OPPONENTS Manchester City
COMPETITION Premier League
DATE Sunday 24th November 2013
VENUE Etihad Stadium






The league's top scorers meet one of the league's more modest scorers and the two teams are in seventh and eighth, with Spurs ahead of the heavier net-finders.

Spurs are having trouble getting service up to Roberto Soldado and with City having a good defensive record and a fine home run on the go, it is unlikely that Spurs, for all their good away form, will come home with much.  Although Spurs are quite sound defensively, the movement and attacking strength of City should see the home side through.  Two goals for Argentina by Sergio Aguero will have kept his hand in and Alvaro Negredo was just getting his eye in before the international break.  With Edin Dzeko more often used from the bench, when he would start for the majority of sides in the top flight, Pellegrini's side are very strong in this area.

More opportunities might come at the back of City's side, if we can get men forward.  The former champions defence has been leaky resulting in Joe Hart being replaced by Costil Pantilimon, who has done well, but hasn't had a lot to do in the England number one's absence.  Handling is his weakness, being a reasonable shot stopper and big enough to come for crosses, so Tottenham will need to be more astute in their delivery into the forward players.

Without Kompany at the back, City seem a bit more exposed.  Clichy likes to go forward, without attention to his defensive duties and while Zabyleta does the same, wingers can get at him with their pace.  Javi Garcia has not adapted to English football very well and has been caught out by quick thinking opponents, while Demichelis has come in from Malaga, but he has been found to be slow on the turn and this is where Spurs might get some joy, if he plays, by getting men up around him.  Micah Richards has had a tough time with injury and has dropped out of favour a bit, but he is a muscular full back, who wingers might find it difficult to get past.  Nastasic has taken to his role a bit netter now than last season and plays in central defence in preference to Joleon Lescott, both of whom are good in the air, but are susceptible on the floor, while there is cover at full back with Aleksander Kolorov, who has a strength in tackling and can thunder a free kick at goal.

Having shed some midfielders in the summer, City went out to spend big on Fernandinho, who has been a factor in their attacking play alongside Yaya Toure, David Silva and Nasri, with James Milner adding effort and Jesus Navas an ability to get past an opponent up the line and deliver crosses to the waiting forwards.   With such supply, it is hardly surprising that City are so free-scoring, but it will be interesting to see how they perform against Spurs, who could pair Paulinho and Sandro in front of the back four.  There is an array of different options and their passing and movement are very good, which is something Tottenham are still working at.

Tottenham will be bolstered by the return of Hugo Lloris, but down at missing Christian Eriksen, so a source of creativity will be unavailable.  Woven into the mix was AVB's press conference comment about playing 4-4-2 in training.  Whether he would start with this set-up or have it as a Plan B we will see, but I think that he might change things if they are not going well, as a draw will keep us above City and still in touch with the top three.

I think City will be too strong for us and while it was close at the Etihad last season, this season might emphasise our progress is still to be worked on.

PREDICTION Manchester City    2         Tottenham Hotspur    0
Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.
Danny Rose (foot) is still about three weeks away from a return to action in the first team, but Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli are both training again.  Christian Eriksen is ruled out for four weeks with an ankle injury.
City will have to do without injured captain Vincent Kompany, still out with a thigh injury, while David Silva (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (calf) both miss out, while Fernandinho should overcome a knock to play.

Sky Sports 1 - (live coverage)
Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (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 & 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
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  6 (3)                                                                                     Tottenham Hotspur  0 (0)
Premier League
Sunday 24h November 2013                                                                                                                    Kick off 13:30
Etihad Stadium
Navas  1
Sandro (o.g)  34
Aguero  41
Aguero  50
Negredo  55
Navas  90
Toure (foul on Lennon) 44   



Sandro (dissent) 20
Vertonghen (foul on Zabaleta) 38
Walker (not 10 yards) 45+2  


Crowd :   47,228 Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  Howard Webb (S. Yorks) Assistant Referees :  Mr. P. Kirkup; Mr. S. Long
Fourth Official :  Mike Jones -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the North Stand end in the first half.
Manchester City : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit

