he will want his side to be compact and hard to get through.  Not quite the anti-football that he has derided in the past but with their defence run ragged by the Toffees last week, his theory of not coaching them to tackle might have changed over the last six days.

With Joe Hart having been shipped off to Torino because he can't play with his feet, several pundits are now expressing concern that Claudio Bravo can't play with his hands.  There has been a weakness with the keeper, who has struggled to adapt to English football, but he is a good shot stopper and it is his uncertainty on crosses, which probably puts  a strain on his defence.  With Kompany missing through injury more often than not these days, the aerial dominance is lacking and Stones and Otamendi to not command the box like the club captain did.  Stones likes to play and while we know from our own experience, this can put your own side under pressure, the way the England man does it and where he does it, makes that pressure even more worrying.   Zabaleta and Clichy have recently had questions asked about their age and stamina, which will surely be tested by Rose and Walker, but Tottenham will have to be aware of City on the break, as they might look to hit in behind the fullbacks with de Bruyne and Sterling fast enough to cause problems.  However, Tottenham seem to have been alert to this and when the full backs bomb on, then someone drops in to cover them.  Kolarov and Jesus Navas are other options at full back, but neither are that convincing in their defending. 

Fernandinho, Fernando and Yaya Toure make up a strong midfield, but there is opportunity to exploit their slowness on the turn and by playing neat passes and with runners going beyond them, it is possible to capitalise on their lack of pace.   Gundogan is a more mobile player, who could get in the Spurs midfielder's faces, David Silva is still the main threat, with his intelligent running and the ability to open up defences.  Leroy Sane has not had a run in the side, but when he has played, he looks pacy, tricky and a real handful.  He is one of many City players they have paid a lot of money for but are reluctant to field on a weekly basis.

City have called upon Jesus to resurrect their season and Gabriel Jesus, the young Brazilian international striker, will be thrust into the limelight to see how he performs under the spotlight.  The worry for Tottenham is that he has no preconceived inhibitions and may just go out to play his natural game, which is all about sticking the ball in the net.   Alongside Sergio Aguero, they could form a dangerous partnership, but you wonder how often they have had the opportunity to play together.  Aguero is a regular scorer against Spurs and will be looking to extend that record, but his form this season has not been as deadly as in previous seasons, some of which is due to him getting sent off, although not as much as Fernandninho.  Kelechi Iheanacho is a young forward who finds the net regularly, but does not seem to get a run in the side ahead of Aguero, so has to try and impress from the bench, which he is capable of.  Nolito often gets in before Icheanacho, with his hard-working style, but he is temperamental and while skilful, his interest in issues off the ball and his dissent to refs often gets him into trouble.

The absence of Jan Vertonghen is a concern for Tottenham, but with Davies or Wimmer able to come in as part of a back three or four, hopefully, he won't be missed too much.  The important trio of Kane, Dele and Eriksen are playing at the top of their game at the moment and it will be interesting to see if Guardiola details his players to stop them playing or tries to out-play Spurs with the players he puts out. 

While we have done well against City lately, they realise that they are in danger of getting cut adrift and will be putting a lot more into this game than they did at Goodison Park.  For that reason, the importance of the game to them might mean it ends all square.

PREDICTION Manchester City    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
LAST SEASON'S MEETING For a look back at the match report, click here.
RESULTS HISTORY Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with Manchester City
Manchester City TEAM NEWS :
Ilkay Gundogan (knee) and Vincent Kompany (fitness) sit out the game against Spurs, while Fernando is doubt with a knock he has picked up. 
Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Erik Lamela (hip) miss the game at the Etihad for Spurs.

BT Sport 1 - (live coverage)
Sky Sports 1 -  Game of the Day -  Saturday 20.00
Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 (highlights)   [repeated at 07:35 Sunday]  Also available online.
Goals on Sunday (Sky Sports 1) - Sunday 10.30 (repeated at 21.00)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.30 (highlights)  Also available online.