  5  Pablo ZABALETA
  NASTATIC (  6 Joleon LESCOTT 46)
22  Gael CLICHY

15  Jesus NAVAS
42  Yaya TOURE     
  8  Samir NASRI (  7 James MILNER 77)

  9 Alvaro NEGREDO
16  Sergio AGUERO (14 Javi GARCIA 69)

Unused subs: 
  1  Joe HART
  2  Micah RICHARDS
  Edin DZEKO
60  Jonathan GIUDETTI

   25  Hugo LLORIS

  2  Kyle WALKER     
  4  Younes KABOUL
20  Michael DAWSON (c)
  5  Jan VERTONGHEN     

  8  PAULINHO  (19  Mousa DEMBELE 61)
30  SANDRO      

  7  Aaron LENNON
14  Lewis HOLTBY (10 Emmanuel ADEBAYOR 46)
11  Erik LAMELA

  9  Roberto SOLDADO (22 Gylfi SIGURDSSON 61)

Unused subs: 
17  Andros TOWNSEND
18  Jermain DEFOE

Manager :  Manuel Pellegrini Manager :  Andre Villas-Boas
Sponsor :   Etihad Airways Shirt sponsor :  Hewlett Packard
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Under Armour
Match report

Walking past a bookies this morning, I noticed in their window that they had put Tottenham's odds of winning at the Etihad out from 12/1 to 20/1. After this thrashing by City, even those odds looked generous.

Spurs kicked off and within 14 seconds the ball was in the back of their net. Played all the way back to Lloris, the French keeper fluffed his kick straight to Negredo, who shot and forced Hugo to dive to his left to save. Navas seized on the loose ball and from a narrow angle on the Tottenham left curled a shot over Lloris and into the net to give City an early lead.

It was a massive cock up that gave Spurs a one goal handicap when they are struggling to find the net themselves.

An equaliser nearly came soon after when Walker got away down the right and his low cross was missed by Dimichelis and Pantilimon, finding Lamela free beyond the far post. His shot at goal was left by the keeper, who was by now facing his own goal, but Dimechelis had got back to kick it off the line.

City had chances to further increase their lead, with Aguero and Negredo, which saw the Argentine through in the middle of the box, but Hugo was out to him and threw up an arm to stop the attempted lift over him. Then a good passing movement put Samir Nasri through into the area, but Sandro produced a fantastic tackle to rob him and like the former Gooner that he is, Nasri threw himself wanting a penalty, which he didn't get either.

In the 18th minute, Vertonghen smashed a low free kick from 25 yards straight at the keeper and the City crowd were getting wound up by the fouls that their own team were committing. Jan was doing well pushing forward up the left. One break saw him catch Dimechelis on his heels and get into the box to the line, but his cross was blocked out for a corner.

The early goal hadn't really stoked the home fans who might have thought the game was already over. Spurs fans raised their voices to get behind the team and the team had responded, but hadn't had any real goal threat. But against the run of play, Lloris' clearance went to a City shirt in the centre circle, it was played forward to where Hugo denied Aguero, but the loose ball dropped to Negredo four yards out and his falling scissors kick went in off a combination of Kaboul and then Sandro in the 34th minute.

Another goal that could have been avoided, but Tottenham's real faults were coming further up the field, where the ball was not being held and no problems were being caused to the home defence.

The only time the City fans were getting heated was when their players threw themselves hoping to get a free kick and didn't. When Vertonghen got booked you could see that someone would see red before the end.

It became 3-0 five minutes before half time when Zabaleta set Navas down the right and Lamela let him go, so he played a low ball into the six yard box and Aguero slid a left foot shot in off the far post.

Almost straight away, Lamela ran through the middle and laid in Paulinho, but his shot from right of centre saw him shoot too high. The half ended with Toure finally getting booked for a foul on Lennon, after pulling people back throughout the previous 43 minutes, then Walker picked up an unnecessary yellow card for trying to stop Nasri take a free kick by walking in front of him as he got back behind the ball.

It was hard to see Spurs getting anything from the game, but would AVB make the changes to make more of a match of it ?

Well, bringing Adebayor on for Holtby seemed a positive move, although Lewis wasn't the worst player in the first half, but leaving two banks of four meant that we weren't closing City players down further up the field.