For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and 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 & 15.00 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
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
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  2 (0)  

Premier League
Saturday 21st January 2017
Etihad Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (0)

Kick off 17:30
Sane  48m 23s
de Bruyne  53m 15s
Dele  57m 07s
Son  76m 40s
Kolarov  (foul on Kane)  45+2
Otamendi (obstructing a free-kick)  52



Wimmer (foul on Zabaleta)  13 
Dier (foul on Aguero)  14
Dele (pushing Otamendi)  52
Wanyama (foul on Aguero)  87

Crowd :   54,402 Weather :  Chilly
Referee : Andrew Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Beck; Mr. A. Garratt
Fourth Official :  Mike Jones  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the North Stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
Manchester City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Claudio BRAVO

  5  Pablo ZABALETA  (c)
30  Nicolas OTAMENDI     
11  Alecksander KOLAROV     
22  Gael CLICHY  (24  John STONES  84)

42  Yaya TOURE

  7  Raheem STERLING  (33  Gabriel JESUS  82)
21  David SILVA  (18  Fabian DELPH  90)
17  Kevin de BRUYNE 
19  Leroy MANE 

10  Sergio AGUERO

Unused subs: 
  4  Vincent KOMPANY

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

27  Kevin WIMMER       (  7  Heung-Min SON  46  )
Toby ALDERWEIRELD  (29  Harry WINKS  65)
15  Eric DIER     

19  Mousa DEMBELE  (17  Moussa SISSOKO  78)
12  Victor WANYAMA     

  2  Kyle WALKER 
20  DELE Alli       
Christian ERIKSEN
  Danny ROSE

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

16  Kieran TRIPPIER
33  Ben DAVIES

Manager :  Pep Guardiola Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   Etihad Airways Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Controversy as Pep Guardiola blows his top and gets no punishment and Spurs go down the other end to equalise sums up this game, in which City undoubtedly deserved to win, but unless you make your advantage count, you run the risk of losing what you had and Spurs proved worthy adversaries in gaining a point from a  2-2 draw when all seemed lost.

City had started with Sane on the left and Toure sitting in midfield, as Spurs fielded the usual starting line-up, with the only change Wimmer in for Vertonghen. The two teams have had differing form coming into the game, but a crisp Manchester evening staged what was to become a pulsating game.

Early on Rose had a chance to create an opportunity when Zabaleta slipped, but his cross went off a defender to the far side, although the first shot was City's. Otamendi smashing a shot high into the crowd from 30 yards. Danny did well at the other end shepherding Sterling wide when it looked like he had a run on goal, then blocking the eventual cross.

City had an opening when Zabaleta was played in 12 yards out by de Bruyne, but a fantastic tackle not only prevented the chance, but also nicked it off the City defender for a goal kick. Aguero then flashed a shot over after Wimmer was robbed by Zabaleta trying to play the ball out, fouling the player in the process and picking up a yellow card for it. Dier followed him into the book for pulling back Aguero off the ball before Otamendi volleyed the ball across goal from the free-kick, but it was cleared away. |City were playing well, but were also benefitting from the decisions from Marriner.

Tottenham were dropping deep and that allowed City to build pressure on the Tottenham defence. There was a bit of relief from that but not for Walker, who was studded down his shin into his foot by Sane. In the 21st minute, the back four backed off Silva, who hit a low shot to Lloris' left and he dived low to push the ball wide for a corner. From that City played it to the edge of the box, where Zabaleta hit a volley, but he sliced across it to see the ball narrowly miss the far post.

The home team were closing down Spurs quickly, making playing the ball out more difficult, but it was Tottenham's inability to keep the ball which caused them to be on the back foot. When Spurs did string some passes together, Kane's ball through to Dele caught the midfielder offside. Clichy took Walker out and there was no more in it than Dier's booking, but Marriner waved play on and when Dier got caught on the ball on the edge of our box, Aguero picked it off and de Bruyne put a shot across goal and wide.

Possession and passing helped Spurs get back into the game. However, they failed to test Bravo and City were threatening without making Hugo do to much more work. Aguero put a header into a place that Lloris could reach and Sane should have scored when a cross found him unmarked in the box, but he headed wide.   Hugo then punched out a shot, but the decisions continued to go the way of City and Silva got away with a worse foul than those that bookings had been handed out for.  Despite that, City were keen on pressing, but not pressing home their advantage. A few minutes before half-time, Marriner finally drew a yellow card out for a sky blue shirt as Kane mugged up Kolorov and the defender pulled him down cynically as he raced away from him just inside the City half.

Pochettino needed to get a message through to the players, as there was a need to make City work harder to find space and make our own movement better to allow playing the ball out from Lloris easier. Wimmer was sacrificed to allow Son to come on to give Tottenham that movement, but de Bruyne played a long through ball and as Hugo came out to try and head the ball out, he didn't get enough on it on the edge of the box and it let Sane a free tap in to put City ahead three minutes into the second half.

Dele got booked for pushing Otamendi over when the City man was trying to prevent a quick free-kick being taken. Marriner did then show Otamendi yellow for the original offence, but Sane was all over Dier from the free-kick and players were being pulled own all over the pitch, one of which led to City breaking away and a low ball in from Sterling was spilled by Lloris right in front of goal and de Bruyne touched it over the line.

Ten minutes into the half and two down, could Spurs come back one more time ? Not the way they had played the first 55 minutes, but there was still time if they could get their game going. Especially when the ball found its way to Walker on the right, with a pacy cross finding Dele getting in ahead of Zabaleta to head home from close range. Game on !

Perhaps the play might not have been such that they deserved to peg one back, but City had only lead through two mistakes, so it comes down to taking your chances.

Son almost broke the offside trap of City, with a fantastic ball playing him through by Alderweireld, but he was offside and then Rose clashed with Sterling breaking into the box and the home crowd howled for a penalty, but it was a fantastic tackle that won the ball. Shortly after Aguero fouled Toby and he had to leave the field, with Victor Wanyama dropping back and Harry Winks coming on to fill that position. Wanyama had just begun winning the ball and laying it off in midfield, so, Spurs were hit with a double whammy. The enforced change allowed City to work the ball more easily through the middle of the pitch, giving them space to start to play again.

However, there was a nervousness in the City support and the recent losses were obviously at the front of their minds. They should have put the game to bed when Walker pushed Sterling in the back when he was straight through, the shot ending up in Lloris' hands.  Had it been given, it would have been a penalty and a red card for Walks.  There might not have been any coming back from that.  The fury that Pep Guardiola directed at the fourth official would not have been calmed when Eriksen slipped a pass into Kane, who touched it on to Son, who swept a low shot into the corner of the net to make it 2-2. It was a well taken chance and the move started from the 'penalty' incident.

Sissoko came on to replace Dembele after the goal and Rose nearly got in behind but Zabaleta tackled him at the expense of a corner, which brought another on the other side. It came to nothing, but Tottenham were suddenly finding space to make passes in midfield and maybe it was City tiring. Fresh legs were introduced that saw Gabriel Jesus make his debut, but a first touch almost created a first with a low ball across goal with no-one there to tuck it in, then when the ball came back in from the other side he rose highest to head at goal, with the ball just flying over the angle of post and bar.

The youngster almost wrapped it up for City when he slid in de Bruyne's low cross from the right at the far post, but the linesman's flag denied him. Marriner booked Wanyama after he went through Aguero on halfway, as empty blue seats started to appear throughout the stadium.

Both managers were unhappy with refereeing decisions as the game came towards the end and with four minutes time being added, only a wonderful touch by Victor stopped Delph having a chance to finish de Bruyne's cross. That was the last chance of the game, but the point was a better one for Spurs than for City, maintaining the good run and the determination by the players not to give things up. City should have romped it in the end, but the two opportunities that came our way were stuck into the net. City's 17 shots saw only seven on target. That was poor and while their defence has been criticised, it was the forward line that let them down today.