Five minutes after the break Toure broke from just inside the Spurs half and Walker couldn't get back at him, allowing the midfielder to play the ball across the box for Ageuro to knock it in from ten yards out. It was becoming all too easy for City.

Nasri hit the bar when free on the left Ö whether he meant it or not, it was almost a fifth. That came five minutes later when Negredo turned Dawson easily and hit the ball past Lloris from just outside the box.

AVB then took off Soldado and Paulinho, with Dembele and Sigurdsson coming on. Mousa drew a low save from Pantilimon to his right with a drive from 20 yards out that would have gone just inside the post.

To add insult to injury, Howard Webb was having one of his Uriah Rennie days. Turning down a penalty shout when Sigurdsson was upended on the edge of the box, he gave a free kick to City at the other end, when Aguero turned his body forcibly into Dembele, who stepped out of the way, leaving the Argentinian to fall to the floor. Webb really is an egotistical referee in my opinion.

Negredo headed and Toure shot over the top, as Spurs tried without any success to get back into the game. Sigurdsson tried from 25 yards out with fifteen minutes left, but it was straight at Pantilimon again. Five minutes later, Dembele ran at the middle of the City defence and played it left to Adebayor, but his low shot was kept out by the goalie.
Fernandiho spared Spurs the ignominy of going six behind when Navas' low pull back from the right saw the Brazilian miss his kick from a couple of yards out at the near post and Kaboul cleared. Despite Tottenham keeping going forward, the closest we came to a goal was a corner that Pantilimon missed and the ball pin-balled about the box until it went to a light blue head who got it clear.

While Spurs couldn't score if they played all night, one long ball saw Vertonghen miss cutting it out and Navas was away, finishing one on one with Lloris to make it 6-0 and Tottenham's biggest Premier League defeat.

Earlier in the season, we were hunting in packs to close people down, but the lack of intent allowed City to play the way they wanted to. Playing narrow in the three forward midfielders allowed City to use the flanks, with Lamela and Lennon not tracking back effectively and the attacking players were too easily knocked off the ball by City's players. It was a bit of a hopeless task as Webb clearly did not see the little pushes and nudges that City were putting in, while he was keen eyed enough to see Tottenham's fouls.

City's fans didn't need to get too excited near the end, but from the start the number of blue plastic bucket seats showing perhaps indicate the expectation their fans now possess and the lack of passion might yet come back to haunt them when it is needed. How many missed their sixth, as the blue shone through all around the ground by then Ö except in the Spurs section.
For Spurs there are other shadows which they need to come out of and the team have lost their way a bit, especially when playing against the sides above them. AVB has a tough week ahead of him, with United coming to the Lane next Sunday after we have had a trip to Norway in the Europa League. Our previous losses had come after Europa League games and next week might add another to that list.

Burton Bradstock


Match sponsors -
Match sponsors -
Match ball sponsors -
Match programme sponsors -
Match shirt sponsors -



What you thought
Adam I think this shows AVB has not got what it takes for this or any other club for that matter.  Chelsea saw what was happening and off loaded him quickly - I fear we may have to do the same. 

Poor defeats against West Ham and Newcastle at home and now this humiliation shows he has not got the ideas or man management to change things around when it goes wrong - no plan b - and far too predicable. 

The lack of goals is a real real worry.  Take away the penalty wins and the last gasp goal against Cardiff and you see our true position in the league.  With more tough games and the ridiculous Europa League competition coming up, AVB better change it fast or we will be going into the transfer market for a new boss AGAIN!!  And you can forget about a top 4 finish on this display.

Patrick Magee If the league table was based on teams playing sideways or backwards to their own keeper, Spurs would be top of the league.

We seem to be suffering from an acute and ultimately debilitating attack of Penaltyitis - more commonly recognised as abject fear of approaching the opposition box.  We play wingers who have no perception of where the wings are; a striker who is permanently on strike; a midfield so muddled that they donít even recognise each other; a defence that is easier to get behind than the proverbial bike shed and the most heinous crime of all is the total lethargy and lack of urgency in the play.