Harry Kane had little service, but he was instrumental in Son's goal and kept battling away and while Dele didn't have his greatest game, he popped up at the right time to cast doubt into City minds. Eriksen could have been better, but stuck to his task and still kept stretching City, while Victor Wanyama was a giant in midfield and in defence. Dier adapted well to being moved around as Pochettino changed tactics and both full-backs took a battering as City used that as their way of stopping them getting forward. Dembele wasn't as attacking as he can be, but was strong in midfield, while Toby was Toby. Hopefully his injury won't keep him out long. Hugo will be gutted that his two mistakes cost goals, but he did make some saves before that to keep the game scoreless.

Pochettino made the changes that allowed Spurs to get in behind City and to stretch them. Son allowed an out ball, which Tottenham had been missing, with his infectious running and being in the right place helping to haul Spurs back into the game. They did get some help from Marriner, who could be the new Mike Dean !! However, one the other hand the referee did us few favours, allowing City to escape punishment on a number of occasions.

The celebrations at the end of the game might not have been as intense as if they had won, but, the come-back kids had done it again and for all City's dominance, they had once more failed to see a game out. For Spurs, the knowledge that they can get points from games which seem way beyond them will stand them in good stead in the future.

The Heathrow Spur




Manchester City deliberated long and hard before their take-over by the Abu Dhabi multi-millionaires, as the club thought they would have to forego alcohol within the stadium and were weighing up the potential losses in fans drowning their sorrows against the riches the new investors brought in.


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What you thought
East Stan Having had a tooth out earlier in the day, I am not sure which was more painful. That or the “expert” commentary on BT Sport. The commentator, whoever he was, plied us with the banal chatter that added nothing to inform or entertain, while Steve McManaman gave one his finest displays for City with a one-eyed view of proceedings that should have been reserved for City TV.

I certainly didn't want to hear his biased comments which were plainly disproved by action replays, without reprimand from his colleagues on the TV gantry.

- -.



Other scores during this week :
Bournemouth 2 Watford 2 Saturday
Crystal Palace 0 Everton 1 Saturday
Liverpool 2 Swansea City 3 Saturday
Middlesbrough 1 West Ham United London 3 Saturday
Stoke City 1 Manchester United 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 2 Sunderland 0 Saturday
Arsenal 2 Burnley 1 Sunday
Chelsea 2 Hull City 0 Sunday
Southampton - Leicester City - Sunday



League Table  2016-17
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Chelsea 22 18 1 3 47 15 52 +32
2 Arsenal 22 14 5 3 50 23 47 +27
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 22 13 7 2 45 16 46 +29
4 Liverpool 22 13 6 3 51 26 45 +25
5 Manchester City 22 12 4 5 43 28 43 +15
6 Manchester United 22 11 8 3 33 21 41 +12
7 Everton 22 10 7 6 33 23 36 +10
8 West Bromwich Albion 22 9 5 8 30 28 32 +2
9 Stoke City 22 7 7 8 28 34 28 -6
10 West Ham United London 22 8 4 10 29 36 28 -7
11 Southampton 22 7 6 9 22 26 27 -4
12 Bournemouth 22 7 5 10 32 39 26 -7
13 Watford 22 6 6 10 24 38 24 -14
14 Burnley 22 8 2 12 24 33 23 -9
15 Leicester City 22 5 6 11 24 37 22 -13
16 Middlesbrough 22 4 8 10 18 25 20 -7
17 Swansea City 22 5 3 14 26 51 18 -25
18 Crystal Palace 22 4 4 14 30 41 16 -11
19 Hull City 22 4 4 14 20 47 16 -27
20 Sunderland 22 4 3 15 20 42 15 -22


Position before match :  2nd
Position after match :  2nd
Position after the weekend :  3rd


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


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