A tidy sum of £100 million squids has been spent and we play the dullest football in Europe.  The only solution is to ditch AVB, start again and plan now for next season when we can look forward to welcoming the new Premier League and European Champions to WHL ... yes you guessed it ... the bloody Arse!!!!


Gary Sampson While the result was the same as last season at the Etihad, the performance screamed that things had gone differently.  Usually reliable players like Lloris and Daws had a mare.  Holtby was a shadow of his usual busy self.  Paulinho's finishing was way off target and Soldado never had enough players getting around him to help him out.  Adebayor did little when he came on and although Dembele showed a bit more desire than recently, the team rarely looked like threatening the scoreboard.  With the Ashes loss, this was a hard double pill to swallow.
We knew this little run of games would prove difficult with the lack of goals we are scoring, but the team need to tighten up to make sure we don't hand the points over.

The points gained from the match were equal to those of last season, but will the way the team played set them back for the coming matches ?

Paxton Mark espite watching it 'live' on SS1 and then again on MOTD2 last night, I still can't believe how easy it was for City to create chance after chance through the 'best defence' in PL so far, so keeping the score down to six was a result I suppose!

I've supported Spurs for over 45 years and I can honestly say that this is the worst style of football I can remember us playing.
We are playing such boring football, OK the OPTA stats showed that we had more possession than City, but the stat that matters most is the final score and 6-0 showed that we can have all the possession in the game but we just don't look like scoring.

Yes we were poor defensively, and Dawson & Walker have probably blown their chances of getting into the England squad for Rio, but again we failed to create any scoring chances and AVB looks totally clueless as to how to rectify the matter.
By signing Soldado who scored most of his goals at Valencia from inside the 18yd box, the total lack of service to him is shocking, so where's the supply to him from all these world class midfielders that AVB bought, they just can't cut it in the PL and it was embarrassing to watch our boys versus City's men.

To add insult to injury AVB put on the mercenary up front, but once again when we're 3-0 down he takes off Soldado, so back to your one up front AVB which clearly hasn't worked this season (see West Ham & Newcastle results at home for reminder).

OK, AVB says it's a 'one-off', but if we lose to Man Utd at home that'll be three PL home defeats on the SPIN and I can't see Levy putting up with it for much longer with £100m spent to finish mid-table.
- -.



Other scores during this week :
Arsenal 2 Southampton 0 Saturday
Everton 3 Liverpool 3 Saturday
Fulham 1 Swansea City 2 Saturday
Hull City 0 Crystal Palace 1 Saturday
Newcastle United 2 Norwich City 1 Saturday
Stoke City 2 Sunderland 0 Saturday
West Ham United 0 Chelsea 3 Saturday
Cardiff City 2 Manchester United 2 Sunday
West Bromwich Albion - - - -day
Aston Villa - - - -day




League Table
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Arsenal 12 9 1 2 24 10 28 +14
2 Liverpool 12 7 3 2 24 13 24 +11
3 Chelsea 12 7 3 2 21 10 24 +11
4 Manchester City 12 7 1 4 34 12 22 +22
5 Southampton 12 6 4 2 15 6 22 +9
6 Manchester United 12 6 3 3 20 15 21 +5
7 Everton 12 5 6 1 17 13 21 +4
8 Newcastle United 12 6 2 4 17 17 20 0
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 12 6 2 4 9 12 20 -3
10 Swansea City 12 4 3 5 17 16 15 +1
11 Hull City 12 4 2 6 9 15 14 -6
12 Cardiff City 12 3 4 5 11 17 13 -6
13 West Bromwich Albion 11 3 5 3 12 12 14 0
14 Aston Villa 11 4 2 5 11 12 14 -1
15 Norwich City 12 3 2 7 10 23 11 -13
16 Stoke City 12 3 4 5 11 12 13 -1
17 West Ham United 12 2 4 6 9 14 10 -5
18 Fulham 12 3 1 8 11 21 10 -10
19 Crystal Palace 12 2 1 9 7 21 7 -14
20 Sunderland 12 2 1 9 8 24 7 -16


Position before match :  7th
Position after match :  9th
Position after the weekend :  9th

Back to homepage